Le­gion con­sid­ers Hal­loween party ban after black­face cos­tume

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS -

A Royal Cana­dian Le­gion branch south­west of Lon­don will con­sider ban­ning Hal­loween par­ties after pic­tures sur­faced on so­cial me­dia of a man dressed in black­face at an event there in Oc­to­ber.

Mem­bers of the Le­gion in Mel­bourne will meet next month about the is­sue, which comes in the wake of a Statis­tics Canada re­port show­ing a dra­matic in­crease in hate crimes cases in On­tario.

“We will dis­cuss this at our Jan­uary meet­ing and it may very well be de­cided that Hal­loween is not some­thing that we should be in­volved in at all in the fu­ture, pri­vate or oth­er­wise,” said Glen Jef­fery, vice-pres­i­dent of the Mel­bourne Le­gion. “In my per­sonal opin­ion, many Hal­loween cos­tumes could be rightly con­sid­ered of­fen­sive, racist, sex­ist.”

The pic­tures of the man, pos­ing as a lawn or­na­ment de­pict­ing a black child sit­ting on a stump fish­ing, were taken dur­ing a Hal­loween bash at the Le­gion on Oct. 27.

The pic­tures were re-posted on so­cial me­dia by Hay­den Wood­ley, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of busi­ness at the Univer­sity of Prince Ed­ward Is­land who did his doc­tor­ate at Western Univer­sity, after he came across them on­line.

“I think some­times you ex­pect or just as­sume that this stuff doesn’t hap­pen any­more or that it wouldn’t hap­pen here in Canada, but that’s not the case,” said Wood­ley.

He de­cided to share the im­ages as a way to ed­u­cate peo­ple about the in­ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of some of these cos­tumes and their mean­ing, which he be­lieves is the only way to bring an end to these prac­tices.

While hosted at its branch, the party was a pri­vate event.

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