Back in March, I wrote an article criticizing the idea that learning about Climate Change or undergoing Safety Drills in case of mass shootings would someone scar our children. Well, now it seems time to revisit that debate that will never go away.
Of course, this debate will always exist, but back in the day there was at least some justification for this. After Columbine, we worried about the impact of violent video games (which both shooters were a fan of, but there’s no evidence it caused there violent behavior and instead it seems they were drawn to them because of there preexisting love of violence) and musicians like Marilyn Manson (who did have violent and nihilistic aspects to his music, although it’s unclear if the shooters were even fans of him).
However, arguments like this had similar issues, crazy people do crazy things for crazy reasons. Charles Manson famously said the reason he did his actions was because of messages he heard in the song Helter Skelter by The Beatles. More recently, the New Zealand Mosque Shooter named the video games Spyro The Dragon and Fortnite as his main inspirations.
But what I find interesting is, for the first time, it seems like the “think of the children” people are interested in more freedom, not less. Specifically, many of these people are pushing back against mask mandates and social distancing in school under the guise of thinking of those children.
Now I’m a huge fan of freedom, make no mistake, and I do feel reasonable arguments can be made against mask mandates in schools (if that’s a requirement, why reopen in the first place — oh, because these same people made them), however the pure hyperbole going on is honestly something to behold.
Recently, an image was being spread around of two kids playing with blocks in a classroom, both wearing masks and behind a screen of some kind. The image is devoid of any context, but that didn’t stop many on the right from running with it as evidence that America has entered a police state.
It started with Jesse Kelly tweeting the image with the following caption:
We are not preparing the next generation to exist in this world.
I just don’t understand this argument. Is it because they’re behind screens? Because people are behind a screen quite a bit these days, in fact being behind a screen was the only way I could read Jesse Kelly’s tweet. Was it because of the masks? Because I’ve known many people, people with Asthma for example, who have to wear a mask anytime they’re out in public already. And, believe it or not, they all turned out perfectly fine.
Allie Stuckey later quote tweeted the image with this comment:
Purposeful dehumanization via desocialization. Makes the communism go down more smoothly.
Question: How is doing something so other humans are able to survive “dehumanization”? For that matter, the children are still able to socialize, considering six-feet seems to just be the length of a table (as that’s how far the kids are apart in the picture) it seems like kids have been six feet apart more often than most people realize.
I should note that children today enjoy more freedom than any children of any previous generation. The motto of society use to be “children are to be seen and not heard,” now, however, the slightest push back towards letting children do whatever they want is seen as nothing short of child abuse.
As for the idea that this is “creating fear,” first off, I imagine kids would be made more uneasy if someone in there area, especially a loved one, were to die of COVID-19 due to the fear that they caused it. For context, the children of my grandparents generation had to duck and cover under their desks because the communists might drop bombs on them, and they turned out just fine — but wearing a mask will scar a kid for life?
Once again, your kids are fine, stop worrying so much.