Why Halloween is No Fun Anymore

Halloween is no fun for me anymore. I just can’t bring myself to make fun of ghosts and goblins and … Continued

Halloween is no fun for me anymore. I just can’t bring myself to make fun of ghosts and goblins and devils when there is so much real horror around us. To quote the kid from movie The Sixth Sense, “I see dead people” and I can’t seem to stop.

I started thinking in very literal terms especially about ghosts when all those nooses started appearing post the Jena 6 protests. First, of course, there were the three nooses (in the school colors!) found hanging from the “white student’s tree” in Jena, La., and then a noose on the campus of the University of Maryland, a police locker room in Long Island, NY, a Pittsburgh bus maintenance garage, and other high schools. These twisted ropes are the ghosts of an unburied past in America that is coming back to haunt us.

I see devils too. Now while I totally disagree with Mel Gibson’s theology in The Passion of the Christ, I have to admit that he’s a brilliant filmmaker, able to convey his point in what is nearly a silent film. One of the most astonishing scenes in the film is during the flogging of Jesus, where the onlookers, especially the Jewish leaders, watch this flailing of Jesus’ flesh go on and on with every appearance of enjoyment. Gibson portrays the Devil walking in and out among the Jewish leaders. How anybody could have said this film was not anti-semitic is beyond me.

What Gibson got right, however, is that the Devil is always in the crowd that stands by and in so doing abets horrific mass torture and death. I see devils walking among us today in our failure to confront the ghosts of our past in the real horror of lynching.

If you are uninformed about the extent of and the white community’s participation in the lynching of African Americans in American history, go here to view an extraordinary collection of photos and postcards of the lynching of African Americans. Without Sanctuary is also available as a book.

Go to that Web site. Look at the crowds. Look at the huge crowds. There is a circus-like atmosphere in many, some with giant crowds. Often the photos show the onlookers looking at the camera, some even smiling. There are plainly children in these crowds. If you look at the pictures on the Without Sanctuary Web site you can almost see the Devil among the onlookers. This is real evil and it is haunting us as a nation.

When I wrote a piece for a Chicago paper on the first pictures of torture that appeared from Abu Ghraib, I called it “Can A Nation Lose its Soul?”. An African-American student at Chicago Theological Seminary pointed out to me that the picture the paper ran alongside my article was of a hooded man standing on a box. “This is lynching,” he said. He was right.

How did we get to Abu Ghraib? We got there through slavery, lynching and the whole history of racism in this country that has been choaking and destroying the moral fiber of white America for a long time now. We’ve got to see these ghosts of an unburied past and deal with them. White America in particular is afraid to look at this history and in shunning it continues to be gripped by it.

Oddly enough, this is what Halloween is all about. It’s not in its origins a candy-fest, but originally a Celtic ritual at the time of the year when dark approaches and death becomes more frequent. The Celts recognized a day when the boundary between the dead and living became blurred. On the night of October 31, the ghosts of the dead returned to earth, causing all kinds of trouble. While the church tried to Christianize the Celts and turn this festival of the dead into “All Saints” day, the holiday continued to be about the undead, about ghosts and devils and ghouls and how close to us they really are.

The haunting of America is the reason I don’t find Halloween fun anymore. Specifically as a white American, I say we need to recognize these ghosts and turn and face the devil of racism who has us in his thrall.

Or maybe what I’m doing this year is getting Halloween right for a change. The dead come back and when they do they cause a lot of trouble. I’m beginning to think the Celts were right.

  • jay I

    Mr. Mark–right on, as usual. The only controversial aspects were the appearance of a fundy-street preacher who yelled that we were all going to hell. I stood across the street and yelled counter-claims (I felt a bit guilty over this later.)THe other bit of controversy surronded a costume–a guy dressed as a cartoonish terrorist suicide bomber. My friend was disturbed by this and felt “unsafe.” I didn’t. I felt this was a statement about the abuse of fear of terrorists… I didn’t care one way or another.

  • Anonymous

    >>Halloween is GREAT fun these days for school-aged children, not quite the equal of Xmas but gaining ground. GREAT fun? 8 year old girls in fishnets, molasses poured on the teachers carpet, razors in fruit, drugged candy, vandalism abounding? There is only one catch word with such occasions ..’gimmee’ (both Halloween and Christmas)..teaches such wholesome values to those fishnetted 8 year-olds of ours, now doesnt it? (NOT)….who deceives the whole world?>>Afterall, we were all surronded by dozens of gustapo—uh, i mean police officers and firemen. Are the >> comments from adults or children? Anymore, its hard to tell.

  • Mr Mark

    One of the moniker-challenged “Anonymous” people wrote:”GREAT fun? 8 year old girls in fishnets, molasses poured on the teachers carpet, razors in fruit, drugged candy, vandalism abounding? There is only one catch word with such occasions ..’gimmee’ (both Halloween and Christmas)..teaches such wholesome values to those fishnetted 8 year-olds of ours, now doesnt it? (NOT)”Obviously, not written by a parent.1. 8-year-olds in fishnets. Much more a problem in the Bible-belt South where pre-teen beauty pageants are all the rage. I have no empirical proof for this, but it doesn’t stop the religionists from making their claims, so, what the hell.2. Molasses on the teacher’s carpet. Most schools would expel a kid for doing that.3. Razor blades in fruit. The first thing any parent does with the Halloween bag of candy is toss all of the fruit and anything else that isn’t in sealed-from-the-store packaging. 4. Drugged candy. Again, if you can somehow drug candy while it’s still in the wrapper, then who’s to stop the same thing from happening to any product you buy from a store?5. Vandalism abounding. TP-ing the trees and a bit of graffiti is the worst I’ve ever seen. Mild stuff compared to what goes on after a major football game in our area.6. Gimmee. My kids typically dump most of their candy into the “out-going” bowl to account for the treaters who end up coming after we’ve run out of our own stuff. If my kids end up with 20 pieces of candy each it’s a lot.

  • Anonymous

    >>One of the moniker-challenged “Anonymous” people wrote:As if a name makes a difference to what is said, either way. Real swift logic, my friend. Cheap return.>>Obviously, not written by a parent.Married 29 years. Father of 3. Children have never kept Halloween. 2 grown, successful. 1 Teen boy, 16, doesnt feel like hes missing out. >>….so, what the hell.Like I said..our values in this country are waneing….fast

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Anonymous of the “cheap return” comment -You make a good point.My last post should have said, “Obviously, not written by a parent who celebrates Halloween and has ever taken their kids trick-or-treating.”Is that better?

  • Anonymous

    Dear Mr. Mark with no first (or maybe last) name:>>My last post should have said, “Obviously, not written by a parent who celebrates Halloween and has ever taken their kids trick-or-treating.”Is it your point to make myself and my family feel like we have somehow missed something not celebrating this particular ‘day’? If so, your sorely clueless. If not, my apologies. Does that explain me better?

  • Mr Mark

    “Is it your point to make myself and my family feel like we have somehow missed something not celebrating this particular ‘day’?”No, just to disencumber you of your fear that razor blades in fruit and drugged candy are some kind of problem on Halloween. They’re not.

  • Anonymous

    >>No, just to disencumber you of your fear that razor blades in fruit and drugged candy are some kind of problem on Halloween. They’re not.Thats a matter of opinion….If it happens even once to one child…I beg to differ..it is a problem. (btw…your psychology is flawed…Im not burdened, nor do I have any fear….just concern)

  • Tim

    Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite is no fun. My kids love Halloween and it has nothing to do with anything Ms. Thistlethwaite writes about. I just don’t get it? Her essay just seems like the definition of anal.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Susan -You need to have some kids.Halloween is GREAT fun these days for school-aged children, not quite the equal of Xmas but gaining ground. You may attach a sense of dread and ill will to Halloween, but for kids, Halloween holds no more dread than does Xmas. My daughter is having a small party at our home tomorrow. The kids will be watching some of the old B&W monster movies for fun. Interestingly, they don’t find these movies scary, mainly because they’re in B&W. But in the case of my daughter and the few others who aren’t churchgoers, they don’t believe in gods or ghosts, and while horror movies that involve human evil can be too scary for them (movies like Psycho or the Halloween series which I don’t let my daughter watch), the small bit of cartoon gore and the appearance of supernatural monsters in the classic B&W movies hold no terror. What’s that tell you about the source of fear when it relates to kids?

  • yoyo

    I remember reading “The Autobiography of A Supertramp”,by the poet W.H.Davies,who traveled across Canada and the USA at the turn of the 20th century.He described a lynching that he witnessed,and was not impressed with the fear and cowardice displayed by the man being lynched,and,as I recall he attributed it to the man’s race.Attitudes to race have thankfully changed,and if Davies was alive today,he would blush at the groupthink he was part of,in the early 20th century.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Anonymous,

  • Jessica

    More heat for the caulderon:1. I’m a 20-something practicing Christian that has waitressed at sports bars during many a halloween. Today, the holiday is widely regarded as an opportunity for a young adult woman to dress trashy with no apology. Just try to shop for a reasonably modest adult halloween costume – nearly impossible. Evil doesn’t just come in the form of ghosts and goblins, people. 2. To that end, I couldn’t agree more with Susan about Gibson’s spot-on dipiction of the devil. Choosing between right and wrong is not black and white. Wrong lurks in the shadows. Choosing good over evil is about making decisions, choosing celebrations, having fun, giving back – whatever – based on what would make God most happy, not avoiding what may get you struck down by lightening or not.

  • Jon Hughes

    What a typical Liberal distortion of the truth on the Jena 6 case. Here is the truth:MEDIA MYTHS ABOUT THE JENA 6 – By Craig Franklin, Christian Science Monitor:By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they’ve all heard the story of the “Jena 6.” White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics. There’s just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice. The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It’s time to set the record straight. Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a “whites-only” tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree. When a student asked during an assembly at the start of school last year if anyone could sit under the tree, it evoked laughter from everyone present – blacks and whites. As reported by students in the assembly, the question was asked to make a joke and to drag out the assembly and avoid class. Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team. (The students apparently got the idea from watching episodes of “Lonesome Dove.”) The committee further concluded that the three young teens had no knowledge that nooses symbolize the terrible legacy of the lynchings of countless blacks in American history. When informed of this history by school officials, they became visibly remorseful because they had many black friends. Another myth concerns their punishment, which was not a three-day suspension, but rather nine days at an alternative facility followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court, and evaluation by licensed mental-health professionals. The students who hung the nooses have not publicly come forward to give their version of events. Myth 3: Nooses Were a Hate Crime. Although many believe the three white students should have been prosecuted for a hate crime for hanging the nooses, the incident did not meet the legal criteria for a federal hate crime. It also did not meet the standard for Louisiana’s hate-crime statute, and though widely condemned by all officials, there was no crime to charge the youths with. Myth 4: DA’s Threat to Black Students. When District Attorney Reed Walters spoke to Jena High students at an assembly in September, he did not tell black students that he could make their life miserable with “the stroke of a pen.” Instead, according to Walters, “two or three girls, white girls, were chit-chatting on their cellphones or playing with their cellphones right in the middle of my dissertation. I got a little irritated at them and said, ‘Pay attention to me. I am right now having to deal with an aggravated rape case where I’ve got to decide whether the death penalty applies or not.’ I said, ‘Look, I can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With the stroke of a pen I can make your life miserable so I want you to call me before you do something stupid.'” Mr. Walters had been called to the assembly by police, who had been at the school earlier that day dealing with some students who were causing disturbances. Teachers and students have confirmed Walters’s version of events. Myth 5: The Fair Barn Party Incident. On Dec. 1, 2006, a private party – not an all-white party as reported – was held at the local community center called the Fair Barn. Robert Bailey Jr., soon to be one of the Jena 6, came to the party with others seeking admittance. When they were denied entrance by the renter of the facility, a white male named Justin Sloan (not a Jena High student) at the party attacked Bailey and hit him in the face with his fist. This is reported in witness statements to police, including the victim, Robert Bailey, Jr. Months later, Bailey contended he was hit in the head with a beer bottle and required stitches. No medical records show this ever occurred. Mr. Sloan was prosecuted for simple battery, which according to Louisiana law, is the proper charge for hitting someone with a fist. Myth 6: The “Gotta-Go” Grocery Incident. On Dec. 2, 2006, Bailey and two other black Jena High students were involved in an altercation at this local convenience store, stemming from the incident that occurred the night before. The three were accused by police of jumping a white man as he entered the store and stealing a shotgun from him. The two parties gave conflicting statements to police. However, two unrelated eye witnesses of the event gave statements that corresponded with that of the white male. Myth 7: The Schoolyard Fight. The event on Dec. 4, 2006 was consistently labeled a “schoolyard fight.” But witnesses described something much more horrific. Several black students, including those now known as the Jena 6, barricaded an exit to the school’s gym as they lay in wait for Justin Barker to exit. (It remains unclear why Mr. Barker was specifically targeted.) When Barker tried to leave through another exit, court testimony indicates, he was hit from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses confirmed that Barker was immediately knocked unconscious and lay on the floor defenseless as several other black students joined together to kick and stomp him, with most of the blows striking his head. Police speculate that the motivation for the attack was related to the racially charged fights that had occurred during the previous weekend. Myth 8: The Attack Is Linked to the Nooses. Nowhere in any of the evidence, including statements by witnesses and defendants, is there any reference to the noose incident that occurred three months prior. This was confirmed by the United States attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, Donald Washington, on numerous occasions. Myth 9: Mychal Bell’s All-White Jury. While it is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June (a conviction that was later overturned with his case sent to juvenile court), the jury selection process was completely legal and withstood an investigation by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Court officials insist that several black residents were summoned for jury duty, but did not appear. Myth 10: Jena 6 as Model Youth. While some members were simply caught up in the moment, others had criminal records. Bell had at least four prior violent-crime arrests before the December attack, and was on probation during most of this year. Myth 11: Jena Is One of the Most Racist Towns in America. Actually, Jena is a wonderful place to live for both whites and blacks. The media’s distortion and outright lies concerning the case have given this rural Louisiana town a label it doesn’t deserve. Myth 12: Two Levels of Justice. Outside protesters were convinced that the prosecution of the Jena 6 was proof of a racially biased system of justice. But the US Justice Department’s investigation found no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the percentage of blacks and whites prosecuted matches the parish’s population statistics. These are just 12 of many myths that are portrayed as fact in the media concerning the Jena cases. (A more thorough review of all events can be found at http://www.thejenatimes.net – click on Chronological Order of Events.) As with the Duke Lacrosse case, the truth about Jena will eventually be known. But the town of Jena isn’t expecting any apologies from the media. They will probably never admit their error and have already moved on to the next “big” story. Meanwhile in Jena, residents are getting back to their regular routines, where friends are friends regardless of race. Just as it has been all along.

  • Anonymous

    Face it, Susan, you’re desensitized after seeing how ugly the kids are at UChicago. I know, I went there. After observing these creatures roam the A-level of the Regenstein libarry and haunt 8:00 lector sessions for four years, nothing scares me anymore. If you see one naked, you turn to stone, and then the college cements you to the steeple of Rockefeller Chapel as a gargoyle.

  • Viejita del oeste

    Paganplace

  • Are you KIDDING?!

    I’ll agree with Jessica, to a point, when she says, “Today, the holiday is widely regarded as an opportunity for a young adult woman to dress trashy with no apology.”This, to me, is true inasmuch as New Years Eve and St. Patricks Day are “amateur night”. It’s not everyone, and the wild ones get the attention, but don’t really change the “real purpose”.I still think that Halloween is a wholesome kids’ event, that has been “hijacked” by a few bad apples. As an adult, I feel my participation (and enjoyment) in Halloween should come from maintaining a safe and fun childhood memory for those young enough…the way the adults of my childhood did for me.Jessica actually strikes me as one of those sticks-in-the-mud who passed out Jack Chick comics instead of candy. Those were the most dangerous things I EVER brought home in a bag of Halloween candy!

  • Thomas Baum

    TO SUSAN BROOKS THISTLETHWAITE: You wrote, “Halloween is no fun for me anymore. I just can’t bring myself to make fun of ghosts and goblins and devils when there is so much real horror around us”, actually I never saw it that way. Where and when I grew up, it was a time of joyous giving from the adults and grateful receiving from the children. Do you really think that there was not evil going on in the world when you were a child? If you really believed in the bible, what is going on in the world should not really surprise you but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do what you can to alleviate it. I don’t know what they teach at the theological school that you are at, but satan is real even if the “learned” don’t believe it and think that Jesus was a liar. Do you actually believe in the Jesus of the bible or do you believe in the absolutely worthless, watered-down version that so many so-called “theologians” seem to believe in? Everything going on in the world has been predicted, maybe not every detail, so why are you so surprised? God has a Plan and has had that Plan since before creation, and since in God’s Plan we humans have free will don’t be so surprised at the inhumanity of man, it isn’t something new, the spread of information is a lot faster and also the technology , which can be used for good or bad, is much more advanced than throwing rocks at each other. I am not an optimist or a pessimist but a realist, I am also the New Testament Moses. It seems like a lot of people that teach their watered-down version of the bible are terrified, but if you remember Jesus said, “I have overcome the world”, He also said, “Night is coming, when no man can work”, “All tears shall be dried”, “All kingdoms of this world shall be destroyed”, “The dead shall rise”, “The captives shall be freed”, “I and The Father are One”, “I will send the Holy Spirit to guide you into All Truth”, He also said many other things. As I have said before, people would be better off throwing away the whole bible rather than ripping out the parts that they don’t like, for one thing there is a good chance that they don’t even know what it means. A couple of other things that I have said before: The True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliation or lack thereof; God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable; it is important what you do and why you do it and also what you know. Take care, be ready, see you in the Kingdom. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Paganplace

    Heh, Vie. This one blows my mind every time. Christians blaming Pagans existing for how they tereat each other through their repressed sexuality. Seriously. Exactly how many people who feel somehow compelled to wear skimpy Halloween costumes to sports bars, do you figure, are going to stand up to society in the name of a Goddess who says ‘That stuff you do in sports bars ain’t *sex?’ Seriously. Blows my mind what Christians do and then blame Pagans for… themselves doing. Totally blows my mind.

  • victoria

    wow that was incredibly harsh- why on earth are you taking it personally paganplace? she never said she felt compelled to expose herself- or she was living ‘down” to anything lay off her- shes just a young woman working and trying to make a living people dont waitress because they have a smorgasboard of opportunities to pick from shes making an honest living and working hard she just related her own experience your going over the edge

  • JMC3

    Ms Brookes,I find your views on the Passion of the Christ disturbing. This was not an anti-semitic film. The fact that you interpreted the scene of Jesus’ flogging while Satan was moving throught the crowd as such says more about your own personal views than it does the film. Many thousands of people say this film without your stilted interpretation – maybe you owe Mel gibson an apology!

  • JC

    Ms Brooks,I find your views on the Passion of the Christ disturbing. This was not an anti-Semitic film. The fact that you interpreted the scene of Jesus’ flogging while Satan was moving through the crowd as such says more about your own personal views than it does the film. Many thousands of people saw this film without your stilted interpretation – maybe you owe Mel Gibson an apology!

  • James Hoddings

    That’s pathetic. You should try to celebrate death, darkness and ghoulish things.

  • Anonymous

    Victoria,Pagans feel they need to be blunt or harsh due to the fact they are proponents of what has infiltrated into the Christian world, yet they seems to put all responsibility of blame on Christians. In other words “There could never be anything wrong with what I believe or think” The pagan mindset, especially, will try to make something good out of something that has no substance or redeeming value whatsover. Sadly, in many ways, Christianity has also joined that bandwagon. Becoming defensive about things such as Halloween only shows they are grasping at straws.And I suppose some might as well put on a Hitler costume and celebrate death, darkness and goulish things such as torture. Sad to see such mindless jibberish.

  • Anonymous

    >>What you do to celebrate your Christmas is all up to you.I dont celebrate it. You probably have many books that you have formulated your beliefs/views from. I personally choose to formulate mine from the basis of one book and many others that back it up. When it comes to holidays such as Christmas, it is riddled with error with regard to how I worship the one I believe created the universe and admonishes mankind to live by truth. Something (living by truth) that is extremely lacking in so many respects in the present age we live.

  • Anonymous

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  • Steve

    You don’t understand what Halloween means to people. If you grew up today or a couple years ago you would have a diffrent thought. The world has change, people are diffrent and don’t believe all the stuff that the past people have believed in. So you can’t say that Halloween is no fun. Think twice in what you said and believe or not what the past belief on Halloween dosen’t sound fun and that could be because people have changed as well as the world.

  • Mr Mark

    Dear Jessica -Your post on the evils of Halloween reminds me of an old joke that floated around NYC in the ’80s.An elderly woman calls the police department, complaining hysterically that people are “fornicating outside my window. It’s vile and disgusting.”The police respond to the call, arriving at her apartment within minutes.”Alright, lady, ” says the cop, “what’s the problem? Where are these sex maniacs anyway?””There,” she says, pointing to an open window, “right there in full view of everyone!”The cop looks out the window and says, “Sorry lady. I don’t see anything.””Of course you don’t,” says the lady, “You’re not looking right. You’ve got to put your head out of the window, look to the right and use this stick I made with the mirror on the end. Then you can see them just fine. Their window is right next to mine.”

  • Viejita del oeste

    As I think Paganplace attempted to point out once, our society’s fascination with sexual exhibitionism has nothing to do with Halloween, New Year’s Eve or St. Paddy’s Day.

  • GZP

    Thank you for writing an intriguing post about how Halloween is an obsolete holiday due

  • GZP

    Thank you for writing an intriguing post about how Halloween is an obsolete holiday due to the presence of “demons” or “ignorance” in our society. You make a compelling argument, that “devils [are] walking among us today in our failure to confront the ghosts of our past in the real horror of lynching.” These “devils” and “ghosts” of our past are scary enough; forget using costumes to ward spirits away, we have photos and memories of police battery, burning crosses and hate crimes. I wonder then, if you have read anything about the Muncie incident in which a sanitation worker was suspended from work for hanging Halloween decorations, nooses to be more precise, from his rearview mirror. In your post, you wrote, ““White America in particular is afraid to look at this history”—a history of black oppression—“ and in shunning it continues to be gripped by it.” How do you explain the swift actions of the local authorities in the Muncie case? This example appears to counteract your claim that White America is scared to look into the mirror and confront its discriminatory past because the people in Muncie acted with justice to reprimand a seemingly racist action. Does not using legal action to protect minorities display efforts to right a wrongful past? Also, if you consider these actions to be the wrong way to confront and deal with a racist history, how else do you propose we remedy the issue?

  • GZP

    Thank you for writing an intriguing post about how Halloween is an obsolete holiday due to the presence of “demons” or “ignorance” in our society. You make a compelling argument, that “devils [are] walking among us today in our failure to confront the ghosts of our past in the real horror of lynching.” These “devils” and “ghosts” of our past are scary enough; forget using costumes to ward spirits away, we have photos and memories of police battery, burning crosses and hate crimes. I wonder then, if you have read anything about the Muncie incident in which a sanitation worker was suspended from work for hanging Halloween decorations, nooses to be more precise, from his rearview mirror. In your post, you wrote, ““White America in particular is afraid to look at this history”—a history of black oppression—“ and in shunning it continues to be gripped by it.” How do you explain the swift actions of the local authorities in the Muncie case? This example appears to counteract your claim that White America is scared to look into the mirror and confront its discriminatory past because the people in Muncie acted with justice to reprimand a seemingly racist action. Does not using legal action to protect minorities display efforts to right a wrongful past? Also, if you consider these actions to be the wrong way to confront and deal with a racist history, how else do you propose we remedy the issue?

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