University Of Bristol Students In Hot Water For Racially Insensitive Costumes

Two University of Bristol students are facing heavy scrutiny after dressing up as an Orange Is the New Black character. They wore braids, heavy make-up, and jumpsuits to a theme party this past Friday night, and other students were furious about their costumes on social media.
Here’s a picture of them in their costumes.
The Tab
I can understand people being upset about the make-up, but I didn’t really think their outfits were all that bad. As a middle class, white dude, I’m definitely the wrong guy to ask in situations like this, though. My only advice for college kids is to just avoid participating in theme parties in general. The risk of looking like a racist dickhead far outweighs the benefits of dressing up.
Students were so upset about their costumes that the University of Bristol released a statement. Via The Tab:

“We have contacted the students concerned and asked them to meet with Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Chair of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group.”
A Bristol SU spokesperson has said: “This is just one of a number of incidents to have come to light over the past few weeks: it needs to be recognised that racism is pervasive at Bristol, and at Universities across the country.
“We’ve seen extreme examples of racist abuse in the press recently, but racially insensitive comments, language and dress are all part of the same problem, and contribute to a culture that is sadly far too common on our campuses.
“We urge our BME students to continue to talk to us about the racism they encounter, and work with us and the University to make necessary changes. All students have a responsibility to tackle racism on campus. We believe that open-mindedness, self-awareness and a will to learn and are key to this.”

For what it’s worth, the two unnamed students have refused to back down. They both insist that their costumes were paying tribute to the show and are not racially insensitive. The dangers of binge-watching Netflix are all too real.

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