Racist Halloween costumes have for some reason become the archetype “liberals are offended by everything!!!!” example used by people online. It nicely coincides with the “feminists are unfunny!!!” stereotype as well, which can make October an incredibly cringeworthy month for people using the internet.
There’s a simple reason why racist or otherwise offensive costumes aren’t funny: they’re punching down. Scaachi Koul at Buzzfeed explains:
The real difference is that comedy shows or segments that are legitimately funny always punch up. Instead of wasting their time going after people who are typically in the minority, they go after people with tangible power that’s being abused. A basic tenet of humor — and I mean real basic, we’re talking ancient Greece here — is that your best stuff will come from going after people bigger than you. But Watters and Southern [conservative talking heads], and their respective networks, are too dedicated to maintaining the status quo to be remotely entertaining.
The first sentence of the article summed it up nicely: “There’s a reason why jesters made fun of kings.” Exactly.