Are Your Halloween Decorations Racist? Disturbing Trend Hits U.S.
Even on Halloween, some things are off limits. The holiday’s kitsch shouldn’t include racist themes. Halloween is about ghouls, treats, and costumes, not intolerance and exclusion; it is a holiday for everyone. This October, decorating displays must be reviewed with a politically correct microscope. Specifically, the rise of a particularly popular Halloween sign must be squashed.
Recently, I discovered the sign in my neighborhood. As I had nothing better to do, I walked around judging and criticizing my neighbors' displays. Among them, I noticed a decorative sign reading, “Warning: zombie zone.” I was gobsmacked at such an exclusionary and bigoted décor item. Such a sign reinforces segregation by ethnicity. It looks innocuous staked between porch pumpkins, but its message is incredibly harmful. In this recent case of xenophobia, the subtext communicated by the sign is that ‘zombies should be avoided because they are different.' Their “bloodthirsty flesh-eating” stereotype is based on a few isolated incidents. But once again in today's society, an entire group is generalized and marginalized based on the actions of a few members. Unlike my ignorant neighbor, I would proudly break our neighborhood homogeneity to include zombies.
Now, some members of the right and the left claim that "zombies don’t exist." Such fake news is intolerable. These claims are damaging, and our media is greatly responsible. Hollywood repeatedly portrays zombies as terrifying and dangerous individuals, rarely showing them in a positive light. In addition, of all the zombie movies and television programs currently available to American consumers, no authentic zombie actors have ever been utilized. Hollywood would rather hire normatively healthy adult actors to portray this ethnicity on film, instead of finding actors who identify as zombies. The film industry claims to be progressive, but its business tradition involves an exclusive and racist system.
Change takes time, but one small step for ordinary citizens lies in this season’s decorations. Such signage should be pulled out of stores and homes. In addition to the décor; masks with zombie likenesses are also highly offensive. Concerned citizens must approach such mask-wearers to educate them on appropriation. Silence equals death. We must act now, lest we show the next generation that such exclusion and intolerance is normal on Halloween.