And today in CNN-associated nonsense, the Jim Acosta network thinks you — parents of white children — ought to be raising your kids to be more racially sensitive.
Well, that doesn’t sound so bad, you might think. You’re probably wondering whether we’re making too much out of an article that’s simply instructing mothers and fathers to be more mindful of racism.
But, of course, this isn’t about actual racism. Of course it’s not. Since this is CNN, the article is all about living in the age of Donald Trump.
Let’s start off with the opening paragraphs from this glorious mixture of nonsense from Drake University professor and author Jennifer Harvey, titled “Raising white kids to be racially sensitive — and proactive.”
“Parenting in the current political climate isn’t for the faint of heart. Recently, my 9-year old daughter asked me, ‘Mama, I know it’s really bad they’re putting people in jail, but do those people think, ‘Well, at least I’m safe from war?”
“My 7-year old daughter quickly followed up with, ‘Why would someone say Donald Trump is keeping us safe?'” she continued. “Clearly, my two white kids, like all children in the United States, are absorbing the racialized rhetoric about immigration and ‘others’ that’s everywhere right now.”
Oh, good grief.
Let me start by saying that I’d like to think I was as introspective as any kid, but I don’t remember saying anything like “Mama, I know it’s really bad they’re putting people in jail, but do those people think, ‘Well, at least I’m safe from war?'” I wonder if that’s because my mom wasn’t a writer and thus never needed an anecdote for an opening paragraph on raising white kids to be racially sensitive.
Alas, she apparently wasn’t introspective enough, given the implicit bias in her statement. Thankfully, her sister was there to get her to check her privilege and ensure she wasn’t “absorbing the racialized rhetoric about immigration and ‘others’ that’s everywhere right now” without calling her out. Way to go, unnamed 7-year-old daughter!
By the by, are these kids watching CNN all day? I remember hearing jokes about Bush and Dukakis when I was young and would sneak away to the TV late during summer nights to watch Letterman, but I don’t remember consuming this level of invective about the president and other serious racial issues. Then again, maybe this has something to do with the fact that late-night TV is now all about Trump-related invective.
Harvey goes on to list studies which state that children are aware of race and social stereotypes at a young age — which is all the more reason to raise them with a knowledge that they ought to look beyond skin color and embrace them as human beings, right? Well, not quite. These days, raising your (white) kid “correctly” is all about identity politics — particularly since those dastardly conservatives persist in conservatism in spite of the fact everyone at CNN agrees that anyone right of Nancy Pelosi is a filthy bigot.
Take a look at this paragraph about the aforementioned studies and all of the tacit assumptions about what constitutes racism these days, particularly those highlighted in bold: “These studies were pre-2016. Public displays of racial hostility have since amplified, showing up in such topics as talk about kneeling NFL players, black families’ attempts to enjoy a summer swim interrupted by white neighbors calling the police or immigration debates implying that people from south of the border are uniquely dangerous. We can only speculate how much worse the damage will be to children’s long-term notions of self and others, and to what a just and peaceful society looks like.”
Yes, I totally agree that Permit Pattys should enjoy their 15 minutes of viral ignominy. Beyond that, this paragraph is long-jumping to conclusions about what “(p)ublic displays of racial hostility” consist of.
Talking about kneeling NFL players is just that — talking about NFL players kneeling for the national anthem, the last part of which is something Harvey conveniently leaves out.
As for those who illegally enter into our country from south of the border being “uniquely dangerous,” I think pretty much anyone who tries to enter our country illegally is “uniquely dangerous,” inasmuch as they’re already committing a crime and go on to commit a disproportionate amount of crime once they’re here.
This isn’t even mentioning the “uniquely dangerous” fact that many of those who enter our country illegally usually do so with the aid of cartel-associated human traffickers. The idea that any mention of these very salient facts constitutes “racial hostility” requires an extraordinary amount of self-delusion and sequestration from reality.
These are just the first four paragraphs of the article, and I could fill a novel picking apart every unwarranted assumption that undergirds this piece. In the interest of time and space, I’m going to move on to what Harvey says “white parents (who) want to raise children and youth who play a role in creating a just, inclusive society” need to do: “Break the silence,” “Tell the whole truth,” “Go beyond diversity” and “Do an inventory on your life.”
You might think the first one involves telling your child that they should respect peers and adults of all races equally. Well, that just means you’re part of the problem, privileged one.
“White children are growing up in a country in which they can clearly see that race matters but are regularly told by white adults that they’re not supposed to notice this (so-called color-blindness),” Harvey writes. “Left to their own devices, children draw their own ill-informed conclusions. They need to know that race is something we should notice and parents want to talk about it.”
Yes, if you talk about race and difference incessantly as opposed to emphasizing our human similarities, your kids will never “draw their own ill-informed conclusions.” I don’t see any possible way this could fail.
“Tell the whole truth” isn’t as profoundly terrible (or that bad at all, really), urging you to present your child with incidents of racism and ask how they would react. However, Harvey warns against “(v)ague moral messages like ‘be kind to everyone'” if you have “white children” — which, if properly applied and followed, would stop racism from happening in the first place, no matter what race your child is.
Going beyond diversity, meanwhile, she says that while teaching your kids about diversity is fantastic, “they also need to learn about the people — historical and contemporary — who have challenged injustice. Kids need to be taught about so many more people of color freedom fighters than the few they hear about at school.”
Meanwhile, doing an inventory on your life consists of ending self-segregation by “white youth … regularly experienc(ing) spaces where they aren’t in the overwhelming racial majority.”
“In a society as segregated as ours, this requires an active commitment by parents,” Harvey says.
Harvey concludes by saying her “heart ached as I responded to my children’s questions. But I called it like it is. For many, many years, some people have insisted that people with dark skin, like those coming across the border, are dangerous. I also told them that this is a lie. And I told them we have to tell people that it’s a lie based on racism whenever we hear people say it.”
This is a pile of rubbish. Harvey’s “racism” is nothing more than an anaphylactic reaction to people who are different than her — except, instead of people of a different race, ethnicity or creed, it’s a reaction to people with differing political beliefs. This bias may not be quite as pernicious as the first three, but the intellectual end product is just as perverse and alarmist.
If you’re a parent of any race and you’re reading this, do yourself a favor: Teach your children righteousness. Teach them basic morality. Teach them to treat people justly and fairly, no matter who they are. Teach them kindness, patience and love for the human race. Teach them to stand up for any individual or group being mistreated or denigrated by someone who doesn’t believe these things. Make sure that you exemplify all of them yourself.
These are difficult enough in a challenging world, but they’re also what your child needs to be a decent human being.
As for identity politics, they’re nothing more than propaganda from those pushing a political agenda. If we all ignored Harvey and her ilk, the world would be a better place for it.
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