TALES OF A HIP-HOP PARENT | A POST-HALLOWEEN RANT
By Led Black
My name is Led Black, I’m a Hip-Hop Parent and I hate Halloween. I am a young, well-read father of 3 beautiful girls ages 7, 2 and 4 months respectively. I was born and raised in Washington Heights, NYC and I also lived a few years in the Dominican Republic when I was a small child. In 2001, my mother-in-law, my wife and I pooled our resources and bought a house in the suburbs in New Jersey. I wanted to give my children all the things that my mom could not afford for my brother and me. Even though we were poor as children, my mom instilled in us a fierce sense of pride. My mom did not believe in public assistance and I in turn do not like to take hand outs or borrow anything. That little bit of background is essential in understanding why I now hate Halloween.
The first reason I loathe Halloween is all that damn candy. My kids in particular but all kids in general turn into little monsters after ingesting such copious amounts of sugar; they are literally foaming at the mouth and running up the walls. I am not going to front though, if I see some candies that I like, I will not hesitate to dig into their stash but only to prevent them from over-dosing on too much junk (yeah right).
The main reason I absolutely abhor Halloween is taking my kids trick or treating in the town where I now live. When I was a kid, trick or treating meant going to the bodegas and the stores on St. Nicholas Avenue. We also had an entire building, 6 floors with 7 apartments on each floor, to trick or treat in. We didn’t even have to leave our building to end up with a shit load of sweets. The only draw back was that a lot of the folks in our almost 100% Dominican building didn’t really get the whole Halloween thing so you would end up with stuff like little cups of Habichuela con dulce (sweet beans) or dulce de leche (milk sweets) squares.
Trick or treating now entails dragging my 3 kids around and knocking on mostly white folk’s doors. To me, with my out-sized Dominican pride, this is absolutely degrading. I feel like I’m begging to be fed. With the media and all these right wing a-holes depicting all immigrants as shiftless criminals on the welfare rolls, trick or treating in a white neighborhood takes on a whole other dimension. In all fairness, I don’t think all these people are racist but I can’t help but feel that some of these folks see my wife and me with our 3 kids and think that we are the cause of all of America’s ills. Despite the nonsense, I will continue to work hard and to provide for my children and instill in them those very same values my mother taught me. Palante, Siempre Palante!