Political Activism for Your Kindergartener

 

While our 2nd-grade son is Zoom schooling I work on my laptop nearby so I can occasionally listen in on the activities. Yesterday, during my son’s virtual “library time” what caught my attention was my son watching a video of a full-on political diatribe by a DC activist about the Dakota Access Pipeline under the guise of a “the making of” story of a picture book for 3-6-year-olds. After moving him rapidly on to another activity, I looked up the book in question. Titled “We Are Water Protectors,” it is the 2021 Caldecott Medal winner, sort of the Pulitzer prize for children’s picture books. This means that it is prominently featured in just about every public elementary school library in America, and it is a Best Seller on Amazon.

If you have five minutes, you can find YouTube videos of the entire book being read, including one by the author:

 

It uses obvious religious symbolism, literally describing the pipeline as an evil black snake prophesied by elders to come and destroy the world (see above, from the book). The “making of” video is apparently part of an effort to expand the interest to slightly older children and develop sort of a curriculum around the book. Call me old-fashioned, but I strive to keep politics out of our son’s life until he develops enough knowledge and critical thinking skills to weigh the evidence and form his own opinion on controversial issues. I must, however, be in a small minority, as you can find nary a word of criticism of the book online (aside from my own 1-star Amazon review). In case you missed the message, the book’s final page has a pledge that you are urged to have your child sign.

Published in Education
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  1. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    I am shepherding my third grade granddaughter through virtual school. They have a session at least twice a week where they listen to a recorded book, and then have to answer a few questions. Almost every story so far has featured a BIPOC central character. With MLK’s birthday just passed, and black history month coming up, I can predict what is coming. 

    To her teacher’s credit, the questions she asks focus on understanding the story rather than on the propaganda.

    • #1
  2. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

    We don’t need no thought control. Hey Teacher, leave those kids alone . . .

    Another Brick in the Wall came over the radio yesterday and just enthralled me.

    Its not that the song has aged well. Rather, the world aged right into the song. Pitch perfect! Listen to it before its censored (really).

    • #2
  3. Far North Professor Member
    Far North Professor
    @FarNorthProfessor

    I don’t have any problem with gauzy stories about taking care of the environment, that all people should be treated fairly, etc.; universal values that are reasonable for kids to learn, even if I’m not enamored with the leftist spin that is usually part of the subtext. This book, however, is just straight-up demonization of oil companies and spewing of political bile. It is not a fringe book that few kids will see; it is a best seller and major award winner. It’s in my kid’s library, and we’re in Alaska where the entire government is funded from revenue from an oil pipeline.

    • #3
  4. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Just another argument for home-schooling your kids if you can. 

    • #4
  5. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The only way to fix the country is to wrest control of public education away from the left.

    And that’s going to take a long march through the institutions.

    • #5
  6. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    (I didn’t watch the video.)

    To me, the issue isn’t so much that schools are teaching points of views– people hold a variety of points of views– the issue is that they are making specific points of views secular religions. It would be great if students left school knowing that people hold strong feelings about a variety of subjects and those subjects were actually up for debate. I don’t necessarily buy into the “teach kids how to think” view, I just think people should know that they are free to think and that aspect, I fear, is being lost in our educational system at an earlier and earlier age. 

    • #6
  7. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Two things here – the woman who wrote the book, Carol Lindstrom is “Anishinabe/Metis and is tribally enrolled with the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe. She was born and raised in Nebraska and currently makes her home in Maryland.” She is an activist (note the sign behind her in the video “No Dakota Access Pipeline”. This debate is still ongoing, and it looks like with Biden canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, that this will also be a challenge. https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/ruling-in-dakota-access-pipeline-dispute-favors-standing-rock-but-fight-not-over/article_c4288e22-e9a7-52a2-a35b-7f6fd50cd65a.html

    Alaska has a huge tribal community. I can understand this concern for the native people and their land. But this is a children’s book (2nd grade!) and in it she says that it poisons the water. Is the water poisoned there? The post author is right. We are turning small children into community activists, but it seems that is where we are headed full tilt – indoctrination instead of fun, lighthearted and silly stories until they are older and can understand what is really being presented. It is the same with the “Two Mommies” book, etc. 

    • #7
  8. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    My son is grown now, but I really would not send him to a public school at this point if he was still young.

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    My first-grade teacher was a nun with a masters in math (she and my mother were high school friends). She was incredibly patient, enthused and gifted. Most of my teachers were overqualified and excited about the subject matter and were never limited by the assigned text.

    If instead, a teacher is dull, intellectually lethargic, and bitter about his/her social status, then being a part of The Revolution, being Woke is very appealing. Teaching middle schoolers to write coherent paragraphs and read with depth is hard work and requires some personal skills and dedication whereas telling kids the country is racist and capitalism kills the planet requires no skill, limited intelligence, and almost no work. And if we lard up the teaching industry with gratuitous requirements to keep out the kind of bright young recent graduate who is often everyone’s favorite teacher a la Dead Poets Society, then the likelihood of building an ideologically uniform zombie cadre of morons become almost certain.

    • #9
  10. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    That agitprop children’s book is unbelievable.

    • #10
  11. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Skyler (View Comment):

    That agitprop children’s book is unbelievable.

    Although not unusual. Not at all.

    • #11
  12. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    Back when my kids were in school, I always was leery of any Caldicott or Newberry Award winning books. They were usually tendentious or tedious and frequently both.

    Good to know not much has changed.

    • #12
  13. dukenaltum Coolidge
    dukenaltum
    @dukenaltum

    I am sure this deep thinking and wonderful protector of water failed to comment that the Army Corp of Engineer needed to spend $1.1 million dollars to cleanup this protest site filling 835 dumpsters of waste along with dozens of toxic dump sites leeching into the ground water. Indigenous cultures are far worse at caring for nature than Western Civilization without the benefits of civilization like nylon and the internal combustion engine. 

     

    AP Photo

    • #13
  14. DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone Coolidge
    DrewInEastHillAutonomousZone
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Back when my kids were in school, I always was leery of any Caldicott or Newberry Award winning books. They were usually tendentious or tedious and frequently both.

    Good to know not much has changed.

    Many of the Newbery winners from before 1960 are quite good. But the ALA is way too leftist to be trusted these days.

    • #14
  15. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Give a child till he is seven and I will give you the man.

    Francis Xavier

    Co founder of the Jesuit order.

    • #15
  16. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    I put the below link in a comment to another post but added it here just to show that “We Are Water Protectors” is far from being an outlier.

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/01/26/netflix-to-spread-racist-indoctrination-with-3-new-ibram-x-kendi-projects/

    Education in America is under a multi-pronged attack; history, culture, science, you name it. I suppose I’m showing my age but, to me, putting a child into a public school is a form of child abuse; not much different than the Adolph-Hitler-Schulen in Nazi Germany.

    Home schooling, parochial schools and charter schools need to become our primary places of education. (I know that I may be preaching to the choir but it still makes me feel better.)

    • #16
  17. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    We began noticing this back in the early 2000’s with Sesame Street and its only gotten more insipid since. My two youngest boys watch Busytown videos on Amazon Prime. They were made in 1997 so they’re all fine but there are always ads before the video plays so you have to be careful. One of the ads was for a new Amazon series based on the If You Give A Mouse A Cookie book series. 

    I figured I’d give it a go, but turned it off after two minutes of eco-propaganda followed by a couple of pigs on a scooter that were a little too “familiar” wearing garb that looked a little too…how do I explain it? A little too, Freddie Mercury, perhaps. Maybe I was wrong but two strikes in two minutes left me wondering what they had stored for the final ten minutes. 

    Gotta be careful. 

    • #17
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    dukenaltum (View Comment):

    I am sure this deep thinking and wonderful protector of water failed to comment that the Army Corp of Engineer needed to spend $1.1 million dollars to cleanup this protest site filling 835 dumpsters of waste along with dozens of toxic dump sites leeching into the ground water. Indigenous cultures are far worse at caring for nature than Western Civilization without the benefits of civilization like nylon and the internal combustion engine.

     

    AP Photo

    No way. I saw that ad with the Indian crying back in the ’70s, so there. 

    • #18
  19. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Give a child till he is seven and I will give you the man.

    Francis Xavier

    Co founder of the Jesuit order.

    Does he have psychic powers like the other Xavier?

    • #19
  20. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Give a child till he is seven and I will give you the man.

    Francis Xavier

    Co founder of the Jesuit order.

    Does he have psychic powers like the other Xavier?

    No. He just knew how human development works.

    • #20