A message from Bob regarding Halloween

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Halloween seems to be a holiday falling out of favor in this country. In spite of the millions of dollars spent on Halloween every year, fewer and fewer children are trick-or-treating and others won’t celebrate the holiday for a variety of religious and political reasons. I believe this trend has adverse consequences for society.

Parents have every right and responsibility to keep their children safe. On the news today was a story about the police going to sexual predators in the community advising them to not answer the door on Halloween and another story reminding parents to examine candy for tampering. With a news report like that, is it any wonder parents don’t let their children trick-or-treat. None of my grandchildren trick-or-treat in their suburban neighborhoods. All of them go to a church or publicly organized event.

Isn’t that good enough your may ask? Well, I am not sure that it is. These orchestrated events lack soul. There is no spontaneity and adventure. There is no opportunity to have contact with regular people and your neighbors. And more importantly in my mind, the Halloween parties communicate a sense of fear of the neighbors and neighborhood. People are retreating into safe zones and practices that cannot be breached. It lays the groundwork for polarization.

Refugees start from a place of isolation and uncertainty. The experience of trick-or-treating directly counters those feelings. This is not begging, it is a game. People are nice. Everyone does this. It makes no difference who you are. English is not necessary. Refugees love all the Halloween customs, including dressing up in costumes for trick-or-treating. So, we will continue to trick-or-treat. We will pick safe and receptive neighborhoods such as Shorewood. SEAL will take reasonable precautions.

And by the way, don’t miss one important point, because 50 refugee kids trick-or-treat in Shorewood the Shorewood Halloween tradition is sustained and enhanced. The Village of Shorewood is made stronger by the participation of the refugees.

What could be better, a win-win situation.

Bob Heffernan
October, 30th 2017