Are you wondering what to say to your kids in the coming New World Order of Trumplandia? How to furnish them with the tools they'll need to rise above the reactionary flood surely coming our way?
Arm your kids with something that people don't seem to find important anymore. It's called history. History (and geography) have been slowly, sadly, brushed off most school curriculums like time-wasting crumbs -- often in favor of Ethics classes that don't seem to teach much, or "Self-Worth" classes that definitely don't. It's time to start teaching history again.
What we've seen with the U.S. election reflects the high price we pay for people not understanding that history repeats itself.
Sit down at dinner and give your kids a history lesson, a different one each night. Teach your children about slavery, the Underground Railway, and the abolitionists.
Teach your children about women not being allowed to vote and the Suffragists who fought for that human right.
Tell them about the rise of and fallout of fascism in 1930s and 40s Europe and how easily a modern, educated society can slide into a six-year blood-soaked nightmare because of the personality cult of one leader.
Tell them about some of those people who knew their new world order was wrong, like those in the French Resistance.
Tell them about the Warsaw Uprising, and the neighbors who hid Jews in their attics, risking their own lives in process.
Tell them about McCarthyism, blacklisting, the Civil Rights Movement.
Teach your kids about all those people before us, young and old, of all ethnicities, who banded together and breathed in the deepest courage to stand up and say, "Enough."
Kids have to understand that when people don't know history, the same things keep happening, century after century. Teach your kids that bigotry, racism, and xenophobia are the default mindsets of humanity, that war is the norm in human history, and for us to stop repeating these ills, we have to fight against them. History has taught us that resistance is our only chance.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." It's hard to believe those words right now, but they're words we have to cling to until our palms are raw.
Your children won't know now how they'll be called upon to stand up for what's right, but assure them that they will be called upon. They are the next generation to set things right and they might be in for a long battle.
But it'll help them to know that they're stronger when they fight together, when they know they're not alone, when they have the ghosts of the brave women and men of history watching over them, whispering, "Don't give up. Ever."
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