neighborhood


For people who have known me since childhood, this isn’t an unsurprising revelation. It was when I first told them. My friends would always ask me why and it was difficult to explain. It wasn’t a religious thing. It wasn’t that I hated Halloween — I will always love Halloween. It was more a habit born out of a lack of safety in the neighborhood I had once lived in. Before I was 8 years old, I lived in a rather unsafe neighborhood. Gang fights on my corner were not unusual. If I was out after dark in our neighborhood, both of my parents were with me. My dad wasn’t typically home early enough to go trick-or-treating, and my mom did not feel comfortable taking me out without him. So we gave out candy to the few kids who decided to brave it. Usually, we were done by about 7 because it just wasn’t a big deal in that neighborhood. Right after my 8th birthday, my parents and I moved into the house with my grandfather. He lived in a safer neighborhood, so it would have been fine for me to go — I could have even gone without my mom. But I didn’t. I handed out candy. All of my friends who lived in my neighborhood seemed to come by my house, and I got to see all of their costumes. It was pretty awesome. I never felt like I was missing out on the fun. If we had candy left over at the end of the night, I could pilfer it. (We typically didn’t.) The only time I really went out trick-or-treating, I went as a chaperone for my foster sister. I was fifteen and she was twelve. We only walked down our street, but it was fun. I still didn’t get candy — since I wasn’t really going out for that. I did get some money from one of the neighbors. Instead of candy, he was giving out coins for people who could correctly answer math problems. I had always been in advanced math classes and was in Algebra II that fall, so racking up money was pretty easy. Regardless of where we lived, I dressed up every year until middle school and once as an adult at a church dance. One year I was a purple bunny. Another I was a ballerina. I dressed up in an antebellum-style dress the year that I discovered the movie Gone with the Wind. I even dressed up as a clown one year. My favorite costume was when I dressed up as Maleficent, my favorite character from Sleeping Beauty — actually, she’s my favorite from any Disney movie. My mom made my costumes and didn’t seem to mind that I always wanted to dress up in fun styles, even if I didn’t go out asking for candy. I’ve attended events that were Halloween-themed, as a child and as an adult. I’ve been to haunted houses and mazes, which weren’t all that thrilling. (I don’t get scared when watching thrillers and horror films, so that makes sense.) I’ve gone to autumn festivals at school. When I was 8, I had a Halloween party and three or four friends came over. It was actually the day after Halloween, which made getting food and stuff a lot easier. (Yay, post-holiday candy sales!) We had a cookie cake and used toilet paper to turn each other into mummies — you know, without the wire hanger up the nose and the organ preservation. (Yeah, I went there.) Being the day after also meant that we didn’t dress up for the party, which was probably a good thing since it was a rainy day and everyone had walked over. When I was 24, I went to a Halloween Young Single Adults (YSA) dance with other 18–30 year-old members of the LDS church in my region. I dressed up as a hippie that night and won the costume contest. I also lost one of my favorite earrings in the world on the side of I-65 that night, so there were good times and bad ones. I didn’t enjoy the good as much as I should have because I had already had a bad month — one week earlier, my friend’s car caught fire when I was in it, then I sprained my ankle later that night — so losing my earrings just added, for lack of a better phrase, fuel to that fire. RIP beloved earrings. Anyway, I digress. I know that for people who aren’t from the United States that missing out on something like trick-or-treating might seem like it isn’t that big of a deal, but it sort of is. It’s a part of our culture, especially if you’ve been privileged enough to grow up in a place where it is safe to go out. So not having that experience did sometimes make me feel like an outsider, but I didn’t really feel safe enough to have that experience — even when it actually was safe. It’s weird that I do sort of regret not having the experience. But I’m also okay with not having it. I guess that’s one of those complicated things about being an adult — coming to terms with the stuff that you experienced or didn’t experience when you were younger. But I hope that if I have kids some day that I get to take them out trick-or-treating or, at least, let them dress up like their favorite characters because I think that getting that night of fun and make-believe is really important. Happy Halloween.

I Never Went Trick-Or-Treating As a Kid


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Another day, another detailed list of why Trump should not be President. And guess what else happens today? The Democratic National Convention starts. Yay! If you’re surprised that I’m a Democrat, you’re obviously new here. And if you’re new here, then you don’t realize that I’m posting 21 reasons every day for 99 days to show why Donald Trump should never be the President of the United States. I’m not trying to push any of the other candidates in these posts, even if I do prefer one party to all the others. Now that I’ve gotten through with the disclaimer-esque statement, let’s get on to the discussion of Trump’s failings. Let’s see, we left off with Donald Trump allowing a racist gambler to dictate how he ran his casino, so let’s go to a similar claim about Mr. Trump and his casinos for number 43. 43. When Donald and Ivana would go to the casino, the bosses would order all black employees off the floor. For a man who vehemently denies racism, he’s done a lot of racist stuff. No one knows if it was just the bosses at his Atlantic City properties who made the order or if it was an order from the boss-man himself, but Kip Brown, a former employee, told The New Yorker about the “policy” last summer. 44. Donald Trump called black people lazy and said he only wants Jewish people counting his money. In Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump — His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall by John O’Donnell, one-time president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, says that Trump once told him: “Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants up in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.” Trump continued with, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control…Don’t you agree?” When interviewed by Mark Bowden for Playboy magazine in 1997, Trump responded that the account was probably true; but in 2016, he said that it was fiction. Are you starting to get the feeling that his claims of not being racist are a little disingenuous? 45. Trump was sued for lack of diverse employees in 1996 at a riverboat casino. Trump was sued by 20 African Americans in Indiana for failing to hire mostly minority workers for a Lake Michigan riverboat casino. Trump had promised that 70% of his workforce at the floating casino would be made of members of the minority community and 52% would be women. The lawsuit also alleged that he hasn’t honored commitments to steer contracts to minority-owned businesses in Gary. 46. Donald Trump is supported by Vojislav Šešelj. Admittedly, in late May 2016, Šešelj was acquitted by the Hague of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia in the 1990s, but that doesn’t make his January endorsement of Trump any more acceptable. His acquittal was blamed by the ICTY’s judges on the prosecution causing confusion over his role in the ethnic cleansing of Bosnia. If Trump is being openly supported by people who are linked to ethnic cleansing and is refusing to disavow their support, then what does that say about Mr. Trump? 47. Trump is also supported by the Daily Stormer, Richard Spencer, Jared Taylor, Michael Hill, and Brad Griffin. If Donald Trump was a shepherd, white supremacists would be his flock. It’s not a coincidence that white supremacists want Trump elected. He “speaks to” them, their hatred, their ignorance. The Daily Stormer’s publisher, Andrew Anglin, announced the support of Trump for his anti-Muslim plan with statements like “Heil Donald Trump — THE ULTIMATE SAVIOR” and “Make America White Again!” Anglin also appreciates that Trump has spoken negatively about Mexicans. Richard Spencer, who is “dedidcated to the heritage, identity and future of people of European descent” sees Trump as the candidate “bringing identity politics for white people into the public sphere in a way no one has.” Spencer said, “Identity is the most important question to answer. Who are we racially? Who are we historically? Who are we in terms of our experience? Who are we in terms of our community?” He appreciated that Trump “seemed to understand and echo many of his group’s ideas intuitively, and take them to a broader audience.” He also pointed out that “there’s no direct object” in Trumps’ statement relased disavowing David Duke’s endorsement. Spencer also believes that Trump will encourage more people to turn toward his beliefs. And while he used to believe that Trump might not share the beliefs himself, he now believes that “Trump thinks like” him and that that’s why people like him love and support Trump. Donald #Trump makes us feel alive. pic.twitter.com/KkGoimK52T — Richard B. Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 22, 2016 We The Right-Wing Now. #GOPinCLE #Trump #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/hN9wX5JE7q — Richard B. Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) July 22, 2016 Jared Taylor was featured in pro-Trump, pro-white, anti-Muslim robocalls in Iowa by a super PAC. Taylor also appreciates Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric and said, “Ordinary white people don’t want the neighborhood to turn Mexican.” Trump failed to distance himself from the calls made on his behalf and even suggested that his supporters had “legitimate anger” behind their actions. Taylor has never supported a presidential candidate before, but he believes in Trump and thinks “someone who wants to send home all illegal immigrants and at least temporarily ban Muslim immigration is acting in the interest of whites, whether consciously or not.” Founder of the hate group League of the […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #43-63