Asian American Activism Thwarts Racist "Kung Fool" Costume
On Thursday, October 10, 2002, Yellowworld.org launched Project Anti-Disguise, a grass-roots campaign to raise awareness about the racist, anti-Asian costume "Kung Fool." A petition was immediately circulated to offer a mechanism by which the frustration, anger and firm resolution of the Asian community could constructively be channeled.
With the generous support of the Organization of Chinese Ameicans, San Diego, Project Anti-Disguise launched a blitzkrieg-style media assault, voicing its message in television, radio, print and online coverage.
Eight days and over 8,300 signatures later, Disguise -- the largest costume manufacturer in the world -- has gotten the message.
"Disguise, Inc. will take steps to ensure these costumes will not be sold and sent an additional letter to retailers today requesting that they remove all 'Kung Fool' costumes from their shelves by October 18, 2002," affirmed Disguise EVP Stephen C. Stanley. "Disguise is also sending a letter apologizing for any insult or offense related to this issue, and we will continue to work diligently to ensure that these costumes are returned for destruction."
On behalf of Yellowworld.org, I'd like to thank the countless individuals and organizations who selflessly devoted their time and energy in assisting an online portal, barely six months old, wage its campaign to compel a multi-million dollar corporation to swiftly respond to the concerns of the Asian community and actively affirm cultural diversity.
We urge costume retailers nationwide to follow the corrective actions taken by Disguise and send the message that corporate America can no longer profit from marginalizing the Asian community -- because we'll have the last laugh.