People Will Die As Long as We Teach Kids There are Always Losers and Winners

By Teka Lark (August 7, 2019)

Your worldview is shaped by your community, family, media, education system, and essentially all the people, things, and actions that you interact with and provides you with information.

Your view on the world starts from the minute you hit earth. Fairytales, TV, the Internet, video games, books, what your education system decides to teach you in school, and what they decide to leave out, it all shapes who you are.

In the United States, when you begin school, and maybe even before you start school, if your family has been in the US two or more generations, you are told that some people must lose.

That idea is drilled into your head. As adults people sneer, “This everyone gets a trophy nonsense, kids needs to understand that someone has to lose! ”

But what is losing? What are we preparing young children for when we tell them that some people must lose?

It seems like we’re saying some people must be homeless, some people must be poor, and some people must die— at least to me.

The United States encourages cruelty and violence, from dodgeball, to our media, to how we share about injustices.

Do we really need a video of someone being shot in the head, to know that you shouldn’t shoot people in the head? Apparently in the US you do, because that is part of the fun of being an “American,” being outraged, yet slightly entertained by the suffering of someone else who you are under the idea that you have more privilege than, at least for now….

In our media what do the troublemakers look like? Who are our villains in fiction?

Good triumphs over evil is the story every kid in the US has been told from birth. This theme even goes in our history books,In the United States the good people won the game.

A game that we all agreed to play, so no one needs to tell anyone sorry for hitting someone in the face with the figurative ball over and over and over again, because this was a game, and if you had tried harder and had better morals– you would have won –and any deviation from the game results in being taken out of the game by capture, fire, gunshots, or lynching.

The reason you can’t get federal gun policies passed in the United States, is because the point of guns in the United States is to protect “everyone” from Black (African) and Brown (Mexican/Indigenous) people. In the North they do it by making rent so high you can’t live next door, in the West they won’t allow you to work, and in the South –they have their guns.

Unless something is done to change the average person in the United States’ worldview–a culture that encourages punitive cruelty, racism, nationalism and sexism–we’re going to continue to have people dying in violent ways.


It’s Not Enough to Hold Another World in Our Hearts–We Have to Make It Now

By Lara Messersmith-Glavin (February 7, 2019)

Unless you are deliberately teaching your kids about race and gender and class and ability, unless you are actively countering the narratives they receive from every direction in this culture, then what you are really telling them is that racism, misogyny, heterosexism, class shaming, body shaming, and ableism are ok.

Straight parents—it isn’t enough that you are “cool” with gay people. You need to read books together that have queer characters and talk about all the forms families and loves can take. White parents—it isn’t enough to have a “black friend;” you have to sit with your white children and have hard conversations about privilege and white supremacy, in ways your kids can understand. Cis parents—it isn’t enough for you to be “ok with” my kid using gender neutral pronouns. You have to teach your kids that gender is a spectrum and a construct, that he and she aren’t the only options; when signs or toys say “boys” or “girls,” you need to call it out for the nonsense it is.

My kid comes home crying many days and hates school because they are constantly gender bullied for their hair or their color choices or their toys—by their friends. It’s not like a crew of mean kids rolls around and pulls this shit—it’s their best friends, and it’s daily, and I know for a fact that the parents of those children think they’re raising kids who get the concept of diversity. But they don’t. We need to try harder.

I can’t raise my kid alone. Every day, I release them into this gorgeous, shitty world, and I’m counting on you to do your part to make it better and safer, so all our kids have a chance to be seen and loved and heard and to feel like they have full access to their humanity without carving off all the beautiful parts that don’t fit in the tiny boxes our culture allows. It’s not enough for us to hold another world in our hearts—we’re here now. We have to make it here, now.


The Institutionalized Cruelty of Separation: My Story

By Byron José Sun (June 29, 2018)

in 1988, a few days before Thanksgiving and just a couple of weeks after the picture below was taken; my mother and I were sitting in a detention center in San Ysidro, CA. My mother was 19 and I was under two years old. The border patrol had arrested us after the sewage tunnels the Coyote lead us through dumped us in San Isidro. We were stripped searched and processed until we sat in a small cell where a stool was the only furniture. The detention center was not prepared for the thousands of Central Americans fleeing the poverty and violence of dictatorships and civil wars that were backed by the US.

As my mother sat on the stool with me in her arms, we were feed milk and cookies three times a day, and we were expected to sleep on the floor with just one blanket. What people don’t understand is that it’s not easy leaving everything behind to migrate to the US. My mother had escaped a Coyote that kept us prisoners for a month in different hotels around Mexico. She went hungry many nights. She struggled to keep me happy. She went through a lot to keep me safe. We were only arrested in San Ysidro because she started screaming in fear that I was going to be killed by how hard the other immigrants were trying to keep me from crying.

As my Facebook is flooded with all the news of children being separated from their parents I can’t stop thinking about how my mother would have felt if I was ripped away from her arms, from her warmth, from her protection, and from her love. There are no words that I can write here to describe how immigrant parents who are experiencing the ‘Institutionalized Cruelty’ of separation must be feeling. No human being should ever feel what those parents are feeling. No human being deserves to be treated as less than human just because they are searching for a better future. As a nation we need to act not with fear and hate in our hands—instead, we must act with kindness and love if we ever want to keep our full humanity.


Star Wars and the Lessons of Good Parenting on Father’s Day

By S. (June 18, 2017)

As is natural on Fathers Day, our minds turn to the original Star Wars trilogy. Instead of focusing on Vader as is custom on this day, I urge you all to consider Uncle Owen Lars. Luke spends the entire trilogy mourning the death of Obi Wan and obsessing over Vader.

But Owen was there since infancy. Owen changed diapers. He made Luke drink his blue milk. He showed him how to fight off Sand People. He and Luke stayed up all night prepping for the Mos Eisley Unified School District’s Region 4 spelling bee. He took him to The Gap and bought him the trendy bathrobe that all the kids were wearing. And he taught Luke how to pilot.

The destruction of the Death Star is due to Owen Lars as much as it is to Luke. Yet, Owen dies and is completely forgotten about (#dadsinfridges).

Owen and Beru prove that parenting is often not appreciated but the benefits of good parenting can have galactic ramifications.


So Happy Father’s Day, Owen Lars, the true hero of the rebellion.

Radical Dad Solidarity From One Mall to Another


By Chris Crass (February 14, 2016)

Walking through the mall, one hand talking on the phone with a fired up young activist man about an awesome project he wants to do interviewing men about feminism, healthy masculinities and bringing down patriarchy, and the other hand feeding August his bottle. Continue reading “Radical Dad Solidarity From One Mall to Another”

Measuring Our Failure By the Lives of Our Children


By Mark Naison (October 21, 2015)

When you erase caring, supportive relationships from people’s work and school experiences, you endanger the precious balance that allows them to live fulfilling lives. Continue reading “Measuring Our Failure By the Lives of Our Children”

The Movement is Our lives: Everyday Activism for Liberation


By Chris Crass (October 15, 2015)

I talk to people all over the country who simultaneously talk about the “small things” they can do, like make donations, volunteer here and there with a local social justice effort or are “only involved at their faith community ” or “raising their kids” and over and over again there is guilt and shame about not being able to do more. Continue reading “The Movement is Our lives: Everyday Activism for Liberation”

Our Children Deserve More than the Death Culture of White Supremacy


By Chris Crass (October 6, 2015)


I feel confident in saying that the guy who did this and his racist friends would not only righteously declare “they aren’t racists”, they would likely make the argument that it’s the politically correct who can’t take a joke, who are the real racists. We must understand the modern day psychology of white supremacy in day to day practice.

White supremacy entitles white people to, in all seriousness, feel that they are the true non-racists, the “above all this race divisiveness” while simultaneously debasing, and assaulting Black humanity, even viciously going after three year old ‪#‎Cayden‬. And then for white people to genuinely feel that they are the true victims of racism, while living in a society in which the resources of capitalism and white citizenship are literally built on the bodies of hundreds of years of enslaved Africans, and the brutal exploitation of another hundred years of Jim Crow apartheid. 

This is the death culture of white supremacy, this is what all white children are abandoned to be socialized into, unless anti-racism takes hold in the hearts, minds and souls of white people all over the country who unite with the Black-led movement for Black Lives Matter and work to uproot the anti-Black racism of this death culture. And all over the country, tens of thousands of white people are rising up for racial justice. White anti-racist must became the leaders, parents, teachers, visionaries, all our children deserve.

We Can All Wear the Shoes We Love


By Chris Crass (August 20, 2015)

“What shoes do you want to wear to school?”

River responded, “The kids at school said I can’t wear my Elsa (Frozen) shoes, because I’m a boy and they said they are girl shoes.” Continue reading “We Can All Wear the Shoes We Love”

Baby Showers with Men: A Revolution that Should Have Already Happened


By Chelsea Whitlow Shay

Baby Shower. Two words that often result in sighs of annoyance and disgruntled acceptance of invitations for all but the most baby and pregnancy loving people out there. And by “people,” I mean women, because for men when these words are uttered they all but shut down and tune out the conversation. Continue reading “Baby Showers with Men: A Revolution that Should Have Already Happened”

Lego: Building Sexist Stereotypes One Brick at a Time


By Chelsea Whitlow Shay

In the 1980s, the second wave of feminisms was winding down and, while many gains for women had been made, young girls still had to adhere to a strict gender stereotype. Most young girls were given Cabbage Patch Kids, Strawberry Short Cake and Rainbow Bright to play with; all replicating the care-taking role for girls. Continue reading “Lego: Building Sexist Stereotypes One Brick at a Time”