A student organization at Ohio University called Students Teaching Against Racism (STARS) have had a number of posters made to make people aware that stereotyping people based on their ethnicity can be offensive.
There is a very fine line here. Many nationalities get stereotyped, including western nations. Lederhosen anyone? But when you start moving into caricatures of people who are commonly discriminated against, you’re treading into xenophobic territory.
Melissa wrote a post about this on her blog (also contains four more posters) and had to disable the comments due to a large number of racism.
So, when it comes to Halloween costumes, think twice before you choose something that is based in xenophobic stereotypes.
Another aspect of Halloween nowadays is the trend to sexualize costumes a lot. Nothing wrong with dressing sexy, but for kids? Maybe that’s not such a good idea?