The education system is arguably the most important facet of society today. It helps mold the next generation. The power the next generation holds is unmeasurable. Think about it. Trends are controlled by young people. Another thing that has been dominated by young people is activism.
Alexander Hamilton was 21 years old in 1776. He is just a minute example of a young person who changed the course of history. Malala Yousafzai, Samantha Smith, Greta Thunberg, Marley Dias, Kelvin Doe. All younger people, past and present, that have left their footprints all over history. It comes as no shock this is one of the first demographics extremist groups gravitate towards when they are wanting to bring their agenda to fruition.
In May of 2019, the United Nations identified non-state armed groups in 15 different countries that were recruiting and using children. They also identify a handful of things that can lead to children falling victim to these extremist groups. Those are geographic proximity to conflict, economic vulnerability, social or political marginalization, permissive family and social networks, and exposure to propaganda. Any combination of these things could lead to a bad choice being made in the future.
In the United States during the Bush years in the 2000’s, Evangelical Christians were put on display in a documentary called Jesus Camp. It follows a youth pastor who leads a camp for kids to learn about Christianity. Throughout the entire documentary, it is repeated over and over that the kids are going to be the ones to change the world and push their agenda to end abortion. They cheer the kids on and reward them for doing things like spreading the word to other kids and joining in anti abortion protests. This always comes with flyers and pamphlets the kids can take home with them.
When we look back further in history, we see the exact same things. In Germany, after Hitler was released from jail, his brown shirts began a legal offensive. They invaded the government at low levels, they went to schools and got children to agree to go to meetings with them after school ended. Once in these positions, they changed the curriculum to fit what they would need to further their agenda. They would ban textbooks that could potentially challenge their ideation to the point where every book had to go through a thorough check by the group itself. While this was going on, teachers who were Jewish or who disagreed with the Nazi party were dismissed. All new teachers were forced to be a member of the Nazi party. A rise in private schools happened as well. These schools were specifically designed to help kids fast track their way to being a major part of the Nazi party.
Locally, People’s Rights held a rally within 500 feet of a high school after spending time encouraging kids to come. They made attempts at getting their people on local school boards. Knowing they have a majority of the school board in Redmond that agrees with their ideation, they have made it known that is where they will attempt to push their agenda the furthest in Central Oregon. This isn’t just happening here though. Across the country, voting rights have come in to question again. Some states have banned the teaching of critical race theory or literally anything that could hurt a Caucasian persons feelings. Most of the alt right groups are advocating for home schooling or private schooling now so they can control what their children learn. We all know this means they don’t want their kids to learn real American history. If they did, we wouldn’t be having these conversations. Nazis are a part of American history and one we absolutely have to learn from before its too late.
It has been said locally that People’s Rights plans try something with elementary schools next. They will have help with this thanks to websites like conservakids. This website, a website with fans like Ben Shapiro, has slogans like “Act today to preserve tomorrow!” or “American values are under attack!”. When you start looking through the website, you notice things like a lack of diversity and a hyper focus to make America look like the good guy. This way of teaching has given a huge false sense of reality to many generations. Thankfully, with a lot of help from almost completely unfiltered access to the internet, this appears to be shifting. Especially with younger generations.
If you are approaching children to push your agenda, you are clearly exhibiting predatory behavior. It does not matter what side of the aisle you sit on, this should never take place. Especially outside of a school. If the kids want to seek you out, they will. The next generation is brilliant and can handle this type of decision. It is on us to make sure they are safe while they are growing.
***photo is of Adolph Hitler inspecting formation of Hitler youth. Superimposed is a photo of a flier handed out by "People's Rights" encouraging children to skip school and join adults in a nearby park. Text read "Part Two: Hitler's Children" in white and red.***