Melissa Harris-Perry doubles down on 'children don't belong to parents'
Well, not exactly "doubling down." You see, Perry changed the parameters of the debate by ignoring what she said in the ad, and creating an entirely new argument that is far more mainstream than what she actually implied:
One thing is for sure: I have no intention of apologizing for saying that our children, all of our children, are part of more than our households, they are part of our communities and deserve to have the care, attention, resources, respect and opportunities of those communities.
Is that what she said? No:
In the ad, Harris-Perry calls for "breaking through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents." Instead, she says, we should "recognize that kids belong to whole communities."
She didn't say kids were "a part of more than our households." She said they "belong to whole communities." That's a damn sight more radical than what she now claims she said.
Here's more of her deep thinking:
I believe wholeheartedly, and without apology, that we have a collective responsibility to the children of our communities even if we did not conceive and bear them. Of course, parents can and should raise their children with their own values. But they should be able to do so in a community that provides safe places to play, quality food to eat, terrific schools to attend, and economic opportunities to support them. No individual household can do that alone. We have to build that world together.
Again, this is not what she said in the ad. Her statement that we should break through "our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents" is a truly shocking statement, one that for all her "non-apologies" she never gets around to explaining.
I left a comment for her after this explanatory article:
You called for "breaking through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents." How else is a reasonable person to interpret that shocking statement except that you believe 1) there is no "private idea" that kids belong to their parents; and 2) that they belong to someone else. The implication is plain, despite your denials.
I am willing to grant you the benefit of the doubt for ill-chosen or perhaps inartful words spoken without much thought. But you might contemplate the notion that there are millions of parents in America who actively try to shield their children from your notion of "community" - something they have a perfect right to do considering the sorry state of our culture.
I have no doubt you are not advocating that government take people's children. That's a stretch and those who accuse you of it are a little balmy. But that doesn't mean that government can't radically interfere in the raising of children. I reject the analogy of comparing your idea to the Hitler Youth, but there is cause for concern that you obviously believe that the community can intervene in the child rearing process - without parental consent? A slippery slope to be sure.
This kind of radical communitarianism is an ideology shared by the president and many Democrats. The only way to combat it is constant, unremitting vigilance. Thanks to Harris-Perry, we are on our guard.