30 Oct Halloween Trick or Treat Segregation | Spirit of Halloween Annoys Wealthy Neighborhood
A few days ago I read an awesome post about a woman who helped a little girl in need with a costume. It was such a sweet post that I was all teary by the end of it. However, how the post started had me annoyed. The author referenced a column called Dear Prudence. In the column, a “wealthy” person was writing in to inquire why it was the responsibility of the wealthy neighborhood to provide candy to trick or treaters from the poor neighborhoods. According to the person writing in to the column, the people in this affluent neighborhood already paid enough in taxes to cover social services, so why should they have to provide candy to these kind of people, too?
I won’t even touch on how this person has a complete misunderstanding of how their tax dollars are used or how many stringent regulations are put on governmental food and how it can and cannot be used. Instead, let’s just stick to the ridiculousness of not wanting to give a kid a candy bar–no matter their background or economic situation.
Keep Poor Trick or Treaters in Their Own Neighborhoods
Here’s the thing: if an area is impoverished, chances are no one has money to buy regular meals, let alone candy to hand out to their own kids or neighborhood kids. Perhaps, these families are coming to this more “affluent” neighborhood because there is a guarantee that they will get candy and, guess what? It might be the only thing that those kids have to eat for the entire weekend.
Or, maybe parents are bringing kids from their poor neighborhood because these parents want one night–just one night–for their kids to be safe and happy and feel like other children. A night where they don’t have to worry about their kids being different from other kids because everyone will be in costume and no one will notice that their kid is wearing one of the only pairs of jeans he has. Just one night where they can run and be free and not have to worry that they will be hungry that night because their bags are filled up with special treats.
No Happy Halloween for Some Kids in Need
You see, in poverty-stricken families, holidays aren’t fun. They aren’t something that the family looks forward to or plans for weeks in advance. Instead, holidays like Halloween are just one more reminder for these families that they’re different; one more reminder to these precious children that they don’t and can’t have things like “normal” kids.
This Halloween, if a rusted car pulls up in front of your house and out piles kids who seem like they need a shower (or food, or a better life), instead of judging, why not try treating them just like every other child trick-or-treating that night? Don’t judge them if they don’t have costumes because they might not even have an extra set of clothes at home. Don’t shame them for coming to your nice neighborhood to trick or treat. Don’t look down upon them because they don’t look, sound or maybe even smell like the rest of the kids in your neighborhood. Instead, give them something to feel good about–a smile and a treat–even if it’s just for one night.
And, if it costs you an extra $25 in candy this Halloween season, I think thats a small price to pay to give a kid a little dignity. Don’t you?