A letter written to an advice columnist for Slate.com has sparked a lot of social media conversation for controversial comments about "less fortunate" kids who flood affluent neighborhoods for trick-or-treating on Halloween.
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent
Feedback to the letter-writer has been mostly harsh, with headlines on some media sites calling the writer "snobby" and "an awful woman" (even though the gender of the letter writer is unknown).
"Prudence," who is Slate writer Emily Yoffe, puts the writer in his or her place by responding:
Your whine makes me kind of wish that people from the actual poor side of town come this year not with scary costumes but with real pitchforks. Stop being callous and miserly and go to Costco, you cheapskate, and get enough candy to fill the bags of the kids who come one day a year to marvel at how the 1 percent live.
What do you think? Is the letter-writer an out-of-touch 1-percenter or does the writer have a right to feel like Halloween has become "a free-for-all" in some neighborhoods?