One should be aware that mascots, Halloween costumes, and other forms of cultural expressions are mere instruments, which can illuminate the underlying problems in a particular society in regards to racism, prejudice, and discrimination. The given argumentative essay will primarily focus on why mascots and Halloween costumes should be used in order to reduce and even eliminate racism and facilitate an appropriate way of assimilation through the empowerment of minority groups, especially indigenous people.
The main problem of mascots, Halloween costumes, and other forms of cultural expression is manifested in the fact that they can be highly offensive and disrespectful if used inappropriately. For example, a study suggests that “Native American mascots selectively facilitate the application of negative stereotypes, resulting in harmful evaluations of Native American people” (Burkley et al., 2016, p. 223). In other words, the current approach in regards to mascots is to avoid them in order not to offend indigenous groups, which means that these tools or methods of self-expression are left solely for bigots and racists. One might argue that indigenous people and other minority groups should be empowered through these instruments of expression in order to facilitate correct assimilation and fight prejudice as well as racism. Holidays, such as Halloweens, offer ideal opportunities to celebrate other cultures by using mascots in an educated and respectful manner.
In conclusion, it is important to note that mascots, Halloween costumes, and other forms of cultural expression should not be regarded as the main root causes of racism, prejudice, and discrimination but rather used to empower minority groups. If these measures are not used, only uneducated and disrespectful racists will use them inappropriately, which will further increase intercultural tensions.
Burkley, M., Burkley, E., Andrade, A., & Bell, A. C. (2016). Symbols of pride or prejudice? Examining the impact of Native American sports mascots on stereotype application. The Journal of Social Psychology, 157(2), 223–235.