Josh Welch, a 17-year-old from Maryland, saw an opportunity, and he took it when his school held a “Culture Day.” He came dressed as a thief, because white people steal other people’s cultures.
Welch posted the picture of his costume, along with the explanation, to Twitter, and the image went viral.
He explained to Buzzfeed News that he came up with the idea when while “trying to find an aspect of white culture to poke fun at for culture day.”
“The idea just happened to dawn on me, and I knew I had to do it,” he said. “Being a huge advocate for social justice, I was excited to come to school and participate in some grassroots activism.”
He said that he had to explain the costume to “almost everyone,” to varying responses. “When they understood it, everyone freaked out,” he said. “Some people laughed their asses off and others were shocked.”
Welch even got into “a tiff with a more conservative teacher about how I ‘shouldn’t make political statements with my costumes.’”
He went on to say that he never thought he would get such a response to the costume.
“I have received replies calling me racist and even berating the actual costume, but most responses were positive,” he said, before calling the whole thing “110% worth it.”
dressed like a thief for culture day bc white people steal everyone else’s culture pic.twitter.com/XnY4juY9fh
— welch’s grape juice (@jotswa_welch) October 5, 2016