Fredericton — Last week, retailer Bed Bath & Beyond made headlines for pulling black decorative pumpkins from the shelves after a complaint that the gourds looked as though they were wearing blackface.
Now, just in time for Halloween, national activist group Offended Moms of Canada (OMC) are threatening to “take action” against hundreds of households whose jack-o-lanterns have turned black by natural decomposition.
“In our never-ending quest to find stuff to be offended by, we’ve latched onto pumpkins, and we want people to know that the pumpkins you carved two weeks ago that are decomposing and moulding on your back steps are starting to look a little too much like blackface,” said association president Tara Killjoy. “Get rid of them, or you’ll be hearing from us.”
Fredericton woman Shelly Anderson received a letter in the mail from the Offended Moms, asking her to dispose of her pumpkins, “or else.”
“But what can these losers do?” asked Anderson. “They’re not a governing body and have no legal authority…are they just complaining to each other? Regardless, my pumpkins might be slowly turning black, but they’re not racist. I’m just glad the ‘Offended Moms’ haven’t seen any of my Halloween costumes from the ’90s. Now those might have been…questionable.”
Killjoy says that if Canadians want to play it extra safe, they should also forbid their children from trick-or-treating.
“It’s just a little too close to acting out a home invasion, or break-and-entering,” she said, with a completely straight face. “Do you want your children to grow up to be racist convicts?!? Instead of going door to door, have one reputable parent hold a bright, well-lit gathering where children can eat healthy snacks under constant supervision. That will make it a lot easier to ensure no one’s costumes are offensive, and you can rest easy knowing your kids won’t be seeing any racist pumpkins when they’re out on the streets.”
Jerry Elliot received a strongly worded letter from OMC for his “racist and political” pumpkin on his doorstep.
“I carved Trudeau in my pumpkin a few weeks ago to support him for the election,” said Elliot. “I guess I left it out too long, because the pumpkin started rotting — first it looked like brownface Trudeau, and now it’s the spitting image of blackface Trudeau…whoops!”
While the Offended Moms of Canada aren’t threatening legal action against any perceived racists, the prospect of being publicly shamed on Facebook is enough to deter Elliot.
“It’s so stupid, but moms are the most active people on Facebook, with nothing better to do than to egg each other on and argue. I have a job and kids, and I don’t have time to defend myself in an obscure comment thread. Guess ol’ pumpkin Trudeau is going into the compost pile a couple days early.”