Oh, what a wonderful world it would be if we could go around wiping out everything that is in poor taste. Clearly, two Florida men posing as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman for Halloween -- complete with a bullet hole in Trayvon's hoodie and fake blood -- qualifies for most of us as an example of a terrible judgment call. Yes, both men are Caucasian and one donned what looks like horrifying black tar on his face, which has made lots of people angry about the use of blackface on Halloween, but are we missing the point here?
This costume would be just as offensive if worn by an African American, or a Native American, or Mexican American, for that matter. The problem here isn't racism -- it's a total lack of respect and regard.
When Greg Cimeno, who is 22, and his buddy William Filene, who is 25, made the decision to dress this way, they weren't pulling a Julianne Hough and paying tribute to the awesome actress Uzo Aduba from the TV show Orange is the New Black -- which, I should mention, I didn't find offensive. They were instead choosing to make light of the death of a 17-year-old child. There's nothing funny or clever about their costume. It's just stupid. And these men are too old to not know or understand that it's also disrespectful to the family that is grieving for Trayvon.
Since the photo of the duo was released on Caitlin Cimeno's Facebook account -- she's the girl posing in the middle and it has since been taken down -- a Facebook page called "Stop Blackface On Halloween" has been created and several news sites have been digging up dirt on Greg and William. Turns out they both have auto charges against them, and Filene has some other minor offenses like loitering and prowling. Also seems that Greg may not be the next Eleanor Roosevelt, given that he reportedly made some thoughtless comments on his Facebook about an African American woman wearing a T-shirt that said "Black Girls Rock."
I don't think anyone is shocked to learn these two were probably not voted Most Sensitive in high school. They may even be crazy racists, for all we know. But let's focus on the fact that this costume is inappropriate for reasons that have little to do with blackface.
Do you think this costume is racist or disrespectful?
Image Via Stop Blackface On Halloween/Facebook
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside