This Week in Racism: Another Halloween, Another Year of Problematic Costumes

This Week in Racism: Another Halloween, Another Year of Problematic Costumes

It’s an embarrassment of…

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life — but no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we’re pleased to introduce our weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.

🗑 McDonald’s defends itself against racism by throwing a Black man at the problem

Good news for Ronald McDonald: Profits are up. Everything else has been garbage for the folks behind Golden Arches. First, more than 50 Black former franchisees filed a class-action suit against the company for unequal treatment compared to their White counterparts; then employees in Illinois accused their manager of using derogatory language, harsh discipline, and giving them fewer work hours. (There was a similar suit in Florida, as well, just in case you were worried that Florida wasn’t Florida-ing hard enough.) Lest you think the company behind the McRib and the Shamrock Shake was going to buckle under the supersized weight of institutional racism, though, McDonald’s has found a solution: a new chief of diversity and inclusion. Don’t worry, we’re sure Reggie Miller (not that Reggie Miller) is all set up for success. Obviously, when you’ve got a massive global company whose franchise model means it has limited visibility into its tens of thousands of employees, all it takes is hiring a single person. Be sure to check back next week for the headline “Reggie Miller Is Reconsidering Everything!” (USA Today)

🗑 If you were doubting how close New Hampshire was to Boston, now you know

In 2018, Aaron Brown was fired from the Manchester, New Hampshire police department over charges of racism. (Specifically, Brown referred to Black men as “parking tickets” in text conversations with his wife, as in “I got this new fancy gun. Take out parking tickets no problem.” And yes, that’s a real thing he typed.) But it’s not 2018, you’re saying right now. Why do we care what happened then when we’ve got [waving exhaustedly at everything] all this to worry about? Great question! It’s because an arbitrator ruled that Brown should have been suspended for 30 days rather than fired — and New Hampshire’s paper of record has discovered that Brown has been making $1,500 a week, plus benefits, for the two-year period that the city has refused to hire him back. Making $140,000 despite being accused of coercing a woman into sex (he settled), telling internal affairs investigators “I might be prejudiced, but I’m not racist,” and generally being a shitstain of a human being? Priceless. (New Hampshire Union-Leader)

🗑 Don’t worry, people still haven’t figured out how not to be racist at Halloween

Sure, this might just be us, but deciding on a non-racist Halloween costume doesn’t seem like a complicated process. There are really only two rules. The first: Avoid blackface. (Not as easy as you’d think!) The second: If you think it’s funny, it’s probably not. We’re guessing that two women who work for the Syracuse school system got so exhausted following Rule 1 that they forgot to read Rule 2, because they showed up at school Friday wearing T-shirts with pictures of movie slashers Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees with the caption NO LIVES MATTER. Not only is it hilarious, but it doesn’t at all trivialize a movement whose very slogan was forced into being by centuries of barbaric mistreatment! Great work, ladies; we’re sure that being placed on administrative leave will give you plenty of time to browse for your next ill-advised wardrobe addition. We’re thinking this one would be flattering. (CNY Central)