I have seen a lot of tweets about how talk to kids about what the heck happened yesterday in DC. Really all you need to say is the truth – armed Americans stormed the Capitol and took control. They were “protesting” the US Election results and their actions had been fueled by comments by President Trump.
Be honest – no one expected a President to make statements like he has or Americans to fight so strongly against democracy. You see this occur in other countries but thought the US was above this. Kids are taught tantrums do not accomplish anything, yet we just watched grown-ups (a lot of grown-ups) have one major tantrum. People died because of this. People were harmed. People were scared.
And we also a saw again how America treats people so differently by the color of your skin. When peaceful protestors were in front of the Capitol this summer for Black Lives Matters, armed forces lined the streets and prevented them from getting close. On the news, it didn’t look like they stood up yesterday’s White “protestors” as strongly and forcefully as they did BLM. If up to yesterday, you did not believe America treated skin color differently and yesterday did not change your opinion, I don’t know what to say to you.
I have no expectations that we discuss it today at school. I hope we do but in past, they avoided these discussions. Please do not think middle schoolers are not aware of what is going on. We need the adults around us to discuss this with us. Help us understand what you understand, what you feel, what you think. We know what happened yesterday and the past few months is confusing to you as well. It is not the America you were raised in, but it is the America we are being raised in.
America, let’s start a dialogue. Not a screaming match, but a conversation. We don’t need to agree on everything but we need to respect each other. We need to win and lose maturely. Not sore losers or braggy winners. Just a recognition that we all win and we all lose sometimes.
[Note: I will get back to book reviews soon. I really burnt out in 2020 with everything going on. My plan is to review one middle grade book and one visual art item a week. The visual art may be a picture book, anime, a graphic novel or even art exhibit. This will start soon…
I won’t stop being vocal about issues. Kids have a voice here too and I will use mine. ]