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So, you’ve decided you’re going to be President Barack Obama for Halloween. Good for you! While it’s not the most original idea by any stretch of the imagination, the impulse to celebrate our first Black president is a noble one.

Here at NewsOne, we’re all about promoting racial harmony and helping the people. We do it for the kids, as they say. So in the interests of preventing extreme awkwardness and fisticuffs inspired by racial animus, we’d like to help you plan your Obama costume this year.

See, this is a multicultural nation, but a bunch of white, Asian, Latino, Native American and otherwise non-African-American people attempting to dress up as a black guy is a potential minefield. To make sure you don’t start a race riot this weekend, follow our handy list of tips: How Not To Accidentally Wear A Racist Obama Costume.

The Clothes

DO wear …

A suit – You can’t go wrong here. A suit is standard, polished, presidential attire.

Khaki pants and a polo shirt – Think of this outfit as “Obama casual.” He’s been seen dressed like this on the golf course and while relaxing with his family, so you can go ahead and dress down too.

A basketball jersey – A love of basketball is one of those black man stereotypes that, in the case of our president, happens to be true. Since Obama is a well-known recreational ball-player—the man even built a court in the White House—this outfit is an a-okay deviation from more humdrum presidential clothing.

A superman costume – Because … well, why not?

DO NOT wear

A prison jumpsuit, slavery rags, a fur coat and pimp cane, or a black sheet and googly eyes.  – … Do I really need to explain?

The Props

DO carry:

A Briefcase

A Book

A pen, and a bill to be signed into law – The bill can contain the legislation of your choice, such as the institution of socialized medicine, the legalization of gay marriage, or an affirmation of the First Lady’s right to bare arms that simultaneously outlaws all gun ownership.

A Basketball – Carry this prop with the Obama-as-Basketball Player costume.

Golf clubs – These match up nicely with the Obama casual look.

DO NOT carry:

A weapon of any kind, especially an AK-47 (the rapper’s rifle of choice)

Anything that could be described as “bling”

The Snacks

While wearing your Obama costume, it would be wise to watch what you eat. This isn’t just about attaining the president’s trim physique: Choose the wrong snack and you just might accidentally turn into a racist. And who wants to do that?

DO NOT eat or drink:

Fried chicken or watermelon ­– I shouldn’t have to tell you this at all, but with folks these days you can never be too careful.

Hennessy, Hpnotiq, a 40, or anything else you would see someone guzzling from a brown paper bag on 125th and Lenox – If you can’t resist the urge to imbibe, keep it classy, Mr. President. No hood drinks please. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t shake up any champagne bottles and “make it rain” on your constituents.

Kool-Aid – I see how someone could make this mistake. With some of the completely uncritical, Obama-can-do-no-wrong sycophants out there, it could fairly be said that some folks are indeed “drinking the Obama Kool-aid.” But clever as you may be with your social commentary, most people are much to literal-minded to make the connection. So just leave the pitcher at home.

Bananas – All you would do is remind people of this:

… Or this:

Not a good look.

The Face

We know. Somehow you have to make it perfectly clear that you’re supposed to be the president. Otherwise, what makes you anything more than just some guy walking around in a suit? There are two good ways to establish your presidential identity this Halloween:

DO wear:

A plastic Obama mask

A name tag

That’s it. Those are your options. But in case anyone tries to get any bright ideas, we’ll spell it out:


Paint your skin brown. If you heed none of these other suggestions, heed this one. If you, in a misguided attempt to match Obama’s skintone, color yourself in with brown make-up or (especially) shoe polish and start heading out the door, STOP.

WARNING: You are no longer in a Halloween costume. You are in blackface.


Go directly back into your home, and wash the make-up off. Do not pass “Go,” do not collect 200 pieces of candy. Then put on an Obama mask or a name tag like you were told to in the first place. Believe me, I’m telling you this for your own good.

Well, that should cover all of our racist bases. Follow these tips, and you’re sure to avoid disaster, awkward stares, or getting beat up. Good luck, and Happy (Totally Not Racist) Halloween.