Press Release: LULAC Blasts Target over ‘Illegal Alien’ Costume.
The costume was pulled from the web site in 24 hours.
October 19, 2009
Contact: Contact: Lizette Jenness Olmos
(202) 365-4553 mobile
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest
and largest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, is pleased
that Target has apologized for an "illegal alien" Halloween costume that
comes complete with green card and orange jail suit. The company removed the
costume from its website after LULAC complained. Target says it never should
have made the cut of appropriate suits. “We apologize. This was never
intended to be part of our assortment. It was a data entry mistake.”
“It's very disturbing,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “I
believe these costumes perpetuate racism and discrimination in an already
hostile environment especially when the country is engaged in a serious
debate on Immigration reform.
LULAC responded immediately to the incident last Friday and the following
piece ran in the Associated Press bringing national awareness to the issue.
Click on the following link for more information.
“We recognize that Target, Walgreens, Toys “R” Us along with other retailers
removed the costume as quickly as they could recognizing that it should not
have been there in the first place,” said LULAC National Executive Director
Brent Wilkes. “It is apparent that this company needs to put in place some
quality control to check through the merchandise to make sure it is not
Rosales indicated that although Halloween is right around the corner, racial
stereotypes are never amusing. “These companies should be more sensitive to
cultural diversity,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “To portray
an undocumented immigrant in an alien costume is to dehumanize and portray
them as being from outer space and demeaning.”
LULAC reached out to Amazon.com to take down the costume from their web site
today. At the time of this publication, they have not returned our call.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest
Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic
conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and
civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs
operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.