When did it become so normal to turn American children into little activists?
The New York Times has an occasional pull-out section for kids in its Sunday paper. Great, right? What could be bad about news items for children?
Alas, the topics are chosen from a hard-left perspective and aren’t really news items at all but opinion pieces presented as news, often more egregiously than the paper’s adult content.
One headline warns, “A new wave of bills is targeting trans kids.” Turns out the bills are meant to protect girls’ sports and ban gender-reassignment services for minors. The Times calls this a ban on “gender-affirming health care.”
Op-ed columns can be expected to offer perspectives and twists like this, but news items are purportedly impartial, or close to it. Yet there is nothing even remotely impartial about the Times’ language.
Another piece focuses on teen activists motivated by the death of George Floyd. One child writes, “Before George Floyd died, I didn’t realize how hard the world is. Since then, I’ve come to terms with how bad stuff is going to happen.”
This is tragic: We’re doing 12-year-olds like this no favors by making them no longer think the world is a basically good place. Now this girl wants to be a camp counselor to tell other children “the truth.” She needs to be put back on track, not given space in a newspaper to spread despair to other kids.
And, of course, there’s the obligatory piece on kids battling climate change. It cites lawsuits allegedly filed by kids in countries like Germany and South Korea. Now, the notion of a child filing a lawsuit without significant adult help is patently absurd. But we are asked to pretend kids have their own political ideas wholly independent of parents or zealous teachers.
Imagine these Times-style features from the conservative viewpoint: Picture a major newspaper with a pull-out section for kids that focuses on, say, the horrors of abortion, the benefits of school vouchers or the importance of gun ownership or conventional family life. Such columns are far less common because conservatives aren’t as willing to resort to mass-brainwashing children.
Yet the fact that the Times’ section sparked scant outrage shows how much we’ve become accustomed to child indoctrination from the left.
In 2019, Greta Thunberg basked in media attention, and US schoolkids staged a “climate strike” (arranged by adults). Younger kids made signs and marched around school yards; older kids pretended to really, really care about climate — while they skipped school.
Frankly, it’s disgusting, maybe bordering on child abuse. There’s no reason, after all, for kids to “march for climate change,” other than to serve as props for adults.
After the 2019 event, my then-first-grader came up with a plan to stop climate change involving helicopters on autopilot to Antarctica. You get great ideas like this when you scare a 6-year-old. I let my son participate because he was new at school and I didn’t want to cause trouble. Ha! I should’ve caused trouble: My child shouldn’t be someone’s political tool.
But, oh, plead the brainwashers, we’re just educating kids. Baloney. Children are clearly “taught” only one perspective; other viewpoints are not just omitted but tainted as racist, sexist, anti-ableist or another fashionable “-ist” insult.
That kind of thing was standard in the country of my birth, the Soviet Union: Think our way . . . or else. Kids were frequent targets.
During the past year of remote learning, parents saw the garbage their kids were fed; we can’t ignore such attempts at radicalization any more.
The left may bombard our kids with politicized news aimed at making them conform. But no one has a bigger influence on them than we do, their parents. Remember that — and fight back.