This Halloween may be far scarier than the ones you remember from your childhood. The fright will not come in the conventional form of scary movies, haunted houses, and ghost tales; it will not even come in the form of the deadly “it’s not the flu” COVID-19 virus. This year — as in recent years — the fright factor will come from an invasion of the freedom-snatchers.
Freedom-snatchers are the monsters who want to control what you say, watch, read, do, and think. In their worldview, theirs is the only acceptable perspective — all other views, opinions, and people must be erased, canceled, eliminated. The freedom-snatchers will invade children’s homes via the media, school boards, and social networks. They will look like normal people, but clues will help you identify them: masked (sometimes double-masked) faces, an obsession with pronouns, the total absence of a sense of humor.
Seemingly benignly, the freedom-snatchers dictate which Halloween costumes can be worn while trick-or-treating or engaging in Halloween merrymaking. Lists of inappropriate costumes grow each year — no hoboes, convicts, gore, religious attire, or cultural attire (e.g., no geishas, sombreros, Indian headdresses even if you are Native American). Even companies that have kowtowed to politically correct activists, such as Disney, have come under fire from the freedom-snatchers for providing the Maui costume, which depicts a Hawaiian god from the animated film Moana.
In their worldview, theirs is the only acceptable perspective — all other views, opinions, and people must be erased, canceled, eliminated.
This control over costumes may seem harmless, but freedom-snatchers aren’t happy with just saying which costumes shouldn’t be worn now — they’d like to travel back in time to control past choices. Since they aren’t capable of this, they decide that the next best thing is to use the internet to ensure that no one goes unpunished for what they wore years ago; for instance, three professors at the University of Alabama, two of whom apologized, are being suspended for costumes that included “racially insensitive” themes — costumes that they wore seven years ago. The ghosts of Halloweens past are alive and well on the internet.
But Halloween is just one day. Initially, a Celtic holiday called the festival of Samhain (pronounced “So-ween”) that was then adopted by Christians as All Hallows’ Eve by the 5th century and which has now been converted to a commercial success; perhaps we can try to avoid offense on this day to ensure everyone has a good time? Freedom-snatchers, unfortunately, don’t disappear after October 31 — they haunt us all year round. They wish, for example, to determine which books children can read. This year six Dr. Seuss books have been discontinued as a result of freedom-snatcher activities. Two years ago, Canada took a “progressive” step by purging school libraries of books that include such terms as “Eskimo” and “Native American,” or images of bare-chested Native American males (because “drawing shirtless Aboriginal people is a misrepresentation and justifies eliminating a children’s book from the shelves,” even though indigenous people were often bare-chested). Suzy Kies, an “indigenous knowledge keeper” working for Conseil Scolaire Catholique Providence, which is the separate French language school board for southwestern Ontario, overseeing 30 schools with about 10,000 pupils, decided that these offensive 5,000 books should be removed from the library shelves; some of them were burned and then used as fertilizer. Kies further argues that non-Indigenous authors cannot write about Indigenous people without collaboration, although even Indigenous authors can be targeted for providing less than flattering tales of the Native Canadians. Justin Trudeau did not condemn the book burning and said that non-Indigenous people should not “tell Indigenous people how they should feel or act to advance reconciliation” — which illustrates that he has fallen prey to the freedom-snatchers. Fortunately, COVID-19 restrictions prevented further planned burnings and ironically, Suzy Kies has resigned from the Indigenous commission of the Liberal Party because of doubts about her own ancestry. Perhaps she was just wearing a Native costume, but the freedom-snatcher identity underneath the façade is real.
Children’s choices in schools and at home are being shaped by freedom-snatchers. What happens when they choose their own costumes? Interestingly, when children are allowed to pick their own costumes, they often go with sex-specific characters: often little boys want to be strong superheroes such as Batman while little girls want to be princesses. Parents, especially those who have come under the freedom-snatcher spells, and other adults may try to deter children from these choices; however, as children have so little freedom, is it right to take this small and innocuous freedom from them?
Over a decade of indoctrination (from 3 years to 18 years of age) — starting with nursery school prizes for the best study of composting, next proceeding to the banning of tales from European perspectives, then moving on to teaching that history is only seen through a race-theory lens — has led students to believe that people should be punished for the “wrong” Halloween costumes and silenced for “hate” speech.
Freedom-snatchers aren’t happy with just saying which costumes shouldn’t be worn now — they’d like to travel back in time to control past choices.
Why does any of this matter? After all, isn’t this child’s play? It matters because history has shown us that the deadliest revolutions have exploited children. The Hitler Youth, which was started after Hitler banned the Cub Scouts, raised an army that was willing to fight his war, turn in their parents, and help fill the trains to death camps. The USSR used children to report on parents and neighbors who might be against the revolution; when adults were already disillusioned with the USSR’s form of communism, children were still being indoctrinated in the schools and helped the movement hobble along for years longer while people were being snatched on the streets and murdered. Those who bemoan how divided US politics have become might recall that in Mao’s Cultural Revolution children played a key role in destroying lives. They publicly outed and shamed professors, parents, and neighbors who weren’t zealous enough (it wasn’t even those who weren’t communists), torturing, killing, and even cannibalizing their comrades.
Children are perfect victims of freedom-snatchers; they are easily frightened, and because they have little freedom or power to begin with, they can be scared into action without noticing the erosion of freedom — especially as they gain power. Freedom-snatchers are using this power. Children frightened about global warming are even reporting nonrecycling parents to their teachers.
But this Halloween, you can snatch freedom back, simply by allowing young people (and those young at heart) to choose their costumes without fear.