Opinion

Our Opinion: “Illegal alien” costume satirical, not offensive

A bright orange jumpsuit with the words “illegal alien” plastered across the front in bold type, a space alien mask and a plastic “green card” are the three components to a Halloween costume that created a storm of controversy.

Released by Forum Novelties Inc., the costume was intended to be a play-on-words for Halloween-goers with a sense of humor. However, advocacy groups took the costume seriously, denouncing it as racist and offensive.

Brent Wilkes of the League of United Latin American Citizens feels the costume is demeaning.

“These costumes say, ‘These people are not human, they are aliens,’” he said in a USA Today article by Marisol Bello.

As a result of the strong backlash, many stores and web sites, like Toys ‘R Us, Target and Amazon.com, have taken the costume off their shelves.

However, Halloween is a time to poke fun at society. The costume is meant to be a funny representation of a current issue with which the U.S. must contend, not a statement against the humanity of illegal aliens.

The illegal alien costume is a form of political satire, which was clearly not recognized by advocacy groups. It is not even factually correct, since a green card means an immigrant has legal status in the U.S. This just further proves the point that the costume was created in jest, and is not to be taken seriously.

Are police officers or nurses offended when girls dress in promiscuous versions of their uniforms for Halloween? No. Also, if the illegal alien costume is apparently so offensive, why are naysayers not equally condemning those who don Halloween outfits satirizing Obama?

Halloween is the one time a year when anything goes. Those offended by the illegal alien costume should learn to take a joke.

Edtorials represent the majority opinion of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

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October 27, 2009

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.