On Friday, news started emerging about a racist and offensive ‘illegal alien’ costume being sold for Halloween on Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens, Amazon and a host of other retailers. Pressure from immigration activists including CHIRLA, United Farm Workers and LULAC helped pull some of the costumes of the shelves – while Target and Toys R Us pulled the costume off their websites, Walgreens showed it as out of stock.
There has been no official announcement from Amazon but it appears that the costumes have been pulled.
The costume, described by CHIRLA as “distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform” consists of “orange prison-style jumpsuit with illegal alien printed on the front, an alien mask and a green card.”
The mixed messages in the costume are mind boggling. A green card means legal status, therefore one isn’t quite sure what that’s doing as part of the costume – unless of course all immigrants are criminals. Being undocumented in the country is a civil offense – not a criminal offense – therefore why is a prison jumpsuit (which looks closely like uniforms worn by people held in Guantanamo) featured at all. Worst of all is the alien mask – clearly denoting how all outsiders are aliens. Maybe its even silly to try and break down such a costume but one can’t help it when Fox news is asking where America’s sense of humor is? And when William Gheen, president of anti-immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC’s President has offered to conduct interviews wearing the costume.
In an even more disturbing and offensive twist, Fox ends their depiction of the news with, “if you’re here illegally, go to your local police station and tell them how outraged you are because you’re an illegal alien and this costume offends you!”
Perpetuating racism and discrimination, this is only one in a line of costumes, designed to provoke fear and hostility towards outsiders. Here are two more costumes from Party City and Halloween Express that do just that.
Keep up with UFW’s petition putting pressure on Amazon and other retailers to pull offensive costumes off their shelves.
Image courtesy of www.amazon.com