Target: Erika Christakis, a former Associate Master of Silliman College at Yale University
Goal: Applaud the resignation of a Yale lecturer that defended racist Halloween costumes like blackface and Native American costumes.
Thanks in part to petitions like ForceChange’s Criticize Yale Official Who Allegedly Supports Blackface, Erika Christakis, a former Associate Master of Silliman College at Yale University, has resigned after writing an email defending people’s choice to wear offensive and racist Halloween costumes.
Christakis’ email was in response to the Intercultural Affairs Committee at Yale that informed students of the insensitive implications of wearing costumes that symbolized cultural appropriation or racism with outfits including blackface, redface, Native American headdresses, or turbans. Christakis’ email questioned what was so wrong with wearing these offensive costumes, despite the costumes being racist.
A person of both intellect and power at a university should be standing up against injustices like racist Halloween costumes, not supporting them. For far too long, minorities have had to stand by while they are mocked and dealt microaggressions. People who support this should not be leading future generations.
Applaud that someone who supports racist, offensive costumes will no longer hold a position of power to spread these views.
Dear Mrs. Christakis,
After sending out a mass email to a diverse student body defending racist and offensive costumes, you can probably now understand the implications of your words and what they mean for students of color who are forced to face these issues year in and year out. It may seem like these costumes are simply meant to poke fun with their offensiveness, but, for the minorities at the butt of the joke, it’s just not funny or lighthearted in the slightest.
As a leader of future generations, it’s vital that you and others stand up for those who have been silenced and marginalized for years. Please take this into consideration in the future and realize how vital these issues are for people of color and Native Americans.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rob Loftis