Out-of-Town Trick-or-Treaters Spark Cultural Debate
Thousands of families across the United States will trick-or-treat tonight in neighborhoods not their own. The cultural debate surrounding "Halloween carpetbaggers" is tied into broader debates about race, class, and wealth.
Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak wrote today one of America's most interesting current cultural debates: "Halloween carpetbaggers."
"Is it okay to go trick-or-treating in another neighborhood? That’s the Halloween soul-searching we are collectively doing this year.... Let’s be honest here. A lot of this is about race and class, about the haves and the have-nots."
If you're active on social media, chances are you've seen a link to this letter answered by Salon's Dear Prudence column earlier this week. The letter writer (who, all things considered, I doubt is a real person) complains about poor families descending on his upscale neighborhood to take advantage of his "charity." As Dvorak and Prudence both note, the carpetbaggers are usually poor kids whose parents sought out a safer street, as well as less-pitiable teenagers on the hunt for as much sugar as possible. Dvorak says the stigma related to the latter should not be shared with the former:
"Imagine living in a neighborhood where it’s too dangerous to knock on a door at night, or next to neighbors who are too poor to buy a bag of candy. We can do better than have resentment about this."
In search of a compromise, it would make sense for local police to keep a keener eye on affluent neighborhoods on Halloween, just to make sure none of the strangers are there for more nefarious means than candy procurement. As long as safety is maintained, most people seem to agree that there's no harm in trick-or-treat tourism.
Of note: if this sort of debate is dampening your fun today, I recommend that for the rest of the afternoon all your Halloween hot takes come straight from The Onion. It always makes me feel better.
— The Onion (@TheOnion) October 31, 2014
Read more at The Washington Post
Photo credit: x7vector / Shutterstock
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.
- Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
- In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
- Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.