No parent is perfect -- I'm far from it -- so I hesitate to criticize other moms' questionable parenting moves, but some are so profoundly, disturbingly questionable that I feel I have no choice. Virginia mother Jessica Black's decision to let her 7-year-old son Jackson dress as a member of the Ku Klux Klan for Halloween falls directly into this category: How can I, how can we, NOT express outrage and horror over something like this??
Black says she sees "nothing wrong" with her son's disguise (the Klan is still active in their hometown, making sure that "whites go with whites" and "blacks go with blacks"); Jackson, for his part, says he wanted to dress as a Klansman simply because the hat is "cool." But just when you think a story can't get any worse ... well, this one's about to get worse.
Why this story is about to get worse has nothing to do with the kid -- of course he doesn't know any better! Under even slightly more normal circumstances, his parent would explain exactly why the pointed white hood is not, in fact, cool, but rather highly offensive and inflammatory. But not only is Jackson's mom apparently incapable of extending rational guidance -- she's not alone in her frightening opinion.
Yes, Jessica is getting lots of threats and hate comments re: her horrible sense of judgment, which I'm not condoning (two wrongs don't make a right, duh). But she's also been getting SUPPORTIVE comments, such as:
It's no worse than being member of NAACP. Being a black racist is just as bad as a white racist. After all it's not Nat'l Assoc for Advancement of All People.
Um, YIKES. Or how about this one?
I guess if he had dressed up like a black panther, then that would have been alright, what's the difference between the two?
WOW. Others expressed dismay over the idea of Jackson being discouraged from carrying on a "tradition" (his uncle dressed in the same costume as a kid). And so the next generation of racists is born. And realistically, what can the rest of us do to stop it? Besides raising our own kids to be decent human beings, of course -- who know how to deal with people like this:
The whole thing is just so unsettling, not to mention discouraging. I don't know who to feel worse for in this situation -- those born into hopeless ignorance or the people doomed to suffer the fallout of said ignorance. (Probably the latter.)
What's the worst part of this story for you?
Image via nisha Saheba/YouTube