Bigotry isn't funny, said Cesar Baldelomar in Sojourners. But Forum Novelties Inc. is trying to cash in on racist stereotypes by selling—through Walgreens, Target, and other major retailers—an "illegal alien" Halloween costume, featuring a space alien mask, an orange prison jumpsuit, and an oversize green card. Maybe the joke would be funny if undocumented immigrants weren't still being beaten to death by young men raised on xenophobic hatred. (Watch reactions to the costume)
What "absurd outrage," said commentator Debbie Schlussel in her blog. "You can sell Nazi memorabilia on eBay," but let a secure borders group, Americans for Legal Immigration, try to sell a "funny illegal alien costume" and eBay yanks it. Sorry, but the marketplace has spoken—many costume stores that carried the costume have sold them out.
Some stores—including Walgreens' website and Target—have pulled the costumes, said Alan Colmes in Liberaland. But "my fellow pro-immigrant friends" should "lighten up." If pro-immigration groups think the Illegal Alien costume is "distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant," maybe we should "just call it an 'Undocumented Worker' costume and leave it at that."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to survive a spaceship disaster
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week