It’s that time of year again where young children dress as their favorite character, goblin or ghoul. Although parents have the final word on what their child chooses to wear while out trick-or-treating, it’s typically the child that leans toward the actual outfit.
However, what happens when the outfit worn by a child is highly offensive to other parents or children? Does it make sense for parents to be accountable for the choice of costume their children wear on a holiday that celebrates death and evil? One parent learned the hard way about costume accountability and now, he’s fighting mad.
Say hello to little Hitler
During a routine candy trail that generates hundreds of community participants in Kentucky, Bryant Goldbach dressed both himself and his 5-year-old as Hitler. They walked up and down the trail to receive candy, only to discover they were the center of attention…and not in a good way.
“Adults walked up to my 5-year-old and threatened him,” Goldbach posted on his Facebook page. He was completely mortified and confused on why people were so highly offended at his choice of costumes for both he and his child.
“I can’t believe people were behaving so negatively towards us when their own children were dressed as devils and murderers,” he continued. He then posted a photo of himself with his son wearing the outfit on his page and found even more anger thrown his way online. Goldbach stated that he and his family chose the outfits because of their love for history. Wow. What’s more amazing is that he didn’t understand why others might find the outfit offensive.
When costumes reflect the child wearing them
When a child wears a costume, they wear something that typically reflects what they value. It is not surprising to see a young boy dressed as a superhero, a frightening horror movie character, or a Disney character. All of these costumes represent fictional characters that often fail to have any foundation or realistic merit.
On the other hand, when a child wears a costume that represents a person from history, they (or their parents) cross themselves over into a world that attaches a certain level of accountability to the child and their parents. Take for example a child wearing a slave master’s uniform. How well do you think this will go if the child is surrounded by other children and parents who have a history that is negatively attached to what the outfit represents? It shows a lack of sensitivity to the plight of others who were murdered, slaughtered, and divided as a direct result of the person being celebrated through the child’s costume.
The fact that Goldbach can’t see this only proves that he’s either apathetic to the pain of others or he just doesn’t care.
The child pays the price
Unfortunately, children wearing offensive costumes rarely know much about the person they are representing at that time. It’s the parents who have a deeper knowledge of both the history and the impact of costume choices; and as such, it’s the parents who should accept full responsibility when they see that their child is facing the negative reaction of others.
If a child is fully aware of their costume choice, regardless of the history, and decides to wear it anyway then that child should learn how their decision impacts others, for the good or bad. Either way, a lesson in history will be the end result…not candy and laughter.
What would you do if you saw a child dressed as Hitler at your child’s school costume party? Please share!