Halloween is meant to celebrate the dead, not the woke


James Deakin

Calling all parents. Are you looking for the scariest Halloween costume for your kids? If you live in an area of the un-woke, you might want to consider dressing them up like the culture police. 

Let me explain.

Yesterday, the verified Twitter account of the anti-defamation league (ADL) based in New York, who are self proclaimed equality enforcers, tweeted out to its almost 300k followers, a comprehensive list of guidelines for the approved Halloween costumes that your children can wear to avoid cultural misappropriation and perpetuate gender norms. 

The article, which is titled, Halloween: when the Goblins, Ghosts and Stereotypes come out, can basically be summed up in this paragraph, which I quote: “Before Halloween, be proactive by addressing these issues in advance and use it as an educational opportunity to discuss stereotypes, bias and cultural appropriation. Many children and families don’t realize that their costume choices are potentially hurtful or offensive. For example, a child who may be interested in Native American stories and history wants to dress up as a Native American person. Consider it an opportunity to talk with them about how Native American dress is not a costume.  Instead, it is an essential part of identity, unique to each different tribe with their own customs and ways of dress.”

Now, notice how it’s cleverly framed as being inclusive, smart and sensitive. Only a neanderthal would disagree, right? But here’s the irony. Demanding certain behavior from children to appease our own guilt, insecurities, fears or agenda is only teaching them resentment and divisiveness. Think about it. Children are not inherently racist. If you want to see this in action, put a black child and a white child or a Christian child and a Muslim child in a room together and leave them alone. Now assuming they haven’t yet been poisoned by the Internet and the fear mongers on TV, or that their parents didn’t make any references to their playmates skin color, sex or religion and brief their child before they entered the playroom, just watch what happens. 10 out of 10 times, the kids will just start playing. Because they are kids. 

Now try and give them the “stereotypes, bias and cultural appropriation talk” And watch the dynamic change. They will quickly learn through all the do’s and don’ts that people are different and should be treated as such––which is in stark contrast to the supposed message of being color blind.  Childhood is about curiosity, wonder and endless learning; it’s a fleeting moment where ignorance is truly bliss. It’s a short window when anything and everything is possible because it comes without the accountability that goes along with adulting. At least it used to. Yes they will make mistakes, fight, be hurtful at times, mean even, but they will soon learn how the world works as a result of every action having an equal and opposite reaction. The immediate response from their peers is their check and balance and accountability for their actions. Trying to socially engineer them to be used as our virtue signaling tools and make them accountable for our own warped ideologies or agendas is pure exploitation and should be tagged as such. Just let them be kids.

I have never met or even heard of a child that would dress up as an Igorot or Cowboy or Indian for Halloween because they wanted to make fun of that culture or insult them. If anything, it’s a tribute. They want to be you for a day. How awesome is that? Very awesome—until the culture police start laying down the law and politicizing it. 

The point I’m making here is that children need to be taught how to hate and discriminate. They pick that up from us. And while articles like this disguise themselves as being woke and claim to be protecting minorities, they are only manufacturing more problems for them.  Case in point “Many children and families don’t realize that their costume choices are potentially hurtful or offensive.” Um, yeah, maybe that’s because it wasn’t until you claimed offense. The holiday has been around for about 2000 years and was meant to mark the end of summer and the beginning of a bitter winter associated with death. But now, due to the lack of any real issues like the beginning of winter without heating and anywhere to store your crops, some have created a new  problem we need to pass on to our kids. 

So I’m speaking to the parents here, and I ask you genuinely: while I’m sure we all agree that racism, mockery and insensitivity are bad and we all want our children to be tolerant, kind and understanding, were you ever given the talk about stereotypes, bias and cultural appropriation before trick or treating in Halloween? How about the cultural atrocities of offending the manangals by dressing up like one? I didn’t think so. And look how you turned out. If you’re a regular reader of this column, then I’ll have to assume that you are a smart, kind, unracist and open minded individual with a genuine desire to do good in the world despite all your imperfections and shortcomings. So please, whatever you do, resist the urge to socially engineer our kids to play into this new narrative. 

Please, just let them be kids. They only get to wear that costume once.