Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry

MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry narrating a new MSNBC “Lean Forward” spot, laments that we in America “haven’t had a very collective notion that these are our children.” She said, “we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities.”

Harris-Perrry who is a professor of political science at Tulane University also argued, “Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the households, then we start making better investments.”

By investments she means things like spending “as much in public education as we should have.”

The hubris in this video is amazing.  While my child is not “my property” my wife and I are the ones who are responsible before God to raise, clothe, feed, educate, and most importantly train up to follow Christ.  My child is not part of “the collective.”

This attitude is harmful and fosters irresponsibility which is already present with many parents today.

“I’ll send my kids to youth group.  It’s their job to disciple my kids.”

“I’ll send my kids to school.  It’s their job to educate.”

Obviously as a society we do have an interest in the education of all children, but that doesn’t make them “our children.”   This mentality is disturbing and frankly it is a Communist mindset as Ken Shepherd pointed out at NewsBusters the notion of collective responsibility “was a philosophy that undergirded the Cultural Revolution in Communist China under Chairman Mao.”  Gretchen Logue at Missouri Education Watchdog made the following observation:

She is speaking about education investments in children and must think of children as communal property and return on investment.  If you ascribe to that theory, then her comments make perfect sense.  If children are “human capital” rather than “human beings”, then the state should have control over their upbringing.

It is obvious that this mentality has permeated our culture somewhat, but if it becomes sold on it we can say goodbye to our parental rights as the state will claim itself to be the primary stakeholder, not parents in the upbringing of our children.

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  1. It’s pathetic that people will believe any old conspiracy theory that comes down the pike… If it’s not scary enough, just add more garbage to keep the flock afraid. Sad.

  2. Uh, Shane, I am a “communist,” and I teach in a community college because teaching is, well, a calling. I don’t see hubris in the video clip, I see a professional educator who wants this country to recognize that today’s children are the future of the country, and a responsibility we all share. If you’re that concerned, go to college, get your Iowa teaching certificate, or an advanced degree, and go to work in the classroom.

    However, don’t try to teach young-Earth creationism in a science class…

    1. You must have glossed over my statement that “we do have an interest in the education of all children.” A shared interest doesn’t equal a shared responsibility. I’m not responsible for the education of your children, nor are you responsible for the education of mine. The statement she makes goes beyond education. She just used education as one example. Now are you calling yourself a communist because you actually are or because you are insinuating I’m calling all college profs communist?

      1. “This mentality is disturbing and frankly it is a Communist mindset…”
        –Shane Vander Hart
        That’s called paranoia, Shane.

      2. What difference does it make if I’m a CP-USA member, a member of a Trotskyist group, or a social democrat, Shane? Funny, but I am responsible, in a way, for educating other people’s children: I pay property, state income, and state sales taxes.
        BTW, I will be assigning essays from Angela Davis’ classic “Women, Race, and Class” this summer to give the studenta another perspective on “Grapes of Wrath” and “Sula…”

      3. They pay you to do so! Do your job! Its my responsibility as a parent to make sure my children get there so YOU can get paid. Meanwhile, my husband and I will be raising our kids with OUR morals and ethics and teaching them to use their own damn brain. Most everyone pays all one damn taxes you mentioned, do you want a cookie? Welcome to the world of work! Smdh

      4. Yeah, cause she said that she didn’t want you to instill your children with morals. That’s exactly what she said. Such a shame that only people that work in education seem to understand where she is coming from.

  3. Where is the whole clip of this video? WHat was said before and after this part?

      1. This WAS the whole video. It’s a promo spot for MSNBC as part of their “Lean Forward” promo campaign.

  4. This is actually an African proverb..”It Takes a Village to Raise A Child”. However, since we live in a Patriarchal Westernized Nation that promotes Individualism, Autonomy and Isolation, many will take her statement out of context.

      1. Do you get your talking points from Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh? Both are uneducated tools for the right who are currently freaking out about Harris-Perry’s TV spot.

      2. I agree. I think what your criticizers are forgetting is that when we adopt a collective responsibility mentality, worthy or not, while many of us still take responsibility for own families, there are plenty more who do not. They see it as an excuse to have government, taxpayers, schools, etc., take responsibility for their families — financially, socially, and beyond. It affects the rest of us who want to maintain responsibility because people like Ms. Harris-Perry don’t see a problem when the government begins to take some of our responsibilities away from us…when we are perfectly capable of doing a much better job ourselves. Look at how well the government handles money. Is that how we want them to “take responsibility” for our children and their education, for example? I think not. Though some will not see the problem with that.

  5. I watched the piece several times…and yes it’s poorly worded, but I think people are taking it too literally. She’s using the “it takes a village” proverb, and my take is that she was trying to say we collectively own the decisions that relate to things like the education of children. She uses ownership as an analogy. I didn’t see any political bias, nor can I conceive of any particular agenda. This isn’t a liberal or conservative issue, it’s simply saying that communities can come together to do good things for children. If you are the member of any given community, why would you not want your children to learn and interact with, and benefit from your fellow community members?

  6. It’s insanely peculiar that people can’t see the dangerous implications of thie woman’s words. Have we become so infatuated with “intellectuals” that we can’t tell when they’re throwing bull anymore? This is what happened in the 1930s and 1940s when “smart people” were sure there were inherent intellectual differences between “good” and “bad” races, and that a “super-leader” was needed to operate a world system that was “too complex”… We will reap what we sew, folks.

    1. Because her advocating for you kid to be mentored by a coach, neighbor or someone else in your community is tantamount to being enlisted into the Third Reich. Get. Real.

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