PC for Halloween? Illegal alien costume causes brouhaha

Before you choose your Halloween costume this year, you better insure it does not offend anyone.

Rendition of controversial costume/Ryn Gargulinski

Rendition of controversial costume/Ryn Gargulinski

Such was the case with an illegal alien costume, sold briefly at Target and other retailers – until some folks yelled loud enough for it to be pulled off the market.

The costume isn’t even that great. It features the traditional outer-space alien mask, an orange inmate-like jumpsuit stamped with “Illegal Alien” across the front, and one accessory: a hand-held “Green Card.”

But it pissed off a lot of people nonetheless.

The costume is “distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform,” according to an e-mail sent to Target on Friday from Angelica Salas, executive director for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, as quoted in a story at WTVR.com

Americans for Legal Immigration, or ALIPAC, fought back with a widely distributed news release of its own, encouraging people to buy the thing before it was pulled and boasting that the costume sold out at online retailers before it could be removed.

ALIPAC’s President, William Gheen listed one of the costumes on eBay, the release said, until it, too, was pulled “as they may be offensive to some members.”

Target says it listed the costume by mistake, WTVR reports.

Whatever the case may be, the whole brouhaha makes a sad statement for America: political correctness is now invading Halloween.

Now we just have to sit back and wait.

Wait for fanatical religious groups to cry out about devil and demon costumes and the Satanists to scream about folks who dress as angels.

We’ll also have to stop dressing up as serial killers, as that may make some folks upset, so just you forget about the plastic meat cleavers and hockey masks.

Don’t you dare don that infamous mask of Nixon or any other president, or any other public figure for that matter. You may offend the folks who voted for them.

Get rid of pirates, as they’ve been acting up lately. How dare we perpetuate their pillaging by donning a hook arm and skull bandanna.

Come to think of it, aren’t prostitute and hobo costumes offensive, as those folks may not have freely chosen that lifestyle but have been sucked into it by bad choices and worse luck.

Seems the only thing left to do is pull a sheet over your head and go as a ghost. Unless, of course, that may be offensive to folks who have a negative run-in with those feisty spirits.

While this is written with sarcasm, the whole costume controversy is a real issue that once again helps illustrate the sad state of American affairs.

Political correctness is taking over our lives.

But the saddest fact, by far, is that no one is getting rid of all the clown costumes.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Are the illegal alien costumes offensive – or humorous?

Is it an outrage they were even, briefly, for sale?

Should we be mindful of our Halloween costumes to make sure they don’t offend anyone?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in danger, gross stuff, life, politics, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to PC for Halloween? Illegal alien costume causes brouhaha

  1. azmouse says:

    Hello Ryn,
     Honestly, for the life of me, I don’t understand why I am suppose to worry about someone’s feelings who breaks our laws?
    C’mon. Like you said, if someone wants to pick it apart, then we all could find something  wrong with every costume.

    Now, when my kids were little, would I have put them in one of those costumes? Probably not because I wouldn’t want any hassle.

    • Rynski says:

      hi AZMouse – it is kind of funny, worrying about “hurting people’s feelings” around every turn – funny, sad – and sickening.
      some folks are trying very hard to take the fun out of everything. sigh.

      • azmouse says:

        I’m sure there will be many chiming in about this one.

        There is just to many other things to worry about, in my opinion, than people get worked up about a costume.

      • Rynski says:

        you mean things like inner peace, happiness, serenity, personal integrity – and paying the rent (haha)? good point!

      • azmouse says:

        Exactly! Or, just waking up to another day, knowing I’m alive! LOL

  2. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Seems there is not much left, costume wise. Maybe we should just cancel all holidays and work continuously, as inevitably somebody has a problem with something about all of ’em.

    • Rynski says:

      mornin’ radmax – you are absolutely right! we should cancel all holidays and just work and work until we drop dead. halloween gets picked on, and we already know that all those religious winter holidays are too controversial – i’ve even heard of employees getting reprimanded from higher-ups for wishing someone “merry christmas” on company time.

  3. Jennatoolz says:

    I voted “other” because, while that particular costume isn’t that great, I do see how some people would be offended. I can tell that the creator of the costume was trying to be clever, but will that costume win any contests? Probably not. 😛

    It doesn’t matter where you go, or what you do, someone somewhere is going to be upset about it, and say something. Can’t make everyone happy!

    • Rynski says:

      the costume sucks, but that’s just because it’s dumb. I see why you picked OTHER. and you are absolutely right about not making everyone happy – besides, there is some quote somewhere about how trying to make everyone happy just leads to making yourself unhappy. of course, the quote is much more eloquent…

  4. leftfield says:

    I think the significant difference here is that, in the case of migrants, you are talking about a marginalized and largely defenseless population of people.  I think it would be akin to donning a blackface minstrel costume back in the 30’s.  Presidents represent an exceptionally powerful and well-protected segment of society. 

    Political correctness certainly has its limitations.  It serves to raise awareness of issues even when people are mostly complaining about it.  On the other hand, it is not a substitute for real action.

    On Halloween costumes, I most enjoy when kids dress up as “Hippies” and come to my door.  It’s amusing to see yourself as a caricature and even more fun to see the look on their faces when they see me.  Generally, they seem to understand the connection between my appearance and their costumes, but I think the significance of this confuses them as much as if I were Nixon or a real pirate.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for input, leftfield. i am glad to hear you get a kick out of hippie costumes, rather than becoming offended by them. also glad to hear you are not nixon (haha).

    • Ado says:

      Hi Lefty,  Arizona citizens should be so lucky that they would be able to “marginalize” all the illegalistas.  If these costumes will do it,  great, but I doubt that’s  a viable answer to an all too obvious illegal alien(read that illegal Mexican) problem. 

      I see less than zero connection between Illegal Alien costumes and wearing black-face.  However, wearing white-face by blacks on certain T.V. comedy shows seems to be just O.K. with the race-baiting leftist LIBs.  Perhaps people of all color should cease being terminally thin-skinned and learn to take a joke or two about their ethnicity or race.  I think it’s called learning to have a sense of humor.

      • leftfield says:

        However, wearing white-face by blacks on certain T.V. comedy shows seems to be just O.K. with the race-baiting leftist LIBs”

        Dave Chapelle is particularly good at this and Eddie Murphy did some funny stuff with this on SNL years ago.  You gotta admit that white people are a funny bunch and easily mocked.  They are dangerous and you sure don’t want to invite them over or anything, but they are funny.  White-face is acceptable humor.

  5. leftfield says:

    What bothers me more than costumes that embody societal prejudice is the fact that in my day my parents could simply open the door and let me go off without any real fear that I would be poisoned, kidnapped, molested or killed.

    • Rynski says:

      watch out for razor blades in apples!

    • azmouse says:

      My brother and I would cruise around our neighborhood alone, happily going door to door with no fear.
      There were a couple of houses where my parents would tell us not to go….they were usually the ‘hippies’ that my Mom thought might be doing drugs.

      • leftfield says:

        Your mom was no doubt correct.  Halloween was a big psychedelic free-for-all, not unlike St. Pat’s is a drinking holiday.

      • azmouse says:

        Oh! When I was four or five and first told to beware the hippies, I thought she was overreacting. On top of the fact she seemed to dress me as a mini-hippie…hair to my knees, bell bottoms with unnecessary, but cool patches, peasant blouses. I’d be at the neighborhood park, and I knew that the ‘weird smell’ Mom couldn’t understand, was pot a group of kids sitting in a circle was smoking.

      • leftfield says:

        To this day, peasant blouses can make me weak in the knees.

      • azmouse says:


    • radmax says:

      There were fewer illegals here in the early 1900’s. 🙂

      • azmouse says:

        Early 1900’s!
        Lots of hippies in the sixties, when I was a youngster, and they were the source of huge fear and confusion for my naive Mother.

      • radmax says:

        (for Lefty)

      • Jennatoolz says:

        Seems like I missed out! I grew up mostly in the 90’s, trick or treating was a blast! A huge group of my family would gather, and we’d zig zag the entire neighborhood. I remember one older fellow in particular invited us kids in for a juice box and home made rice krispies treats…he didn’t seem so threatening. These days, he’d for sure be called a pedofile or worse.

  6. radmax says:

    Think I’ll go as an ICE special agent this year, what a riot! The Tijuana Toad is always good for a laugh…

  7. tiponeill says:

    Since this is Arizona, I can confidently predict that most will find the costume hilarious – just as when I lived in Georgia you could be sure that the blackface chain gang costumes were hilarious.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I agree with Azmouse; why should I worry about protecting the feelings of people who blatantly break our laws? If the illegals don’t like it, they can head back home. Please.

    The illegal immigrant costume itself isn’t that great, but it’s all meant in fun. There’s nothing obscene or blatantly offensive about it. If someone wants to wear that costume, they should have the freedom to do so.

    • azmouse says:

      Thanks Rebecca.

    • leftfield says:

      Sure Rebecca, if someone wants to wear the costume, they can.  Morality is an individual issue.  And it is a moral issue, for me and for you. Your argument that law-breakers deserve no consideration as to their humanity makes it clear that it is a moral issue for you.

  9. tiponeill says:

    I agree with Azmouse; why should I worry about protecting the feelings of people who blatantly break our laws?

    Maybe because Jesus said it was a good idea ? Or Buddha or whoever you think might give good advice in this area >

  10. I can’t believe that we have come to this. I think the costume idea is actually pretty funny. The one online seemed pretty generic as far as stereo typing. Why is it that when a small group complains everybody reacts. Who do I need to complain to about getting all the ghost costumes removed, after all it is insensitive for all of us who have lost loved ones. 

    • Rynski says:

      I think this is one of the scariest points, by far – one of the questions you raised:
      Why is it that when a small group complains everybody reacts.

  11. Jennatoolz says:

    The company I work for held our employee annual party (Halloween themed) at Old Tucson at the end of September. Well, most everyone dressed up in costumes and we had a costume contest. The winner? Ahab the arab and his camel. An employee dressed up as an arab, and his willing son dressed up in a homemade camel costume. It was quite funny, and no one seemed to be offended. 😛
    As for me, I dressed up as a “cat burglar.” Had the kitty whiskers, tail, and ears….completed the outfit with a bag of loot and a cap gun! 😀

  12. tiponeill says:

    This is about a Halloween costume and that’s why it’s silly because it isn’t about ‘my fellow man’.
    So, morally it isn’t an issue.

    You asked a rhetorical question about why you should care about the feelings of your fellow man.
    I was simply trying to provide an answer for you, and evidently also for Rebecca.

  13. koreyk says:

    My views re illegal immigration run closer to those of leftfield and tiponeill than, say, azmouse or radmax.  Still, I’m not offended by this costume.  I certainly don’t see a parallel to blackface (subject of which, as an aside, is quite complex on multiple levels.  It ranged from naively innocent entertainment to vicious weaponry, to points inbetween).

    Blackface plays off of culture, speech patterns and physical characteristics.  This costume touches none of those aspects.  It is a non-sequitur, a visual pun on two words.  Its irony works for both sides.

  14. leftfield says:

    “This is about a Halloween costume and that’s why it’s silly because it isn’t about ‘my fellow man’.
    So, morally it isn’t an issue.”

    I disagree, azmouse.  I don’t think these outfits are essentially innocent any more than I think the old Minstrel Show was just harmless entertainment or a celebration of African-American culture.  I believe that there is an element of prejudice and intolerance being celebrated here under the pretense of “just a joke”.  I also fear that adults will use this opportunity to pass their prejudices onto children by dressing them up in these outfits; children will not fail to pick up on the message that the parents are sending.

    That said, people are free to sell and buy and wear whatever they want for Halloween.  Except christians, of course, for whom the holiday is a celebration of satan worship and a negation of god.  How’s that for RC (religious correctness)?

    • azmouse says:

      Hi leftfield,
      I remember once, as kids I dressed up like a dancing senorita girl, with the beautiful dress waving my fan in front of my face, and my brother wore a poncho and sombrero and we were a little dance duo. It never seemed inappropriate, but I think today it would be.

      Last year, my youngest son, Sebastian and some of his friends hung out with me to pass out candy. These boys were about fifteen, almost sixteen at the time. My son dressed up as Jim Morrison, one of his friends dressed as a pimp, one had a border patrol costume, and one boy dressed in a striped, black and white shirt with pink boxers from Sheriff Joe’s jail.
      I thought they all looked cute and never thought anything about their costume choices.

      • leftfield says:

        I don’t know, azmouse; in the imagining I can’t seem to find any offense in your described costumes.  It is a very complex and difficult terrain littered with landmines.  It seems that intent and context are important, but also easily misconstrued.  In the end, they can sell the illegal alien outfit and you and I can choose whether to wear it or not and whether to call Target and complain.  Target can then choose whether to stop selling the outfit.  I’m not sure there’s a route we can take wherein all parties have their rights and their humanity respected without fear of complaint.

      • azmouse says:

        I’m not sure there’s a route we can take wherein all parties have their rights and their humanity respected without fear of complaint.

        So true! I think that you’ve made the whole point of this . So many things really are ‘in the eye of the beholder’, and the beauty of the fact we all see things so differently. Makes life less boring, but no one is literally right or wrong.

  15. ldonyo says:

    I’ll bet if they had left the “green card” out of the package there would not have been nearly as much attention paid to this costume. I’m sure there is a group out there protesting anything resembling a Somali pirate costume, as well. The whole “P.C.” thing has gotten way out of hand and has probably done more to maintain prejudice than remove it.

  16. leftfield says:

    Every group has their own form of PC.  Complaining about left-wing PC is a form of right-wing PC. 

  17. mорское says:

    “deserve no consideration as to their humanity ” i do not see that in Rebecca’s  commnent at all. she referred to their “feelings”.

    today i volunteered to sit with a friend that has advanced parkinson’s while his wife gets some medical tests/doctor visit, etc.

    we sit here discussing a supposed “issue” over some heavily biased interest group getting upset about a costume. the fact that companies so quickly bend over for them is pathetic.

    actually it is a non issue for me ………. i don’t do halloween since few halloweeners jump in 4 wheelers and take the 17 mile drive into the desert to my place and i don’t care about the feelings about a pack of illegal aliens or their supporters.

    I have supplied water and food to many illegal aliens ……… as I call the Border Patrol. There is  a difference between dismissing their feelings versus their humanity. Some are just to confused to see it.

    “Then why would you and Rebecca ask why you should have concern for your fellow man ?
    The essense of morality is that you would know the answer to that question.”
    so says the great soothsayer tippy.

    • leftfield says:

      Well, I’m glad to hear you say that you aren’t offended by questionable Halloween costumes, mopckoe.  I’m planning on going as a grumpy old white guy with a funny haircut. 

      • mорское says:

        so you are going as bush.

      • tiponeill says:

        You could always go as William Calley – in fatigues with an M-14 (as Legislature approved) and 12 dead babies (dolls of course) strung on a string hanging from your neck.
        A tribute to our Veterans.
        I can’t – I have to stay home and hand out candy.

      • mорское says:

        to bad tippy, cause I sure wish you would show up at my door dressed in your tribute.

        I do not if you served and if so, if you put your boots on a battlefield. To even jest let alone seriouly lump all our warriors into that bag shows that your true intellect and morality is non-existent. You are beneath contempt.

  18. JohnDoe2 says:



  19. A.Farley says:

    It’s an alien from outer space, here illegally. Nowhere do I see that it’s of Hispanic heritage. Did the Target stores near the Canadian Border pull the product or is it just here in Tucson? Leftfield is more like Outfield
    seaman territories is my captcha

    • leftfield says:

      I don’t see it as harmless, Farley.  The migrant is just the latest of the marginalized other; those mostly defenseless people that are scapegoated for things they themselves are the victims of.   Capital encourages scapegoating of groups within the working class.  It serves their purposes by preventing the solidarity that would present a threat to their absolute power. 

      So long as capital is free to cross borders in search of labor and resources to exploit, that is how long I will support freedom for refugees from capitalist exploitation to cross borders, legally or otherwise.   If you think that migrants are your enemy and that capital is your friend, you are sadly mistaken.

      • mорское says:

        cry me a river lefty. the poor exploited illegal alien. ah.

        I live in the flow and come across them all the time. I give them water and  food if needed, as I call the Border Patrol.

        They are here illegally and it makes no difference as to why.

      • leftfield says:

        It does make a difference.   Even for a guy like you, inclined to revere authority, trained to believe that your god ordains privilege and believing that a bigger hammer is the answer to all problems, you should know that it is important to understand the underlying cause(s) of issues in order to resolve them.

  20. DRatz says:

    Just get rid of illegal aliens, and hope we can mend our broken hospital and school systems.  If they do not like the stupid costume- T.S. !!! & go back home & break your own laws!!!

    • leftfield says:

      This is what I’m talking about: scapegoating.

      • Rynski says:

        if we just got rid of all the scapegoats – we’d have no one left.

      • Ado says:

        When the scapegoat’s imported gangbanging illegals are raising the murder rate in your city, costing you as a taxpayer big bucks by funding them in the hospitals at your expense,  in our social services systems(services that are largely completely absent in their Mexican homeland),  and of course in the jails, and when when it’s quite obvious to all these “scapegoats”  continue to degrade the existing social and economic systems, and use the benevolence of our American legal and political system to accomplish their goals and agendas,  I have to believe the city, the state and the nation ought be doing something to prevent further degradation of our society and further resulting escalating taxpayer expenses.  I would say a good start is in forums such as this one that highlights the problem and educates the public.  I am happy to see the State of Arizona finally take the initiative in the nation and pass laws that penalize employers who employ illegals.  IMO, the  statute ought go much farther and impose *criminal* penalties as well as mere civil fines.

      • leftfield says:

        So, you believe they should be scapegoated, but for good reason?  Perhaps, in order to “educate the public”, you could list in order the relative degree of scapegoating the following groups deserve based on what you perceive as their contribution to all the ills in society:  undocumented migrants, homosexuals, communists, lib’rals, PC lib’rals, black people, documented migrants,  foreigners in general, transexuals, white folks, tea-partiers, your mama and call center employees speaking heavily accented english.  

  21. Carolyn Classen says:

    So far 150 people have voted in the companion poll, and 46% said “it was hilarious. I want 3 of them”.  That fact that these costumes had to be pulled from the shelf was on the KUAT Channel 6 News Minute last night.

  22. delaBec says:

    In the first place, the costume is hardly what an illegal alien looks like and if person is illegal why would they have a green card in hand. So the  whole premise of the costume is flawed and  rediculous.   The comments are however very telling. They speak of ignorance and blind hatred. The typical illegal alien will be wearing a tee shirt or a flannel, ball cap and work boots ( about like every other working stiff in Tucson)  and he is here to clean your yard or paint your house. Or she will have on jeans and a polo and Nike’s and she is there to make the beds and clean the rooms, bus the dishes. Want all these people gone? Next time you check in to a hotel if the beds aren’t made you will know they are gone.

    • Rynski says:

      i was wondering about the “illegalness” of the alien, too, if he/she were holding a green card. and yes, the costume is ridiculous.

      • radmax says:

        No Rynski, it’s ‘rediculous’.
        “The comments are however very telling. They speak of ignorance and blind hatred.”
        Ignorance of immigration laws?
        Blind hatred of six hour waits at overcrowded emergency rooms? Trauma centers unable to remain viable?
        Hatred of the fact that most municipalities are facing crunch time for their budgets, with ever increasing entitlements demanded?
        Blind hatred indeed, of the “Gimme” mentality.
        Ps-This affliction is not only peculiar to illegals…

      • Rynski says:

        you are preaching to the choir, my friend.

      • radmax says:

        Pastor radmax apologises Rynski… that was for delablanc.

      • Rynski says:

        no sweat, pastor – i figured as much but just showing my agreement. hey! can you spare some change from the collection basket? i need some new shoes.

      • radmax says:

        Times are tough, my child, but pray hard, I’m sure the Lord will provide a nice pair of polka dot pumps… 🙂
        Can we count on you at the ice cream social Sunday?

  23. azmouse says:

    No one got offended over my mullet wig……

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