Halloween in America has traditionally meant ghosts, witches, skeletons, that kind of thing. This is what was supposed to be scary about it. Now, unfortunately, the scariest thing on Halloween are the assholes -- the assholes the holiday seems to either bring out of the woodwork or simply give an excuse to be terrible. Who knows whether it's just that each year our hyper-connectivity makes our lives more and more transparent, meaning that everyone's every little transgression can go global faster, or there really are more assholes in our country than ever before. Either way, this year seems especially rotten to the core.
First off, it really does seem like racism is the big costume this year. Maybe it would be better to say that the people displaying their blatant racism wear masks the rest of the year and for Halloween they're finally taking them off and being the real version of themselves. Either way, it's ugly.
In a since-removed Craigslist ad, an anonymous resident of Norfolk, Virginia posted a warning to undesirables to stay the hell out of his/her neighborhood on Halloween night. And by "undesirables," what he/she means is black people.
You niglets, stay the hell out! We’re a white neighborhood and we don’t want you baboons here!! You little turds better think twice going into my neighborhood or you will be legally punished.
I can't help but think of the poetic justice of, say, the guy in Florida who dressed as Trayvon Martin trying to go trick-or-treating in this person's neighborhood and being threatened with arrest. That would be pretty perfect.
Meanwhile, in Fargo, North Dakota, a woman who identified herself only as "Cheryl" called a local radio station and talked about her plan to spend Halloween night having her life threatened by angry parents.
Cheryl says she'll go ahead and give out candy to trick-or-treaters, but certain very special kids will also be handed sealed envelopes. Inside these envelopes will be a message for the kids' parents -- as she calls it in the writing on the outside, a "gift" -- and it will read:
"You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child?" I am disappointed in "the village" of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo. Your child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season. My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits."
Now granted this information is coming from a local radio station so the whole thing could be nothing more than a bit; that really wouldn't be surprising at all. But if it is it's an extremely well-executed bit because it's been picked up by credulous news outlets from all over the country. Is it for real? Who knows.
Regardless, I hear Gwyneth Paltrow will be doing the same thing this year only her sealed message to parents' will be that their child's costume looks store-bought and Princeton orange makes a better color for a jack-o-lantern than persimmon.