But What About The Children?

When I was growing up–admittedly, sometime during the Ice Age–children were admonished to tell the truth by being told the story of George Washington and the Cherry Tree.

Granted, it turned out that the story was a fable, but it was widely believed because George Washington was considered an admirable man, an excellent President and an all-around role model for the nation’s children.

Donald John Trump, not so much.

And that’s a problem, because it turns out that Presidential behavior really does encourage imitation. It can normalize ugly behavior, and not just in the already flawed/racist adults that comprise Trump’s base.

A regular reader of this blog recently shared this article with me. After I stopped puking, I decided to share it.

Evidently, it isn’t just Trump’s constant lying, with the implication that “truth” is whatever you want it to be. The article referenced studies that find America’s children using Trumpian rhetoric to bully their classmates–mostly Latino, Muslim and Black classmates.

Children across the US are using Donald Trump’s rhetoric to bully their classmates, a report has found.

The Washington Post reviewed articles throughout Mr Trump’s presidency that reference elementary, middle, or high school bullying and found students using the president’s inflammatory statements, which are often described as racist or xenophobic, to bully.

The newspaper analysed 28,000 articles starting from the beginning of 2016 for its research relating to bullying in the classroom. It found Mr Trump’s words, chants at his campaign rallies, and even his last name were used by students and staff members to harass other people in more than 300 reported incidents.

Of those incidents, 75 per cent showed inflammatory language relating to Mr Trump directed at students who are Hispanic, Muslim or black.

The article recounts incidents in which Latino students were subjected to taunts of “build the wall” and “Make America Great Again.” In one particularly horrific account, last year in New Jersey a 13-year-old boy told his 12-year-old Mexican American classmate that “all Mexicans should go back behind the wall”.

The classmate’s mother approached the bully the next day about his comment and was beaten unconscious by the child.

Buzzfeed also analyzed the impact of Trump’s words and their use to bully other students, and found 50 incidents in 26 states where students who were intimidating or harassing other children used phrases frequently employed by the president.

One incident happened at a high school in Shakopee, Minnesota, where boys in Donald Trump shirts swarmed a black teenage girl and sang The Star-Spangled Banner. But instead of singing the correct lyrics, they replaced the closing line with “and home of the slaves”.

There are multiple reports of native-born white children telling Hispanic or Asian classmates that they will be deported, that they aren’t “real” Americans.

While on a school bus in San Antonio, Texas, a white eighth grader told a Filipino classmate, “You are going to be deported.” A black classmate in Brea, California, was told by a white eighth grader, “Now that Trump won, you’re going to have to go back to Africa, where you belong.”

As incredibly corrupt as he is, as horrible as his policy positions are, and as hurtful to the nation’s most vulnerable children, the emerging research about Trump’s effect on the lessons we want to teach the young about civility, morality and ethics–not to mention racism, sexism and other assorted bigotries– is arguably even more damaging.

Assuming we soundly defeat this crude, ignorant, semi-literate buffoon in November, we will have a lot of remedial work to do. If we don’t, it will be too late to save the children.


  1. “the already flawed/racist adults that comprise Trump’s base”. Is it true Trump’s base is 49% of our fellow citizens? We’re lost

  2. Donald Trump’s presidency, however he got there, has proven that age-old adage to be true; “Anyone in America can grow up to be president.”

    He has also proven his claim that as president he is allowed to do and say anything and everything he wants with no restraint. His claim that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and no one would do anything to him could prove to be true and isn’t beyond his mental limitations; unless he shot Mitch McConnell.

    Trump is a bully of the worst kind; a wealthy bully who buys supporters, voters, staff members and judges. His need to control by firing those who testified to the truth against him in the impeachment brought about a temporary reining in, possibly by White House staff. To maintain control he is now on a temporary criminal pardoning spree to distract from the unConstitutional control he has taken over the DOJ. He hasn’t forgotten those who testified against him truthfully; he will get back to them to get his revenge. IF – IF – the sentencing of Roger Stone happens as scheduled on Thursday, it will be very revealing as to his control over the courts, the Judicial branch of our government.

    Our Constitutional Freedom of Speech comes without the disclaimer of requiring TRUTH. An oversight by our Founding Fathers or their deep trust in future leaders to protect us from anything such as this Trump administration by upholding the Constitution?

  3. This report begs the question of where the bullies got exposed to the hate and bigotry. Is Fox News blaring all day at home? Do the adults in their lives repeatedly parrot the rhetoric of DJT? Have the been taken to a “rally” by an adult? Bigoted children to not arise spontaneously. Adults are their role models, whether at home, at school, at church, at sporting events or on media of any kind.

    The bullies of the world are reveling in the license that has been given by 45 to belittle, name-call, threaten, retaliate, all while whining about how abused they themselves are.

    Unless we all recognize the poison of hate and firmly call it out for what it is at every occasion, it will never stop. It might never stop anyway, but it definitely won’t if we do nothing.

    The vitriol and rhetoric coming from some of the Dem candidates, attacking and calling to question actions of other candidates, some from decades ago, are very troubling. Let’s hear where he/she stands on the important issues that we face as a city, state, country and world. What can/should we do to address systemic injustice, erosion of rule of law, corruption and greed, not just be government but private entities with disproportionate wealth and its power? How do we save our world from poisons we spew with complete disregard to the futures of our children and their children? How do we join with like-minded allies around the world to address the most pressing threats we all face?

    That’s what I want to hear about.

  4. Although I am willing to blame Trump for almost anything, I think that the kind of verbal and physical behavior described here is due to Trump, funneled through and amplified by the kids’ parents. How many thirteen-year old kids would pay attention to campaign speeches if their parents didn’t spout that kind of language?

  5. Oh, yes. It’s the parents…and the churches that do the parroting here. And, if Trump wasn’t so self-absorbed, he’d probably glory in these despicable actions by our citizens playing the Trump-like hate cards. Race shaming has always been part of our society, but this latest form of virulent hate is brought about by one man only.


    I wish we could do as you imply and suggest. I’d hold your beer. This latest assault on the rule of law and the dictatorial comments and speeches by the orange hairball is asking for serious measures.

  6. Just a couple days ago tRump called rush limbaugh to tell him not to apologize for his derogatory remark about Buttegieg kissing his husband. tRump specifically said “Never Apologize”.

    I have no doubt that tRump’s father taught that to him and 45 surely also taught this to his own children when they were toddlers.

  7. I would love to see the media ignore 45 for a week. If he acted even more outrageously, they could add another week and continue until election day, if necessary.

  8. Vernon,

    “Marv, I wish we could do as you imply and suggest. I’d hold your beer.”

    Why don’t we try to do something together? I’ve always considered your work the best on the SURFACE LEVEL. But this is a TWO-LEVEL DOMESTIC WAR and the SUBSURFACE LEVEL is just as important, and maybe more so.

    Don’t forget the Germans lost W.W. II at the SUBSURFACE LEVEL with the invention and perfection of SONAR.

  9. On a positive note – my 5 year old grandson’s kindergarten class in a Noblesville elementary school has several students of different nationalities. These students are accepted among their classmates. Some of them only spoke Spanish and are being taught English while the American born students are taught some Spanish in order to enable them to communicate with and assist their classmates.

    My grandson’s daycare was in a woman’s home. She takes care of maybe six children of various ages at a time and schedules daily activities that include learning how to speak some Spanish and how to count in Spanish. By the time my grandson was 3 he could speak Spanish well enough to enable people to understand what he was saying. He also learned to count in German.

    By the way, his teacher is white and as American as can be. She has chosen to prepare her daycare children to be as prepared as possible for their future.

    My son’s elementary school is in an upper class neighborhood, yet they are teaching the children to accept all races and to learn about the countries where their classmates (or their parents) came from.

  10. Peggy Hannon – my friends and I have spoken about what we think would happen if all media sources cut out 45 for a week. We believe that he would self-destruct by exploding!

    It is such a nice thought.

  11. Just out of curiosity, has a study been done on this kind of behavior in children pre 2016? I wonder if this is just an example of awful children finding a new thing/way to be awful. I mean, I suspect awful children existed before 2016 and without a study looking at pre-Trump behavior, it’s not really fair to attribute it all to him.

    I find Trump seems to be the excuse more than the cause much of the time.

  12. oh how I love the idea of the news boycotting reporting ANYTHING that DJT does for a week! It would be so fun to watch him implode!

  13. You’ve got to be taught
    To hate
    And fear
    You’ve got to be taught
    From year
    To year
    Its got to
    Be drummed in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to
    Be carefully
    You’ve got to be taught
    To be
    Of people
    Who’s eyes are oddly made
    And people who’s skin is a different shade
    You’ve got to
    Be carefuly
    You’ve got to be taught
    Before it’s too late
    Before you are six
    Or seven
    Or eight
    To hate all the people
    Your relatives hate
    You’ve got to
    Be carefully taught

    Matthew Morrison, Oscar Hammerstein II

  14. In all of this descent into distopia there are numerous new American heroes for our children to model. There are Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and Ambassador William Taylor, and not to be missed is Marie Yovanovitch.
    Parents and teachers could instruct the children in their care about what an oath to protect the Constitution means, and that sometimes great courage and sacrifice are needed to keep that oath. They could compare straight talking Adam Schiff with the cowardice of Senator Susan Collins. They could teach about lying and fake news and hypocrisy. They could open that mental health can of worms for a look at narcissism used to disguise inadequacies, also known as bullying.
    What appears to be a time of defeat for goodness actually holds opportunities for passing on all that is good and decent in our country.

  15. Well, one sure way to urge the media to avoid Trump is to stop watching or reading it. You won’t become misinformed if you stop watching the so-called news, weather, and sports at 6pm. You also won’t become misinformed if you stop watching your favorite cable news channel.

    We are reactionary participants to his accumulation of power. What’s funny is watching Hillary Clinton trying to become relevant again by bashing Democratic leaders in the presidential primary. Hillary, John Podesta, and the DNC opened the bottle and let the genie out in 2016. Instead of owning that, and coming clean to the American people, we’ve spent billions in time and resources on blaming Russia, which has taken on a life of its own.

    “Oh, the tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.”

    With the culturally mixed kids we have today, I am not concerned. I’ve heard many stories about two or three kids approaching white racists and condemning them for hate speech. Some have even threatened to kick their arses if they hear them speaking down to a classmate again.

    But yes, there will always be parents who subject their kids to hate “them” or those “other people.”

    It comes from a place of fear, and fear is very easy to manipulate. Rupert Murdoch’s news agencies prey on other’s fears. Public relations firms can shape entire campaigns against people who are full of fear. They are an easy mark for conmen like Trump.

    To be clear, those public relations firms have data supporting the fears of most Democrats as well. Mike Bloomberg is exploiting those fears as we speak.

    It’s fascinating to observe…

  16. Marv,

    O.K. How can we get in contact? Do we ask Sheila to hook us up? I’m also on FB if that helps.

  17. This is a case where some parents, typically those who support Trumputin, are raising bullies and making it harder for all other parents to raise responsible children because they are the ones being bullied. It drags the country closer to the third world banana republic that is the ultimate dream of the oligarchy wealth redistributing non-republic that is the Trumputin wet dream.

    They are winning at the moment thanks largely to Mitch McConnell. We have one peaceful opportunity to restore the republic that we are promised by the Constitution.

    Support 2020 perfect vision by voting blue no matter who. This is no longer a political issue but existential in terms of what we bequeath to our children and theirs. Let’s win with democracy back so we can avoid the barricades.

  18. George Washington was on the English side during the so-called French and Indian Wars of 1756-1763. Europeans at the time decided that they gained title to indigenous lands in North America (from Indians) by “right of exploration,” a novel idea. I have written elsewhere that if I were an East Coast Indian I would explore Manhattan Island, claim title by ” a right of exploration,” and sue Wall Street and Broadway businesses in trespass (an old common law remedy) and have the court expel them. Title by right of exploration represents a colonial excuse for theft of land from indigenous inhabitants in North America and the rest of the earth during Washington’s time all the way to the end of such colonialism following WW II.

    Against this background, Washington emerged as an anti-English revolutionary. I have always maintained that we did not have an American revolution but rather an English revolution fought on colonial soil as Athenian democracy collided with the dictatorship of George III, but however framed, Washington emerged as a democratic hero for the ages, refusing to run for a third term, understanding the Separation of Powers clause as one of limitation of executive powers (unlike Trump and Barr’s theory of “unitary executive powers” in Article II) etc. He and Trump were and are polar opposites both in their private and public lives.

    Washington was not perfect, of course. Before his military and political notoriety he was known as the chief whiskey maker in the colonies, whiskies made by his slaves, and without the assistance of the French (de Grasse) at Yorktown, would probably have not been the recipient of Cornwallis’s sword.

    So to Sheila’s point, the comparison of Trump with Washington? Trump doesn’t compare with any other president. Period. He doesn’t know how to represent anyone but himself. It’s baked in via his narcissistic nature. He will go down in history, way down, as our worst president. Our task today is to somehow hold our democracy together until we can remove this cancer from our body politic, after which we will have much work to do in repairing the carnage he has imposed (with the help of Republican see no evil types) on our country. Let’s redouble our resistance to this budding Hitler – and persevere.

  19. Keep singing it brothers and sisters….

    You who are on the road
    Must have a code that you can live by
    And so become yourself
    Because the past is just a good-bye.
    Teach your children well,
    Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
    And feed them on your dreams
    The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
    Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
    So just look at them and sigh
    And know they love you.

    Crosby, Stills and Nash

  20. Lester, how appropriate! Nice find.

    Hey Marv, hey Vernon, conspiratorial camaraderie, LOL, you always “Tell it like it TIZ”

    I know Marv can verify this, not that it’s uncommon knowledge, but people tend to forget history, that children were so indoctrinated in Nazi Germany, taught by propaganda spewed in the schools, and not only by governmental plants, disruptors and under cutters of parental authority, but also young manipulated charismatic peers to plant the seeds of hatred that weren’t planted in the home.

    I remember reading this article that Sheila is talking about, and not only is it disturbing, it is evident in areas especially those in areas that are not as diverse, although not limited to that. There should be 0 tolerance by the school districts, or private schools, and expulsions should not be a last resort. A message needs to be sent not only to the kids, but to their parents and other racist sycophants, intolerance is not acceptable!

    I know I know I know, that’s actually being intolerant, but, if one was to let their conscience be their guide, unless it was completely corrupted, there would be some nagging feeling that hating your neighbor and fellow man is wrong. Of course, as was commented on before, conscience is in short supply!

    This country, especially those who love to hate “Others,” claim to be steered by Christian values, but what are those values?

    The Mosaic law, directed the Israelites to love their neighbors, (Leviticus 19:18) unfortunately, this was a foregleam towards apostasy today. The Pharisees and Sadducees of the Sanhedrin, those who were supposed to uphold Mosaic law, claimed the law only applied to Israelites as far as loving your neighbor, so everyone else was considered an enemy. And I suppose that included all of the non-Israelite proselytes that would’ve had to of been considered enemies. They manipulated the Mosaic law and Hebrew Scriptures to include the word “HATE,” as in hate your enemy.

    Jesus Christ said, to love your fellow man i.e. neighbor, and to love God, and the whole law hangs on this! So what Christ was saying if you go through Matthew the 5th chapter, is that if you do not love your neighbor, you cannot love your God, and therefore the Mosaic law would be useless to you. And just as the members of the Sanhedrin promoted apostate teachings, teachings that burdened worshipers with false doctrines, and UNDUE stress so the Mosaic law adherents would stay subservient to the religious ruling class, so do today’s evangelical leadership which controls a huge majority of Protestant lemming-like goats and leads them to the slaughtering of conscience and conscientiousness.

    Children in Nazi Germany turned in their parents, their grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, brothers and sisters, teachers, priests and pastors, everyone who spoke out against the ravages and injustices of the Nazi party. And, also commented on, we have heard with our own ears, that with the demise of the older generation, there will be a demise of the racism and inequality, that somehow magically it would be a Kumbiya moment, except this generation has already been corrupted, and it will take not only years but many decades, basically a lifetime of the children who are alive now, to eradicate. Or maybe I should say after their lifetime.

    But since history is cyclical, expect the same thing to happen in the future that’s happened in the past and present. Mankind cannot control his evil tendencies by himself, there needs to be something more! But, those who seek power will always provide the wedges to enable the cretins!

    Upon becoming Christians, persons who formerly hated one another do so no longer. (Titus 3:3) The one hating his brother is still walking in darkness, and any claim on his part to be a lover of God would really be a lie. Hatred of one’s brother is tantamount to murder. (1st John 2:9, 11; 4:20; 3:15.)

    The love Scripture talked about was “Agape” which is a moral or social love, and not just a personal attachment. Agape transcends enmity against personal grievance and prevents a like for like transgression against the law as mentioned above. So basically, you love your fellow man, or as in the Mosaic law, love your enemies (Exodus 23 4, 5; Job 31:29; Proverbs 24:17, 18; 25:21), and as Christ said love God which is both in the Mosaic law and the law of Christ!

    As Christ spoke of in Matthew the 5th chapter;(I’m paraphrasing) happy are the mild tempered, happy are those who mourn, happy are those conscious of their spiritual needs, happy are the merciful, happy are the pure in heart, happy are the peacemakers, happy are the persecuted, happy are those who have been reproached, because they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world!

    I think the hypocrites have not gotten the memo, I’m Absolutely confident they will shortly!

  21. And not daring letting a little irony slip by….”Be Best”, Melania’s signature work is….anti-bullying!

  22. Wayne, Trump’s base isn’t anywhere close to 49% of the population. On a good day, 35% at the most. The other 10% comes from the performance of the economy When the economy goes down (as it inevitably does regardless of who the President is – Presidents don’t “run” the American economy), his support will be down to about 35% or lower The economy probably isn’t going to tank before the election though. The Ds can still win easily though if they just hold serve on the states Trump won in 2016 and win back Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. (They can even afford to give away New Hampshire which the Ds won last time.) The Ds can lose Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia and other swing states and still win the election, if they just win back Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. They are all three very, very winnable states. In fact, the D nominee will probably be favored in all three states if the party just doesn’t nominate a 78 year old socialist who recently had a heart attack. The 2018 election should be the model for 2020.

  23. wow, everyone came together today to start a movement,, shades of nam era..thanks, im in williston n.d. today,loading for hexas…ill be inspired by todays converstions,im on the discussion circut with like minded workers, and a wake up of what they are distroying..best wishes all,, its been a good day!

  24. Jack,

    I met a lady from Williston at a golf exposition here in Denver a couple weeks ago. She also said the walleye fishing nearby was very good. BTW, did you know that Williston was one of the stops made by Lewis and Clark as they found their way to Oregon? Yeah. I know. I’m a geek.

  25. Yeah Lester,

    FLOTUS is a hypocrite! Her father was a labeled fascist, And obviously her parents are the kind of immigrants Trump likes because he brought them over, she herself has sold her soul to the devil! But not just her, all of the sycophantic hangers on.

    And as a sidebar, I’m just listening to Rod Blagojevich sing the praises of Donald Trump, he calls himself a Trumpocrat now, and that’s a problem! Rod Blagojevich has a huge African-American following in Illinois and branches out across the country. I really envision him out campaigning for Trump, and extolling his virtues! He’s been doing that already for the past 20 minutes. One thing about Rod Blagojevich, he knows how to communicate! And what was done to him was unfortunate and unfair. A 15 year sentence for what he never even accomplished, was much more than he should’ve gotten. I will guarantee this, if he gets on the road and campaigns for Trump, he can speak better and more convincingly than any of the Democratic candidates for president. That’s going to be a huge problem.

  26. Jack,

    “wow, everyone came together today to start a movement,, shades of nam era..thanks,”

    Let’s hope you’re right. We haven’t lost, not yet at least.

  27. John,

    I doubt that Rod Blago can keep his following of African Americans. He’s been in jail, lost all his connections and can’t bribe anybody because he has no money. He’s a crook and will always be a crook. Oh, and to your comments about him speaking in public: Everyone’s bullshit meter is highly sensitive these days….except for the Trump clown show, I guess.

  28. Vernon,

    Everyone’s BS meter is highly sensitive these days, LOL, maybe!

    Blagojevich has a larger national following than you might think. He is connected to the remnants of the Martin Luther King alliance. If you saw his news conference today, half of the people around him were African-American! Trump knew what he was doing, and I wouldn’t sell Blagojevich short by any stretch.

    Jesse Jackson jr. Is also a politician that’s fallen from Grace, LOL, but he is standing Head and shoulders next to Blagojevich.
    In the community, there is a certain comfort in dealing with the devil you know, Trump doesn’t have to peel off a lot of the African American vote, but Blagojevich might be successful and helping him peel off enough.

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