Thanks to culturally insensitive Halloween costumes, every year a handful of stores—and customers who are silly enough to support the foolishness—find themselves publicly canceled for their obvious ignorance.
The latest company to make the list? None other than retail mega-giant, Walmart, courtesy of their “Hippie Dude Costume” advertised with a white man dressed in a colorful dashiki and afro wig.
According to CBC, Canadian college student Allanique Hunter was instantly offended when she went to a local Walmart and seen that a dashiki with an afro was being marketed to white people as a costume.
"It really hit me at this time that this was not OK," Hunter told CBC. "Black people actually look like this and we are discriminated against because of this.”
FYI: A dashiki, which is a colorful garment originating from West Africa, gained it’s popularity in the United States during the ‘60s and ‘70s as a way to showcase Black Pride.
Calling the ensemble out for cultural appropriation, Hunter expressed her feelings that the costume failed to display hippie representation but instead "a mockery not only of our culture, but of the injustices we face day [today]."
The university's African descent student affairs coordinator, Kelsey Jones clearly agreed after being contacted by the B.L.A.C.C. Student Society, a diversity group from Hunter’s college.
"It portrayed black culture as a token, as a costume, as something that could be used to display blackface," Jones said.
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Although the "hippie dude" costume was almost sold out online, Jones convinced the store manager at the Walmart in Antigonish to immediately pull the costume from the retail floor and also alert Walmart Canada's head office of the costume fail.
Walmart reportedly sent out a notice to its Canadian stores to stop selling the costume, along with a few other "distasteful, racist" costumes Hunter and the B.L.A.C.C. Student Society identified on Walmart.ca.
In an emailed statement to CBC News, Walmart’s company spokesperson Felicia Fefer stated: “At Walmart, we value diversity and inclusiveness.”
She continued, “We have pulled these costumes from our stores and on Walmart.ca. We sincerely apologize for the [offsense] this has caused our customers.”
At this time, the "Hippie Dude Costume" still remains available online in the United States at Walmart.com.
(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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