Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Give Kids More Credit, Please

Since we no longer have TV, I often forget how mind-numbing news coverage can be. The power of news aggregators and The Daily Show mean that I never have to see or read "mainstream" news unless I seek it out. And when I do, I'm often reminded why I don't do it often.

Case in point: the lesbian den mother who got kicked out of her troop by the Boy Scouts. Nasty situation, have total sympathy for the mother and the family, no issue there. But the sheer smarm in this article from CNN made me want to scream.

The cubs of Pack 109 are upset.
But none more than Cruz, who is being forced to be away from his friends and is too young to fully understand why.
He's only 7.
He wasn't brought up to dislike people because they are different.
He's too young to understand bigotry.

Who are you, LZ Granderson, Ronald Reagan's Bizarro World speechwriter? Oh yes, children know nothing about being mean or cruel to others. Children never encounter situations that aren't fair or in which peers negatively judge each other based on dumb-ass criteria.

Quick question, LZ: Have you met kids? Like, real ones? Because the ones I hang out with spend the day excluding the hell out of each other, often for reasons so inane they forget them within a few hours (unless, of course, they opt for the other extreme and decide to hold a grudge against each other for the next ten years). My job is to make sure they knock that crap out and don't give each other complexes, and when things get serious, we get serious. But when you pretend kids can't understand hatred or bigotry or even basic hostility, what you're really saying is that you think kids are stupid and live in a fantasy-land of magical butterflies that crap jellybeans.

There are so many good reasons to be pissed off about this case and to encourage people to support the family. You even have a germ of an excellent angle by focusing on the ripple-effect that GLBT exclusion can have on the kids involved in the programs that GBLT adults participate in. So it's entirely unnecessary to pad your article by fake-empathizing with the woman's son. I would have much preferred some quotes from him, or even some random description of him poking something with a stick. At least that would be something reflective of things kids actually do, not BS projections of how adults think they should think or feel. Quit it.

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