Can self-interest align with group interests to create a better world for kids? This was one of the larger questions that guided a recent discussion, Kids and Politics in the Year of Disruption, held at the University of Pennsylvania Law School on February 1.
Co-sponsored by Child’s World America and the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research, the event brought together local Philadelphia researchers, educators, health professionals, and community members interested in promoting children’s well-being under the Trump administration. Read more
In focus groups in Des Moines, Iowa, and Las Vegas, Nevada, a few years ago, voters were asked what their top issues were, but only one in each group of 20 mentioned an issue related to children. The economy, terrorism, the Middle East, and other issues were mentioned. Kids were an afterthought.
The focus group moderator and conservative communications strategist Frank Luntz proceeded to ask people — many parents, grandparents, and employees in professions that work with children — why they didn’t care about kids, and the participants became quite angry. “Why, of course, I care about kids!” several of them demanded. A few rose out of their chairs to further emphasize their passion for children. Read more
At a Trump rally in January, a girls’ musical trio, The U.S.A. Freedom Kids, gyrated on stage and denounced “enemies of freedom.” The youngest member was 8 years old.
At a rally in New Mexico, a child held a sign as big as she was, printed with words she likely could not spell: “I am not a rapist or a drug dealer.”
And a photo of a young boy and girl holding a “Fuck Donald Trump” sign, likely a manipulated image, went viral in March.
Yet in the discourse surrounding the approaching election, there is little mention in the media of the needs and challenges of America’s youngest citizens. News outlets reported at length on the crying baby Trump “kicked out” of a rally and the 10-year-old boy who yelled, about Clinton, “Take that bitch down,” but almost nothing has been said about the school readiness gap or the one in five American children who live in poverty. Read more
When it comes to government spending on children, race matters. In a 2016 review of the federal children’s budget, a growing racial divide was named as one of the largest issues facing American kids.
Demographer Dr. William Frey, who was present at the Children’s Budget Summit in Washington, D.C., hosted by the nonpartisan advocacy group First Focus, stated that America’s diversity explosion is “bigger than the Baby Boom.” By 2050, the United States will be home to more African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans than whites. In fact, since 2011, more babies from minority populations have been born in the United States than white babies, a demographic reversal that is likely here to stay.
Children of color are the future of the United States. But will they have access to the education and resources they need to reach their potential? Read more