Sunday, October 31, 2004

Political: Politics Don't Belong in Halloween

Just took my niece and her wee friend around the doors of her neighborhood to trick or treat. All the other kids were, as you would expect, out in force as Batman and Shrek and Barbie and Spiderman....and as an Arab terrorist.

Yeah, you read that right. One little guy was dressed up in a white robe-ish thing carrying a toy AK-42, with a very large sword on his belt. At first I thought it was some cartoon/anime character that I perhaps did not know, being that I do not yet have to watch all of the Nickelodeon channels with a little one.

So we ask him, "Hi Sweetie! And who are you dressed up as tonight?!"

"I'm a terrorist. drattattaattaaattttaaatttaaaa." [fake machine gun fire pointed at us]

Stunned silence as I watch him run around amidst the tigers, princesses, superheroes, ladybugs and all of the other characters that kids love to emulate.

Stunned amazement as I wonder aloud who the hell are this kid's parents?

My sister points to a house across the street with the Bush/Cheney '04 yard signs. Says he's a true blue GOP-er in the non-complimentary sense of the phrase. And I am left wondering: how, by this father's politics, is a parade full of flamboyantly-dressed gay men so objectionable, but parading your kid door to door as a mass murderer is not? Even leaving aside the whole issue of dressing your kid up "as an Arab," am I the only person who thinks the whole thing is appalling? Aren't we supposed to be our kids' moral compass when they are too young to have one themselves? Aren't we supposed to be our kids' filter for both damaging stereotypes and insensate cruelty?

Short Story Long: Some parents ought to have their jobs outsourced to people possessing a heart, a brain and a conscience.

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