Hush little baby, don’t you cry,
Just throw a rock at a passer-by;
Take that Batman hat off your head,
Here’s a balaclava to wear instead;
And when you’re bored with that toy gun,
Momma’s gonna buy you a real one;
A few Molotovs are always tops,
You can just fling them back at cops,
And if your great plans happen to fail,
A Swiss knife to dig yourself out of jail.
No, this commentary is not based on a documentary about Chairman Mao’s young supporters or the Leninist period. It is based on enthusiastic advice given to parents of white children by people who live in a democratic, developed country, namely the USA, in our current year.
Forget the “racially unaware uncle” at the Thanksgiving table (though fears of this particular type have generated so much material over the last few days, with feminists handing out emotional methods of coping with opinionated relatives). Move straight to your children; after all, indoctrinating them about “privilege” and “oppression” will be so much easier.
You can start by enthusiastically presenting violent, quasi-terrorist groups as role models.
That advice involves, among other things, listing Black Lives Matter as an inspirational movement, which can be a great source of education for them. Yes, the people who lute and vandalise their own cities, calling for the death of police officers (even while provided security by them in real-time) and carrying out racially motivated assaults on random strangers. Apparently, these are the people youth should admire and actively support. Or even emulate, as I understand it.
And remember: if your child is not interested in this type of activism, just insist some more. It’s not like this would ever be classed as indoctrination and setting them up to join the ranks of rioters, before they can properly tie their shoelaces.
It’s not like that’s what ISIS types do to their young generations, drumming ideological justifications for indiscriminate violence against strangers into their heads since they start understanding spoken language.
Even if conversations don’t go quite as you planned, make sure to keep talking to your kids.
They may not understand everything right now, but as they get older, they will slowly get it.
Also, you can convince your children that their president is a monster and the responsibility is theirs to change the country in the future.
In this article titled “How to talk to your kids about Donald Trump’s win“, the author envisages a grim picture of frightened, disenfranchised children with no hope for tomorrow.
And that’s the thing: Kids will be sad. And scared. And confused. And rightly so. (…)We can let them share their fears, and soothe them, but we also need to understand that this should not be theirs alone to carry. They should not have to bear the burden of this day as adults do.
Aside from the fact that this is dramatically presented as a natural disaster or war situation, one can’t help but wonder why those kids would be so scared in the first place; surely they didn’t wake up like that the morning after the election.
If this fear is real, it must have come after a long time of incessant fear-mongering from the adults around them, presenting this neutral situation (a change in political leadership), which kids otherwise might not have cared about at all, as the end of the world.
Of course, then come the words of encouragement and comfort. Not consisting of, let’s say, reassurance that life is very unlikely to change substantially and it will follow its course. Although mentions of that possibility are made, the author writes this below:
We can explain that we will continue to write and create. We will continue to advocate for what we believe in. We will march and protest and rally.
We can tell them we know that so much of what we are up against is systemic, and that we’re not going to be able to just usher in a hopeful new way of being unless we proactively tear down these systems we’re up against. (…)
And once we do this, then we can begin to rebuild.
Nothing to see here; just the planning of a socialist revolution in which kids are invited to partake, at least psychologically. Comforting indeed! Oh wait…
We can liberate our children with our vision for the next generation. “I wanted it to be my generation,” we can tell them. “But now, I can work towards making sure it is yours who makes this change.”
This of course does not take into account the possibility that said generation could have a completely different vision for the future. I don’t suppose that idea can ever penetrate a progressive skull – that once they are able to think for themselves, their kids might actually not share that political persuasion. They’re already working towards making sure that never happens.
This is a dark, dark time. But we need to hold our children close. We need to let them be children. We need to empower them. And we need to take a deep breath, regroup, and show them with our actions that we are continuing the crucial activism work that has never been more important than it is right now.
It’s almost as if kids had these expectations of activism, as opposed to the adults around them. As if they couldn’t just be left alone to enjoy life.
So there you have it. Off with the baseball cap, kid; on with the balaclava. You were born a revolutionary.