You know what? I don’t give a bat’s nether regions whether or not Halloween “marginalizes” anyone. It’s fun. It’s nostalgic. It’s at least a quasi-religious holiday that has special meaning to many. As such, it deserves respect. Halloween also has cultural connotations for certain ethnic groups and cultures. As such, it deserves respect–as much as Juneteenth, Ramadan, MLK Day, Cinco de Mayo, Chinese New Year, Diwali, and many other holidays, memorials, or celebrations. This, after all, is America, the melting pot of the world.
Nevertheless, at least one school in Seattle is full of spoil sports. Members of the staff decided to cancel Halloween, and ruin all the children’s fun, on the premise that the holiday is marginalizing for some, particularly Blacks and other children “of color”:
The ‘Racial Equity Team’ at Benjamin Elementary school in Seattle canceled the parade and said students cannot dress up in costumes this year. …
“There are numerous community and neighborhood events where students and families who wish to can celebrate Halloween,” a Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman said … “Historically, the Pumpkin Parade marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday. Specifically, these students have requested to be isolated on campus while the event took place.
“In alliance with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African American males, the staff is committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day,” the statement said.
Inclusive for whom? Exclusive for all the kids who want to celebrate Halloween, as most kids in this nation–no matter their race, color, or creed–have done for generations.
Notice that the parade was already called the Pumpkin Parade, rather than the Halloween Parade. What made the Pumpkin Parade marginalizing?
The “marginalized” kids seem to have marginalized themselves, by choice, by request. Did those children demand that the parade be canceled altogether?
Why did the staff statement use such particular language, insisting that they are “committed to supplanting” Halloween?
Would they react the same way if children who are not Black refused to take part in MLK Day activities? Would they be similarly committed to supplanting that holiday so some children weren’t “marginalized?”
Why does this choice of words make them sound so vehement, so filled with hate for Halloween?
The spokesperson singled out “African American males.” What makes public school powers-that-be think that Black kids, particularly Black males, don’t have fun on Halloween and don’t want to celebrate it?
In the city where I live, Black kids are as enthusiastic as other kids about dressing up to go Trick or Treating on Halloween.
Ask those who hand out candy on Halloween if Black males and other children of color abstain from the festivities.
Ask retailers if there’s any difference in Halloween spending based upon race, with Black parents declining to buy candy or costumes for their kids.
Why must a small minority ruin the fun for the majority?
Is that what “diversity and inclusion” mean? If so, it’s hardly equitable.
Don’t like it? Then don’t take part. Seems simple.
It should be (it used to be) everyone’s prerogative in this nation to choose for themselves what to celebrate. Nobody should have the freedom to demand that other people not be allowed to choose to celebrate a holiday that’s been a tradition in their lives, especially one that’s so much fun and which, heretofore, has united children of all races, colors, and creeds in that fun.
What is wrong with these people?
If Charles Dickens were alive today, he’d probably write a Halloween story about these Halloween Scrooges.