I am glad my children are all grown. It would be hard to raise them right in the America we are living in today. Our president calls people names and tells lies. Members of Congress write laws giving more money to the rich while pretending to care about the middle class, and don't even pretend to care about the poor (or, as they derisively refer to them, the entitled).
Those who are running the country celebrate ignorance. They deny the damage that greed is doing to our country's schools, to the ability of the elderly to live the remainder of their days healthy and secure. They scoff at science and make laws that enable the greedy and powerful to make earth more polluted and dangerous, and claim it is to lower our children's debt. Oh, and while they are talking about our children's debt, they are creating a society in which all but the wealthy are saddled with debt for their entire lives.
Our leaders model for us discrimination against others, whether it be those who have different lifestyles, or religious beliefs and customs, or those who have skin of a different color, or those who struggle with disability; they have even determined that women should not have the same rights and freedoms as men. We live, in 2017, governed by white men, who make laws determined by wealthy white men.
And then, to cap it all, the people who are in charge tell us that they are Christians. They use their god as a weapon, to force us to obey rules that discriminate and control us, that prevent us from loving who we choose and living the way we want. They don't require burkas and they don't stone people who are not like them. But they are sending the message in a way that has not been seen since the middle of the last century that it is okay to attack. Guns are celebrated and called necessary for freedom, except that if you are lawfully carrying a gun and you are the wrong color you could be killed, and the killer exonerated. On the other hand, cells inside a woman's womb are called life, and that is used to control a woman throughout her life.
How do we explain this world to our children? How do we raise them to respect the world in which they live when those who govern them have no respect, and their lies and laws attack the innocent and powerless? How do we explain a government that brags that they value the family and then separates parents from their children to deport them to countries in which they have never lived? What do we tell them when African Americans and, Latinos and Muslims are suspected, imprisoned, deported, gunned down, while the president of the United States is allowed to lie, to mock, to cheat and steal, while Congress looks the other way?
We had a Constitution that we revered. Then many of our politicians learned to say they revered the Constitution while they used it to justify un-American acts. We have seen our Supreme Court become more political, and used as a tool to further the agenda of the rich and the pseudo-religious and control the rest of us.
It is difficult in this country, and perhaps especially today in the South, to raise children to respect and care for one another when racism is once again being celebrated. When religious hypocrisy is on the rise. When paranoia and guns are the law of the land. When education is scarce, underfunded and riddled with indoctrination.
My heart goes out to parents today. You have to raise your kids to recognize cruelty and hypocrisy. But kids have great bullshit meters. When I grew up in the sixties, we were calling bullshit on wars and materialism. Our kids, if we talk to them, and teach them to think for themselves, critically, and if we teach them the true value of life and freedom, will know. They will be the ones to turn the tide of this awful period. We did move forward as a result of the rebellions of the sixties. We take a few steps forward and a couple steps back. I have to believe that that will happen again. And that our kids, with our guidance, will end up leading the way.