Gonzaga students hold Halloween cultural appropriation forum

Ben McDonald
Washington Campus Correspondent

  • The Asian American Student Union, Black Student Union, and La Raza Latina at Gonzaga University recently hosted a pre-Halloween forum on cultural appropriation.
  • During the event, students discussed possible examples of cultural appropriation, such as a non-African person buying a dashiki, an Asian man wearing dreadlocks, and Taylor Swift's latest music video.
  • Examples of cultural appropriation given by Princeton University in advance of Halloween.

    Several student groups at Gonzaga University recently held a pre-Halloween event on cultural appropriation titled “Courageous Conversations: My Culture is Not a Costume.”

    The event, which took place on October 26 in a lounge on the private university campus in Spokane, Washington, was hosted by the Gonzaga Asian American Student Union, Black Student Union, and La Raza Latina.

    "Since Halloween is coming up...we just want people to know that this is something that does happen."   

    During the event, the speakers gave a presentation about what they considered to be cultural appropriation, giving examples such as Beyoncé wearing a doulì; Taylor Swift’s recent “Look What You Made Me Do” music video, which allegedly appropriated Beyoncé‘s Superbowl halftime show performance; and Washington Redskins fans dressing up as Native Americans.

    [RELATED: Petition: LSU Tigers mascot a ‘symbol of white oppression’]

    Following the presentation, attendees split into various groups and had to declare whether they considered several given scenarios to be examples of cultural appropriation, including a non-African person buying a dashiki, an Asian man wearing dreadlocks, and non-Mexicans dressing up in a sombrero and other Mexican attire for Cinco De Mayo.

    Daniel Rosales, the president of La Raza Latina, told Campus Reform that he believes cultural appropriation occurs “when a dominant group takes something from a minority group...and just does not give the credit or recognition to the group they’re taking it from.”

    [RELATED: Student magazine warns against ‘racist’ Halloween costumes]

    “We wanted people to learn about cultural appropriation and just talk about it with one another in all of its complex forms, and for people to kind of come to their own agreement in terms of what is cultural appropriation,” Trang Tan, the president of the Asian American Student Union, told Campus Reform.

    “Since Halloween is coming up...and people may be well-intentioned...but we just want people to know that this is something that does happen, and we want people to be informed and talk about it,” she added.

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    Ben McDonald

    Ben Mcdonald

    Washington Campus Correspondent

    Ben McDonald is a Washington Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He is a sophomore at Gonzaga University, where he is a member of College Republicans.

     
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