We – a collective we – try to teach our children to be kind, respectful to themselves and others, tolerant, hard-working, humble, and honest. We try really hard. It’s not easy in the world we’re raising them in. There is so much adversity to our achievement of this goal whether it’s on TV or in the news or right in our own neighborhoods because we know it’s true: not everyone cares about raising children to be kind, compassionate, sensitive, loving, responsible, resilient, successful human beings. I know it. You know it.
And there are people who just think they are hilarious and can do and say what they want. Well, yes, this is America and we have the freedom of speech. But freedom of certain speech certainly does not need to be promoted. Particularly when it involves children.
Girlfriend and I were in a local bookstore this morning to purchase some horse books as a gift to her friend for her birthday. We arrived at the checkout counter and this book was proudly displayed on top of a stack of about 12 (yep, I counted).
I said, “What is this?” And out of sheer curiosity, I opened it, thinking it was going to be pro-Trump (because clearly that unflattering cover illustration didn’t give it away). It was anti-trump. Good. We aren’t voting for him. I don’t know how a positive book could be written about him. That being said, we do not speak hatefully about him to our children nor do we make fun of him (well, okay, sometimes Monkey makes his “Trump Face” – you know … the one w/ the lips like an O? – but that’s the extent of the mocking).
What I read was appalling. It was nothing short of prose trying to be funny but failing miserably because all this author did was make fun of Trump: his looks, his clothes, his personality. And the word “crap” was used.
The author, in the article linked above, written by Matt Wilstein over at The Daily Beast, claims this isn’t REALLY a children’s book. I say, No? Then why is it titled, A Child’s First Book of Trump? It was written with the intention that adults would read it, find it funny, buy it, and he would make a load of money off it. And hey, if kids read it, great … he thinks they will find it funny too, and hopefully won’t be afraid. ?!?!?!?!
“As for the book’s intended audience, Black admits that it is targeted at adults, not children, much in same vein as recent faux-children’s books like Go the Fuck to Sleep and Stephen Colbert’s I Am a Pole (And So Can You!). “It actually is a book that parents could read to their children,” he says. “If the kids know nothing about Trump and politics, they would still find it funny.” But, he adds, “I’m hoping they’re not terrified by it.” However, as much as Black is secretly hoping Trump’s success brings him more readers, he says he is “utterly distraught” over the possibility of a Trump presidency. .. Even if it would be great for book sales.”
This author, Ian Michael Black, is extremely intelligent, he writes well, I agree with his politics. He often makes me laugh. And he has two children. I have nothing against him. But, this book? It’s just mean. It isn’t educational. If I want to have a conversation with my children about why Trump is 100% unfit to run our country, about why he is not a good person, I would not use this book to do it. This book does nothing but make fun of Trump, in the hopes of making money. Trump makes fun of others and uses his money to get as much recognition as he can. How are these two men different in this vein?
They are not. They are exactly the same. And the problem is, the reality is, we want to teach our children to have morals and integrity, but we are continually challenged in trying our darndest to do so. Even in the book store! The message clearly is that it’s okay to make fun of Trump because he’s a jerk.
But, no. It isn’t. My children deserve an intelligent explanation about why this man is the poorest choice for a President rather than a book that does nothing but mock another person.
Can’t people just be nice? How are we supposed to teach our children to be nice when everywhere, people are not nice?
I was disappointed that our local bookstore was carrying this book and promoting its mocking. I said as much. I was answered by having my bag of books literally dropped on the counter as the owner of the place turned her back on us. No “Thank you for your purchase,” “Enjoy the day,” nothing. Just the owner turning her back on us.
She obviously likes the book.