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From The Department Of Sound Advice: No Blackface For Purim

At Jewcy, Gabriela Geselowitz offers advice to Jews thinking of wearing blackface for Purim. Don’t. I second that advice wholeheartedly. Still unsure why blackface — on Purim or in general — is a bad idea? Geselowitz spells out the essential: “If a minority community overwhelmingly communicates that an aspect of emulating them for a costume is offensive, and you do it anyway, what does that say about your respect for others?”

Geselowitz also has helpful tips for those who encounter perhaps inadvertently racist revelers.

[C]onsider this your reminder that if you’re at a Purim party with someone in an offensive outfit, you’re obligated to say something. Don’t go on the attack, and don’t do it in front of others; that will only make them defensive. Just take them aside and politely explain why their costume is a problem; they legitimately might not know.


Phoebe Maltz Bovy edits the Sisterhood, and can be reached at Her book, The Perils of “Privilege”, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March 2017.




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