This should really go without saying by now, but please don’t wear a racist costume for Halloween. It was wrong in college, it’s wrong now, and it was wrong when the prime minister did it.
In the most recent racist costume news, Toronto couple Marty Fortier and Manuel Navarro are facing harsh online backlash after sharing photos of their Halloween couple’s costume to Instagram, first reported by LGBTQ news site the Advocate. Fortier dressed as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, while Navarro wore a sombrero, moustache, and sash in what is a pretty blatantly racist Mexican caricature.
Because dressing up as people dying in U.S. custody and the people detaining them is suuuuper funny.
The original posts have been taken down and both Fortier and Navarro’s accounts converted to private, but they continue to be dragged on Twitter.
Even Xtra, Canada’s largest online LGBTQ magazine waded into the fray.
HuffPost reached out to Fortier over Facebook messenger for comment and did not get a response. A screenshot of an Instagram stories apology attributed to Navarro has also circulated on Twitter, where he points out that he himself is Mexican.
“Me and my boyfriend have been receiving so many hateful comments and messages from last [night’s] Halloween costumes,” he wrote. “All this for the simple fact that MOST people are feeling offended?
However, many users pointed out that doesn’t excuse him or Fortier for racism.
This costume choice comes in the midst of an ongoing crisis in the southern United States, where children are being separated from their parents at the border and housed in detention centres. Several human rights groups have declared a humanitarian crisis, as migrants from Central and South America continue to die in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.
The Toronto couple’s costume is the latest in our annual string of culturally problematic Halloween costumes ranging from “Indian” costumes to portrayals of “terrorists.” These costumes promote inaccurate and harmful stereotypes of certain groups of people and have been proven to actually put them in danger.
People are fed up.
That’s all to say, don’t dress up as an ICE agent and a “Mexican”. Maybe next time, go with a classic couples costume — think ketchup and mustard bottle, Thing One and Thing Two, a cat and a dog — or maybe just a stop sign, because this needs to stop.
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