I woke up, in the middle of the night, thinking about those children in the communities that the president insulted. And, the announcer who cried because his inner child was hurting for the children in that community. I woke up because my own child while playing Minecraft asked “Who is that?” while listening to the announcer speak.
1. Be Direct: Don’t mince words
I said to my child what I hope other parents around the country said, “The president is a racist.” I didn’t mince word. I did not wait to have an invited conversation. I said this 5 times yesterday. So, the my kids could join in.
He’s a racist and there seems to be no real way to easily get him out of office.
He’s a racist and he is willing to cheat on his opponents.
He’s a racist and he is standing on the backs of historical racism. The shame, glee, and insecurity that keeps racism a dirty secret that gains potency in its secrecy.
2. Treat Tweets with Bullying Protocol
Parents have an obligation to say to children what we would say about anyone else: His tweets, language, decisions, and choices say more about him than they do about you.
I told my child that the president grew up in a time and a household where the people around him didn’t care about the well-being of their children. And, now, he’s a lost old man, who wants to torch the world in his rage, because he was never listened to or loved.
“Does he sound like a happy person to you?” I asked.
“Ignore him. Please.” I said.
But, I did not stop there. “He only serves as a global example of what can go wrong if everything goes wrong in your childhood and your parents can somehow afford to feed you.”
3. Connect the Dots
In the fourth conversation about our racist president, we were all in the kitchen.
“This guy’s language is bad news.”
“Is he going to jail?”
“Not, if he gets re-elected.”
“Well, then you know what motivates him.” We adults reinforced.
These unbelievably, disheartening, exchanges were part of the dialogue at our place.
I even talked to them about a recent loss and how the hate being let loose in this world will cause our most vulnerable to give up.
4. Have a plan to take care of your kids
Look, many of us would ike to sanitize or turn off his Twitter feed. But, he would only repurpose dollars going to healthcare or medicare to fill billboards up and down the highways and towns of America with his racist, petty messages.
Right now, he is contained — only his global followers, the tweet-addicted media, and his trolls really live in his Tweetland.
Our job is to prioritize the safety and well-being of young people and children. Check in with the kids around you. They deserve open and honest conversation about the president’s insulting tweets.
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An Oral History of Trump’s Bigotry: His racism and intolerance have always been in evidence; only slowly did he begin to understand how to use them to his advantage. (The Atlantic, June 2019)