Friday, October 28, 2011

A Scary Halloween Tradition

Have you noticed? There's something about how Halloween that makes people racist. Or maybe classist. Every year, I have this same conversation with a few people:

Me: "Do you get many trick-or-treaters?"
Them: "Yeah, some, but you know, not kids from our block...." OR
Them: "We get a lot! But they're all, you know, 'those kids' who drive in."

I've had these and similar conversations with many different people, from many different backgrounds and walks of life. It's like, we are all OK giving free candy to neighborhood kids, but we feel uncomfortable giving candy to kids from other neighborhoods, kids who are usually of a different race, class or status than those in our neighborhoods.

(When I lived in Texas, people were referring to Mexicans in these conversations, so when I told this to D., I expressed my surprise that people so openly admit to racism. He said that around here it's more like classism.)

Why is this OK? I mean, we make all sorts of inappropriate choices on Halloween: overly sexy costumes (even for young girls), encouraged acts of destruction, binging on sugar, dressing up tastlessly, etc. It's not the classiest of holidays. But still, it's really weird to me that off-the-cuff racist/classist/mean comments are so common.

Is it just me? Have you had this conversation?

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