Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kids from Poor Neighborhoods Trick-Or-Treating In Rich Neighborhoods

A Tom Simpson Image at Flickr Creative Commons
Slate’s advice columnist Prudence responds to a letter complaining of the cost of candy he or she needs to buy for the poor kids trick-or-treating in their rich neighborhood.

Although this person is not politically identified, he or she certainly thinks like a Republican: poor people are a burden on society, they need to make their own way, resources should not be redistributed to help those in need.

It’s a stark reminder of why I am a Liberal.

Here’s the letter:

“Dear Prudence,

I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?”

Prudence’s advice: “Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.”

Here’s reader Libby Anne’s, a blogger for Patheos, response: Yes, I Bring My Poor Children Trick-or-Treating in Your Rich Neighborhood

However, Libby hopes that she will be “… part of the solution rather than becoming part of the problem.”

In the Dear Prudence letter the person says, “Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person …..” And it should. But if the letter is authentic, it makes my blood boil.

Copyright © 2014 Horatio Green