Amblin' Alameda: No tricks, but a nice treat!

Amblin' Alameda: No tricks, but a nice treat!

Morton Chalfy

The best part of Halloween in Alameda is the parade of kids, from babes in arms to early teens, who come out trick or treating. They are cute to be sure, and the transaction is an innocent and wholesome expression of community, but I find my real pleasure comes from the intimations of the future they carry with them.

Alameda is home to an extremely diverse population and a subset of that population are the children of mixed race parentage. When I look at them I think I see the future of humanity and it is an exciting one. Humanity left its home in Africa to spread around the globe and diversify into “races.” Now that the Earth is full of humans, and now that the humans routinely travel from one continent to another, it seems that we are slowly going to reunite into one “race,” the AfroEuroAsianPacificans.

War is a great mixer of human blood as well as a spiller of it and after every war new contingents of refugees arrive on these and other shores. Neither Southeast Asia nor the sub-continent of India nor the Middle East were ever major sources of immigration to America but now they are. Along with Africa and the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America they all have come to America and are bringing their families.

In my mind that’s a good thing, and in Alameda the effects of that good thing can be seen in every school. Bright-eyed youngsters of differing hues and parents whose genes developed in vastly separated parts of the world form a growing subset of kids.

I should acknowledge here that I have three African American grandchildren, which likely prejudices me toward a view that finds them part of the wave of the future. But that’s not the only reason I see that development as a good one. It is clear from studies of toddlers of different races playing together that any biases based on race (or on gender preference) are learned. The kids play with one another on the basis of who they like and it’s clearly uninfluenced by color or accent or any other outward markings. Like dogs, young children do not see color difference as essential difference and ignore it when choosing playmates.

As the world turns and the populations churn it can only be a matter of time before we erase race. Centuries perhaps, but that’s just a blip on the screen.

The main Halloween trick was to not eat all the candy before the kids came. The kids were treat enough.