Protecting them is on each of us.
Do American’s even celebrate International Children’s Day?
The United Nations has declared today as International Children’s Day globally. I remember my child status and childhood-ness being celebrated as a little one. My whole country celebrated us as children and we felt special.
I think they gave us treats at school. Maybe we did not go to school. I don’t think we wore school uniforms that day, if we did. I seem to remember a parade? Who remembers how we celebrated this? I have vague memories of events, but strong imprints of how we kids felt.
We felt joy. We felt we had our own day. We felt that we were part of a larger community. We felt we were integrated into our society. We were actually celebrated as a whole. Not just the individual, but us, as a group.
Y’all know that I am all about racial peace building and inclusion, right?
But let me tell you the most oppressed people globally – Not Black folks, not the LGBTQIA folks, not Indigenous Americans, not Jewish folks, not disabled folks.
Children are the most oppressed group of people globally.
When I learned this in seminary with Dr. Beth Corrie, I was shocked. It had never occurred to me. I realized did not think of them as “full citizens” of our society. We need to think for them and do for them and so we oppress them without meaning to do so. We do not give children a voice.
Like a brilliant person once told me, “Children are books to be read, not written.” Yet we write all over them all day long, muting their voices.
When you think of wars globally, think about Ukraine and the children. Think about Yemen and the children. Think about Boko Haram and the children.
Think about Uvalde. And the C.H.I.L.D.R.E.N.
When we, as a population, continue to allow school shootings, we are their oppressors. We are allowing our children to be killed. We are allowing our children to live with PTSD. We allow fear to take up root in our children. We rob them of their innocence. We rob them of their childhood.
This is on “us,” not just “them” – them, being the shooters, congress, NRA, gun owners, gun shows, etc.
We can stop this you know. We can. How we vote, how we spend our money, what we choose to be vocal about, what we challenge and what we accept – these are all ways that we oppress the children.
Stop oppressing the children. Free them to have a childhood. Think about our children on International Children’s Day today.
Stand up for the most oppressed group on the planet, our children. Let us love them. Let us love them. They are hurting. We owe them a childhood.