Dear Straight Talk: I’m in college and my very nice roommates are talking about dressing up as Muslims for Halloween. One, who is buff, is even talking about putting on blackface and going as Muhammad Ali. I think both the blackface and dressing in turbans are bad ideas. They say I’m being too “politically correct.” What do you think? It’s so easy for girls to just wear a sexy outfit, but much harder for guys to come up with a creative costume. Any suggestions? Also, do I go out with them dressed this way? They are my best friends here. — Sam, Boston
Omari, 19, Washington, D.C.: Dressing up as another culture as a mockery is disrespectful. However, dressing as a famous Muslim is respectable and unique. But I guarantee that no one with common sense will find blackface funny, creative, or cute. Nor is it necessary for the costume. As a black man in America, I can speak to how disrespected I felt when I read this. If you are comfortable in public with people so blatantly disrespectful, then by all means, have fun with your “nice roommates.”
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