Student wins Halloween costume comp with blackface - so, when is dark humour just bad taste?
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Now the Halloween period has drawn to a close for another year, countless students will fondly be looking back on an evening spent being baffled by the ever-weird and wonderful characters drunkenly flocking to clubs in droves; dishevelled zombies alongside well-coiffed supermen and black cats huffing in queues accompanied by the Spice Girls. For many, the awkward jumbling together of home-made costumes that quickly become limp reminders of your over-ambition is the chief delight of Halloween. However, this Halloween has been haunted by more than drunk witches in bad wigs - rather, an uncomfortable legacy of racism, as a student in blackface is awarded first prize in a ULU Halloween costume competition. Following a weekend of pumpkins and political incorrectness, London students have been left reeling after a male student sporting plastic horns and black paint on his face won a costume competition organised by ULU. The ULU Black Students Officer, Maham Hashmi-Khan, said that she was “incredulous” upon heading this news. “They wouldn’t have allowed someone in Nazi costume in. What kind of institution are we running?” she asked. Although some students have denied that the winning student wore the offensive outfit with racist intent, it does beg the question of Halloween costume acceptability in a progressive union that claims to conform to a “safer spaces policy.”
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