the u.n., halloween and child servitude
Now that I think about it, I realize that the U.N. has been using a form of child slave labor all these years. I suppose one day at a meeting between the U.N. Council of For The Children(tm) and the UNICEF people, someone raised their hand and said, Hell, the kids are out there begging door to door on Halloween anyhow, why don't we use that to our benefit? And thus, the exploitation of young children at the hands of the U.N. began in earnest.
I didn't even know what the money I was collecting was actually for when I was young and naive enough to just do what they told me. We were told in some vague terms that there were children in other countries who needed medicine and I immediately thought, I'm going door to door in this stupid, plastic, suffocating costume to collect money for medicine? Here I was willing enough to suffer through this off-the-shelf bargain store monstrosity of a costume so I could get some candy and now they tell me I'll be asking for money for medicine for some kid I don't even know.
I wasn't the only one who was outraged at this idea, so they had to explain to us that we still could trick-or-treat for candy, but we should hold up the UNICEF box as well. And smile. Maybe bat your eyelashes. Those children need medicine! I thought perhaps those children would really prefer a nice Three Musketeers Bar to a dose of foul-tasting pink medicine and I said so out loud. I was rewarded with a lecture on how those children don't even know what chocolate is.
So we took our UNICEF boxes and put them in our Halloween bags and went trick-or-treating. But we were clever. Oh, so clever. We just knew that somehow it was wrong of the U.N. to ask us to go fundraising for them on what is supposed to be the most glorious day of the year besides Christmas, so we didn't bother to hold out our orange boxes and smile at the neighbors for spare change. We just waited until we were done trick-or-treating, then we sat on a corner and went through our bags digging out the pennies and nickels that the old ladies on the block had given us. We dumped them in our UNICEF boxes and we were done. And we felt good about ourselves. As we sat on that corner pretend-smoking our candy cigarettes and gulping down Milk Duds, we were very self-satisified. Until we found out that the school kids in the neighboring town didn't trick-or-treat for candy at all. They went around town with only their UNICEF boxes in hand, and they all dressed like doctors and nurses. We felt pretty smug after that. Losers! They didn't get any candy!
Yes, we missed the point of the entire thing.
I get the point now, though. I am older and wiser than I was back then. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have given them the loose change from my trick-or-treat bag. Who knows? Maybe some of that money was diverted and it went into a fund that eventually paid for Scott Ritter's salary. Look what I've done!
I think if the schools are going to participate in forced child servitude, they should at least be allowed to raise money things that are needed in their particular schools. Of course, we couldn't let the administration make those choices or we'd have the kids walking around with boxes that say, Give your pennies for the new large-screen tv in the administrator's office!
Let the kids just have their holiday. Put the orange boxes away. Don't make those on a fixed income be forced to choose between buying candy for the children or just keeping a bowl of loose change by the door. Don't be a slave for the U.N. Giving into the legend of the orange box today may mean another Scott Ritter tomorrow.
See also, Damien Penny, The Case Against UNICEF.