Alright. I’ma just go ahead and say it: Halloween makes my eyes roll—partly because people don’t celebrate it correctly (tell me how your sexy Nemo costume honors the dead, fam), but mostly because it’s that time of year many folks deem an excuse to make a mockery of the injustices plaguing the U.S.
Some recent examples:
Last year, a masked man sparked fear and outrage in Omaha, Nebraska, after he showed up to not one, but two whole mall events—both of which children were in attendance—dressed in a black hooded robe with a duffel bag and toy rifle. First of all, there’s kids around! WYD? Second of all, did you not hear about what recently happened in Las Vegas, or the Von Maur shooting during which a gunman opened fire and killed 12 at Omaha’s Westroads Mall eight years ago? The oversight here is amazing.
Of course, Hugo Mendoza, who told Omaha’s KMTV he fashioned his costume after 2010’s The Town and didn’t mean any harm, had no idea why people were outraged.
“It’s a costume,” Mendoza insisted. “I mean, if it was something bad, why would they sell it? I was there to have a good time with my daughters and my girlfriend. I wasn’t there to scare little kids or make people feel uncomfortable.”
Note: The orange tip of his toy gun, which typically indicates that a gun is fake, was not immediately visible, according to reports.
Over in Maryland, several Baltimore private schools are under fire after students and alumni thought it was a brilliant idea to dress in racially offensive costumes and share pictures on social media. One photo, which appears to be from Snapchat, shows a graduate of the Boys’ Latin School of Maryland dressed as Freddie Gray in an orange jumpsuit. The caption reads “ur going to jail tonight.”
A letter written by Boys’ Latin Headmaster Christopher J. Post, which was shared by The Baltimore Sun, offers an apology to students’ families, stating Post was “deeply troubled that an individual would choose to act in this way.”
“Boys’ Latin denounces the insensitivity and intolerance depicted by these images,” the letter continued. “In no way, shape or form will Boys’ Latin support or tolerate actions or behaviors that demean or belittle another person, a group of individuals, or the suffering that one may endure.”
I think it’s important to note I’m not anti Halloween (unrelated but also related: Cardi B’s costume was lit). I just find it difficult to look past such blatantly insensitive actions for the sake of Kit Kats and costume parties (and I imagine the families of those in Omaha and Freddie Gray do as well). October 31 is an annual reminder of how much folks just don’t give a fuck, and while I’m all about the turn up, Halloween isn’t an occasion I feel particularly inclined to participate in. Stories like these are prime examples of why. I’m good, bruh.