Target: Erika Christakis, an Associate Master of Silliman College at Yale University
Goal: Criticize the Yale official who wrote a mass email to students saying blackface and Native American costumes that qualify as culture appropriation are okay.
Erika Christakis, an associate master at Yale University, allegedly wrote a mass email to Yale students questioning why some students are offended by blackface and other racist Halloween costumes. She didn’t question whether or not the racist costumes were offensive but allegedly claimed that people should be allowed to be offensive.
Christakis questioned why someone can’t be “a little bit obnoxious, a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?” She said if someone was offended by another person’s racist costume, they should simply look away.
Every year, people are made more and more aware of the racist tones of certain costumes and why wearing costumes like mock versions of Native American headdresses is offensive and wrong. Rather than setting a positive example for students, this official chose to write a mass email whining about how offensive things shouldn’t be criticized.
Tell Christakis that her email was offensive and that blackface and Native American costumes are not, and will never be, okay.
Dear Ms. Christakis,
I’m baffled to hear that as an official at a university you wrote a mass email to students defending blackface and Native American costumes as Halloween costumes, despite how racist and offensive they are.
If you want to defend racism and have a complete ignorant opinion, there may be nothing that can be done to change your mind. However, to send a mass email out to students was completely unnecessary and ridiculous. As an official of one of the best colleges in the world, I hope you’re better educated on history and the reason why these “costumes” are racist and offensive.
Your email was despicable, and blackface and culturally appropriated Native American costumes should never be defended.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Vanesser III