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Don’t Dress up as a Nazi, for Halloween or for Comic Con

This should go without saying.

Halloween is mostly over. While the actual holiday doesn’t take place until Wednesday, many of us had our celebrations and parties over the weekend. Still, consider this a warning for next year: if you don’t want to seem like a garbage person, maybe don’t dress up as a Nazi. Add that to the list of unacceptable Halloween costumes, such as donning blackface or Native wear.

This past Thursday, a Kentucky father-son duo came under fire for dressing up as Hitler and a Nazi. Naturally, when the backlash hit, the father blamed the “Tolerant Left” for being upset that they were dressing up as the icons of the alt-right.

A Kentucky man apologizes for his family's Nazi Halloween costumes in a Facebook post obtained by the Huffington Post

The statement reads:

Tonight me and my family went to the “Trail of Treats” at the riverfront. They had a wonderful time and are very happy with their candy haul. But I need to speak out about. Anyone who knows us knows that we love history, and often dress the part of historical figures. Tonight as we walked we saw people dressed as murderers, devils, serial killers, blood and gore of all sorts. Nobody batted an eye. But my little boy and I dress as historical figures, and it merits people not only making snide remarks, but approaching us and threatening my little 5 year old body. That’s right. Tonight grown adults threatened a child over his costume. Threatened his mom and dad as well. Threatened to rip his outfit off of him screaming obscenities, scaring a small child. First off, it’s none of your business. Second, how dare you! I mean how dare you threaten a child. Me, it’s one thing, but my child? You are messing with fire. I do want to thank the people who intervened, and for those good people we interacted with. Yes, liberalism is alive and well. And we had the displeasure of dealing with the fruits of the so called “Tolerant Left.”

Previously, the man had dressed as a Confederate soldier and denied being racist. His Facebook is now closed, but the Huffington Post via the Evansville Courier & Press noted that he had previously posted slogans such as “White pride doesn’t mean hate” and “Being liberal means being a hypocrite.” His wife also displayed intensely vile anti-Semitic rhetoric posted after the event, including statements denying that the Holocaust happened.

There is so much to deal with here, including the fact that his wife is defending these actions and posting anti-Semitic bullshit as a synagogue is attacked by an armed gunman. The man in question apologized, but his and his wife’s actions speak louder than his words. Forgive me if I don’t accept their “I’m sorry.”

Also, I highly doubt that people were threatening their child. It’s more likely that people expressed concern and distaste on Facebook and maybe a couple times in person and this meant a horrible attack by those damn liberals in the family’s eyes.

Nazis are not some vague historical villain who Indiana Jones fights in the movies. They are a hate group that is very much alive and well today thanks to violent rhetoric from the right, and the last thing we need is for people to dress up like them. It is potentially triggering, it shows a lack of respect and regard for others, and a general lack of awareness for those around you.

Similarly, I know “hail Hydra” was a meme for a while (it probably shouldn’t have been) and that there are Nazi-inspired characters, and even Nazi characters themselves, that someone might want to cosplay for a comic con. That might not also be the best decision. First off, seeing a Nazi with people fawning over how great their costume is might not be a pleasant experience for Jewish or Romani fans, and also is just not a good look in general.

No one likes Man In The High Castle enough for you to risk triggering someone at a convention because you thought the aesthetic would be a fun look to copy. We cannot let the imagery and uniforms become something funny or a Halloween costume, because it’s not. It’s a very real, very painful and traumatizing image that should be taboo to dress up as.

The idea of dressing up as a Nazi is repugnant. So if you think it would be a fun costume for a Halloween party or for comic con, maybe check that idea next time. We need to drive Nazis out, not dress in their image.

(via Huffington Post; Image: Marvel)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.