Who “Owns” Your Kids?

Melissa Harris-Perry, a Professor of Political Science, has garnered a lot of attention with her recent statement that children don’t belong to their parents and families, but to the community at large. This, of course, harkens back most recently to Hillary Clinton’s book, “It Takes a Village.” Beyond that it reminds us of policies of communist totalitarians.

It should go without saying that the “community” plays an important role in kids’ development. They have always learned from their playmates, their playmates’ parents, their teachers, their schools and school policies, churches, recreational entities like Little League and Pop Warner, other programs like Big Brother-Big Sister, etc. Furthermore, they are “reared” in significant ways by media: television, movies, electronic games, and the like.

Obviously, it seems to me, that on its surface, Professor Perry’s objective, to have the community rear children, has already been met in myriad ways. But that is not the case because what she means is for the community to take over and control the development of American children. And what does she mean by the “community”, the town, the state, the country?

Her ideas have not been well-received by, of all things, the community. In this day and age when the majority of citizens self-identify as conservative, parents go out of their way to avoid much in the community that they find harmful to their kids. Witness the groundswell of support for home-schooling, charter schools, and vouchers. Some educators point to the fact that, via the internet, students have immediate access to a wider range of knowledge than ever before. One can even earn a college degree online. Public schools are more and more being referred to as “government schools.” If anything, parents and other family members are challenged to protect their children from the community. Substitute the words “Federal Government” for “Community” and Perry’s ideas are even more threatening.

Parents and grandparents should hug their kids close and tell them how much they are loved. That’s something they will not get from “the community” if Melissa Harris-Perry’s radical ideas ever take control.

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