Halloween, Política

Corporate hypocrisy

Dear Target,

What’s up with this Illegal Alien costume?

I don’t get why a corporation that boasts about giving back to the community (can’t say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the ¡Bienvenido Dudamel! concert a few weeks ago) and celebrates Nuestra Gente would sell such a despicable costume. (I know not all undocumented immigrants are Latino, but we do make up a plurality of the population.)

Is it to make a buck? Is that enough to alienate (no pun intended) undocumented immigrants, their allies and our dollars? Couldn’t you make a buck by not selling “humorous costumes” that demean and make light of the situation faced by many undocumented immigrants and advance dehumanizing language?

Is it humorous that thousands die trying to cross the US/Mexico border? Between 1998-2004 1,954 migrants died on the perilous journey north source). Since 2004, the Arizona Star Border Death Database has recorded 1,193 deaths at the border.

Funny, no?

What about exploitation from shady employers? How about the rise in anti-Latino hate crimes?


Last, what about undocumented youth who face an educational glass ceiling as college is out of reach without financial aid and high non-resident fees?

I expected something different from Target. I was wooed by those free days at museums, free concerts and all that red (my favorite color). I thought Target wouldn’t be like other vendors who sell racist costumes playing on tired stereotypes and caricatures.

Qué lástima.


Disgruntled Target Shopper

P.S. Anyone who pays $39.99 (plus shipping and tax) for such a costume is not only racist, but also stupid.

Updated: Target also sells a tequila pop n’ dude and Mexican costumes for adults and kids. Nopal not included. Guess they are showing their appreciation for mi gente.

Cross posted at LA Eastside


10 thoughts on “Corporate hypocrisy

  1. I cannot believe there are people defending this costume, they obviously have not seen the other “Mexican” costumes that Target is peddling. Native Americans have fought hard not be portrayed in such a culturally offensive and inauthentic light, we must do the same! These costumes are unacceptable!

  2. I just got a response back from Target when I emailed them on this issue:

    “Dear Oddria,
    I’m sorry for the disappointment you had with the Tequila Pop N’ Dude Plus Costume and Illegal Alien Adult Costume on our website.

    We’re always looking at ways to make Target.com even better and your comments about these costumes are a big help to us. I’ve passed on your comments to the right team so that they can look into this.

    If you’ve further questions, just give us a call at 1-800-591-3869. We’ll be happy to help you out.

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. I hope you’ll visit us again soon.”

    I emailed them here: http://bit.ly/1Ud7ZC

    I feel like going into my local Target and also asking for the District Manager’s contact info.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I understand how this costume could have been seen as funny to whom whoever created it, but the blatant underlying racism shines through their comical intentions when a ‘green card’ is added to the equation. That being said..using the term which this country has demonized(‘Illegal Alien’), and flipping it by turning it into a pun makes me a bit sick. It’s affecting so many things; suddenly stereotypes are okay.
    A lot of groups in society ban together to make sure these things hardly, if ever, occur.. and it’s up to us as Latinos to really say something about this. Not to ride on Obama’s slogan but we need some change and I think now’s the time.
    Brb, emailing many complaints.

  4. Kenny Wyland says:

    I personally think you are way over-reacting. I’m not a racist, I deplore racism… but seriously, a gray alien in an orange jumpsuit? That has absolutely nothing to do with Hispanics or Middle Easterners (arguably the two groups that racists fear are emigrating to the US). It’s a silly play on words. Just like my friend last year who dressed up in a pointy black hat and hospital scrubs. She was a “witch doctor.” It’s not insulting, it’s just a silly play on words.

    I’ve really enjoyed following you on twitter. I’ve never met you and I don’t really know how you followed me to begin with, but I followed you back because I checked your page and you had intelligent things to say. In this instance though, I really think you are over-reacting. Sure, the tequila bandito dude is an old stereotype that we’ve seen in tons of movies and it’s not a good one… but this? I think your outrage probably has a better target (no pun intended).

  5. Javier says:

    Personnaly I am outraged with this costume. Its ridiculous to put this out on the market so people can portray undocumented immigrants for cheap luaghs on halloween. How can such a huge corporation such as Target add to this innapropriately overused term for a race that has done and still does so much for this country. This is where we as a people must come together and do something productive to get thses costumes out of stores and off the market in general.

  6. I’ve been to parties (in the ghetto, Long Beach, Compton etc) where people (all minorities) dress up as Klans members, Nazis, and communists. I’ve long lost sensitivity to any one costume.

    Do I think this one is racist? I dont see how (and would be really interested in someone explaining how the costume is racist), but it clearly is more offensive than the previous ones posted by Cindylu a few days ago (I thought the others were funny and create, btw).

    But then that depends on how sensitive one is. I have a higher tolerance than most. If I leave the guy dressed up as a communist alone, I’d probably leave the guy dressed up as this costume alone. Its a badly made, uncreative, and insensitive costume, but so are many others.

  7. O.K. says:


    “I’ve been to parties (in the ghetto, Long Beach, Compton etc) where people (all minorities) dress up as Klans members, Nazis, and communists. I’ve long lost sensitivity to any one costume.”

    So even Conservatives of Color love these figures of hate?

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