I’ve got full-size candy bars and toys coming for the kids who knock on our door. We live in a rapidly changing neighbourhood. What was once the bastion of old suburbia is now becoming a multi-cultural community. It’s fantastic to see kids of different backgrounds (both social and cultural) coming to the door together, usually dressed as superheroes or princesses or sometimes, some odd combination of something I can’t quite figure out.
But regardless, they do come up the walk and knock on the door, shouting trick or treat.
I’m going to say this very clearly… your kid wants to dress up as Moana, that’s awesome and I applaud them. Because Moana is a fantastic character who happens to be POC. If they want to dress up as Stitch, gonna applaud that too because well, he’s an awesome character who happens to be an Alien of Blue.
The celebration of an individual is a fantastic thing. Celebrating what they represent is great. Celebrating a culture and exploring what it has to offer is beautiful. We need to celebrate cultures not exploit them and that’s where we need to be careful.
Know the difference. We cannot throw everything into the bin of racism if it is not racism. We need to think about what we’re doing and saying. We cannot accept the knee-jerk reaction of… well, I don’t know so I’m saying no to everything and I shall police that among other people. That’s how we got dogmatic religion. Don’t parrot. Don’t accept. Challenge and think. And search. Explore. Make good decisions. And if you have questions, ask.
You should never be told by someone you reach out to that it’s “Not their job to educate you.” It IS our jobs. It’s everyone’s obligation as a person of colour, regardless of the colour, to educate and share what we know. To show what to celebrate and to also share what we find offensive. Go out and teach. Go out and learn.
But most of all, go out and share… and celebrate both our differences and our commonalities.