An Open Letter to the Black Cosplay Community

Normally, what I am about to write would be saved for my personal blog, but with more expletives.  but given the factor of accounts of what happened in Utah, I felt that I had to say something.  What I am going to say could condemn me among my fellow black cosplayers.  I just ask that you all read this, let this sit in before you pass judgement on me.  I am not defending the terribly tragedy of what happened to Darrien Hunt.  My goal is to calm down the Black Cosplay Community, because I feel that some people are overreacting.

So The Daily Dot posted a story about a black cosplayer shot while in costume.  My first instinct was not to shout “How dare they!” but “Wait, what happened?!”  Then twitter started to explode with tweets from a few black cosplayers scared that they’re going to get shot going to an anime convention.  I went to read the article and see the photos.  I got skeptical.  From the pictures, he wasn’t cosplaying at all.  It was a giant coincidence.  Twitter user jbouie pointed out the striking similarities tho.  As I started talking to other black cosplayers, they started to agree with me.  I then decided to goto twitter to calm down the masses.

That was a big mistake.

I was told that he was not just cosplaying, but he was on his way back from an anime convention that just happened.  I was also accused of race-baiting, being an Uncle Tom, ignorant, and being a sellout.

I checked The Guardian to see if there was anything.  Along with a frontal picture, Darrien Hunt was wearing ordinary street clothes.  I began to tweet back that he wasn’t cosplaying, we don’t have to worry about being attacked as cosplayers going to conventions.  But that was too late.  The ignorance and fear ran wild.  I stopped and walked away.  I continued to rant on my personal Facebook, mostly everyone understood what I was coming from.

Once I thought everything was said and done, I see this article on the Black Girls Nerd blog.  I felt as if they were adding more fuel to the fire.  This was simply not needed.  But on the positive side, both BGN and Daily Dot updated their headline.

See the difference between The Daily Dot AND The Guardian.

See the difference between The Daily Dot AND The Guardian.

Now I know what happened was a tragedy and it should not have happened.  But that’s not the point of this.  I have linked articles that will go into further detail about what happened  I am here to calm my fellow black cosplayers that we do not have to fear getting injured going to a convention in cosplay.  Darrien wasn’t cosplaying.  He bought that sword shortly before his job afternoon that day.  The convention in question, Salt Lake Comic Con was a week before this incident.  He was not a part of a Samurai Champloo group either.  I have been going to conventions for fifteen years, and I have never been harmed at all.  If you truly feel you’re going to be harmed, just stop cosplaying and give up on yourself.

Please calm down.  We should be more worried about the state of affairs, regardless of the fact that he may have been a cosplayer AND the skin color.

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S is cosplay veteran. He has won numerous performance awards with his friends over the years. He has staffed conventions in the past, ran panels, judged a couple of masquerades, a jack of all trades. He's worked dealer's room too! Running this site is his way of giving back to the cosplay community. He feels that it's his turn to give a future cosplayer their fifteen minutes of fame.

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