Every day I get solicitations in my email inbox asking me to promote products, people, books etc. Sometimes they’re hilarious (like the company that sends a potato on your behalf to anyone, anywhere). Sometimes they’re weird (like the couple who only eats air). Sometimes they’re downright hysterically evil (like the people who will send glitter to your enemies). They can be heart-wrenching, heart-warming, heart-healing. But rarely do they make my jaw drop in disbelief.
This morning I received an email asking me to consider writing about a political book that is filled with hate, name-calling, lies and propaganda. A book written for CHILDREN.
I don’t care what your politics are. That’s your business. But when you indoctrinate innocent children with hate-filled rhetoric and false information, I’m going to say something.
One thing I pride myself on is that I have taught my children to be kind. To all people. No matter who they are, what they look like, who they love or where they are from. All people deserve respect and kindness. And my kids have gotten the message loud and clear. They are kind people.
One day a group of kids was throwing sticks at a special needs boy at school. My son intervened, took away the sticks, got them to stop, and went to the principal for help. I was so proud of my boy in that moment. Prouder than any “A” he could have brought home on a report card. Prouder of any goal he could have scored. The fact that he stood up for someone who needed an advocate was one of the proudest parenting moments I’ve ever experienced.
So when I got an email in my inbox asking me to promote a book that is littered with hatred, name-calling and cruel stereotypes, I felt physically ill. What has happened to society? What has happened to America? What have we become? How can ANYONE think it’s OK to write a children’s book filled with name-calling and lies?
Yes, we should teach children that there are many different political ideologies. Yes, we should teach children our values. But when those “values” include being unkind, they aren’t valuable at all.
We should be teaching our children that name-calling is wrong. Hating someone because they think differently than we do is wrong. Hating someone because of the color of their skin, their political affiliation, their sexual orientation is WRONG.
America has never been more divided. Our country is in a very dark place. It’s up to us, the parents, to help heal this world. So please, teach your children to be kind. Our future depends on it.