I was shocked and disgusted after reading “Scandalous Halloween Costumes Put the `Ho’ in Hoya” (THE GUIDE, Oct. 22, 2010, G14). Although I am generally an avid reader of your weekly and usually excellent newsmagazine, I was thoroughly disillusioned by what I saw as a tasteless, insensitive and offensive piece – one of the most offensive that I have read in THE HOYA since the infamous 2009 April Fools’ issue.

First, let me point out that no occasion, not even Halloween, is an excuse to satirize a dictator who has committed some of the worst crimes against humanity in recent history. Kim Jong-il may get his fair share of pun in the media, but the reality of what he has done against the North Korean people is no laughing matter. Every year, thousands of North Korean defectors risk their lives to escape to neighboring countries, seeking political, religious and economic freedom from Kim’s oppressive regime. Those who are caught and repatriated face certain death or harsh labor in concentration camps.

There is another Auschwitz currently happening in North Korea. Yet the most attention this matter will ever receive is when two American journalists are arrested in the North risking their lives to expose an issue that to this day, still remains in the shadows.

Halloween is not an occasion to make light of this subject. I would like to think that anyone who would dress as a “sexy Hitler” would similarly rethink their choice. The murder of millions of innocent people under the control and authorization of one solitary dictator is nothing to make fun of on Halloween night. The writer should reconsider her so-called ingenious costume and pick a fictional mass murderer to dress up as instead.

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