halloween activism

by lani

i’m not a big halloween fan.

when i was growing up, church kids of the 90s frequently skipped trick-or-treating. instead, churches put on elaborate “harvest parties,” with costume contests, games, treats, prizes, and more candy per kid than i’ve ever seen a trick-or-treater haul home. let me tell you, these parties were fun! they blew trick-or-treating, with it’s repetition and exposure to weather, out of sight.

though i was probably in my teens before i realized that most kids don’t dress up as bible characters or pilgrims for halloween. but i digress.

back to not being a halloween fan, i prefer holidays whose decorations don’t give me nightmares. i prefer holidays with an emphasis on good food, not dime-sized slave-labor snickers bars. and i definitely prefer holiday traditions that don’t require me to spend inordinate amounts of time in the freezing, dark outdoors, unless i’m caroling. (hm, halloween caroling could be fun …)

so i’ve struggled with what to do for halloween now that we have kids. i’m not going to drag them around in the cold, just so we can haul in a bag of anaphylactic shock bars (for ash), or vomit bars (for aida). this year, with ash’s all day testing on halloween, i didn’t even think about it until approximately 3:30pm, at which time i realized that at the very least, the babies needed to dress up! not having costumes was temporarily a problem, until i decided to turn them into little soapboxes for my activism. (i know, i should feel guilty … next year they can be disney characters if they want.)

so, enjoy a tiny dose of post-halloween activist inspiration, courtesy of the small humans in this house.

baby bell hooks.

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beloved community is formed not by the eradication of difference but by its affirmation, by each of us claiming the identities and cultural legacies that shape who we are and how we live in the world.
~ bell hooks

and baby nicholas kristof.
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in the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery. in the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. we believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world.
~ nicholas kristof

happy halloween, friends!

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