In a commentary piece for something called the Creator’s Syndicate, Bill O’Reilly urges us to “Keep ‘diversity’ books out of kindergarten.” He frames his argument with gilded memories of a halcyon youth spent climbing trees, stealing second base and learning to read “Dick and Jane” books. Then, Bill recounts a recent news event that illustrates how lost our society has become.
Today, in Lexington, Mass., 6-year-olds have another book. It is called “Who’s in a Family?” This book features not only Dick and Jane but also Jennifer and Lauren and Charles and Henry. The pages tell little kids about different kinds of families: mixed-race, gay and lesbian, and even traditional family units. They are all discussed in very positive ways.
A father named David Parker took one look at the same-sex part of the book and made an appointment to see the principal of Estabrook Elementary School, a woman named Joni Jay. Parker asked Jay to inform him when the gay family stuff was going to be presented because he felt his little son was too young to learn about homosexuality, and he would keep him home that day. Sounds reasonable, right?
Not so fast. Jay informed Parker that the family book had nothing to do with sexuality, so he was not entitled under the Massachusetts sex education law to get a heads-up. When Parker pointed out that same-sex situations contain the word “sex,” he was asked to leave the principal’s office. He refused. So the Lexington police arrested him on trespassing charges. See Dad get arrested. What does Jane think?
O’Reilly sees this as a symptom of “a massive mission of indoctrination going on in America.” He rails against 9-year-old girls with bare midrifts and third-grade boys wearing gold chains.
I think both Dick and Jane would agree that we should all back off and give the kids a break. Let’s bring back childhood in America, OK? No more “diversity” books for kindergartners ….
The world is a tough, nasty place, and children will learn that soon enough. Shouldn’t we make their first years fun years, free of political and social agendas? Why do some little kids these days look like Britney Spears and Kid Rock? What the deuce is wrong with us?
What’s wrong, Bill, is that Howdy Doody is off the air, coonskin caps are no longer in fashion and Beaver Cleaver is a chubby middle-ages has-been. This isn’t and can’t be the 1950s.
What’s right with us, Bill, is that white children go to school with black children, gay and lesbian couples can raise their own kids and even get lawfully wedded in some places, races and cultures are mixing in new and interesting ways, and the world is much more complicated and diverse than it was when “Father Knows Best” was popular.
Dick’s mommy has a new Latino boyfriend and his daddy only gets to see him every other weekend, while Jane has two mommies. Dick and Jane play “Grand Thefy Auto” on the computer and listen to Dirty Ol’ Bastard on the radio. Your nucular threat of the ’50s has been replaced by the terrorist threat of the 21st century. The world’s a far different place than when Sister Lurana taught you to read. Catch up, Bill.