I have learned a lot from attending the class, White Supremacy and Ideology, to be honest a lot more than I thought I would. Before this class started I assumed we would simply cover how the white race has put down minorities over history and how white people are essentially “evil”. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case at all. We spent most of the class discussing current trends and delving into the minds behind both the leaders and the members of the white supremacist movement. I specifically enjoyed the book White Man Falling, I had always thought of white supremacists as white gown, pointy hat wearing, cross burners. However after taking this class I now have a much deeper understanding of the depth that is white supremacy.
One topic that I found particularly interesting surrounded the popular holiday Halloween. Everyone knows that on Halloween at colleges around the nation, and at Washington State University specifically costumes tend to get out of control. This Halloween I can recall seeing multiple students dressed as stereotypes of all races including Mexicans, Asians, and African-Americans. Before taking this class I would have thought nothing of a girl dressed as a geisha, or someone wearing a poncho, sombrero, and huge mustache.
To be honest I most likely would have joined in and worn that type of costume playing it off as just another entertaining outfit. However after taking this class I have a completely different view on the topic. Even if some people are not offended by the costume it is without a doubt racist. The costume is designed to make fun of another individual’s culture and traditions…I don’t know what is more racist than that. Not only are you make fun of another persons culture but the costume is taking the extreme stereotype of that culture and parading it up and down the streets of a collegiate institution. It also doesn’t help that everyone that sees the costume is already drunk and continues to complement the individual on how hysterical that persons costume is. By feeding the fire like this is only perpetuating the never ending cycle on racist costumes.
Even in this day and age I still managed to still multiple college students wearing some form of black face. For those of you who do not know “ Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup used in minstrel shows and later vaudeville in which performers create a stereotype characicture of a black person. The practice gained popularity during the 19th century and contributed to the proliferation of stereotypes such as the “happy-go-lucky darky on the plantation or the dandified coon” (Pinchunyk, 2011). Here is an old picture of how black face was depicted.
However, a more recent representation of the racist costume, and the type of costume that you would see on a college campus would look this.