Parenting Chicken Hawks? [Reader Post]

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The conservasphere has been having a field day with this one. In case you haven’t seen it yet, MSNBC has a new “Lean Forward” ad campaign featuring on-air personality Melissa Harris-Perry weighing in on public education, and how it relates to children and their families:

“We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had a private notion of children, your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility and not just the household’s we start making better investments.”

Where to begin with the creepiness of this? Or that some executive at MSNBC thought a clip like this would bolster the network’s credibility as a serious news organization? As my regular readers know I don’t write about topics where someone else smarter than me has already weighed in, so I’ll give you the best analysis I’ve caught so far. The guys over at Trifecta – Scott Ott, Steven Green & Bill Whittle give this bit of intellectual effluent the ridicule it so thoroughly deserves. The video is well worth taking nine minutes to watch.

For those of you who didn’t watch the video, the most damning argument against her view is the reality of educational spending in the United States. The problem is not that money isn’t being spent, it’s that it’s being spent on the kind of people who, well, probably spent too much time taking classes learning the kind of worthless grievance mongering that Harris-Perry teaches.

So when the controversy broke, Harris-Perry did what any sensible leftist would do when caught saying something dumb – she doubled down on stupid:

“So those of you who were alarmed by the ad can relax. I have no designs on taking your children. Please keep your kids! But I understand the fear. We do live in a nation where slaveholders took the infants from the arms of my foremothers and sold them for their own profit. We do live in a nation where the government snatched American Indian children from their families and “re-educated” them by forbidding them to speak their language and practice their traditions. But that is not what I was talking about, and you know it.”

Translation: “I have very strong views on this subject, and when you present me with facts that contradict my beliefs it hurts my feelings.”

So where does the title of my post come in? A while back I wrote about the hypocrisy of the left on environmental issues by using the “Chicken Hawk” term:

I’m just glad that Foghorn Leghorn isn’t raising me!

One term that the left liked to use in criticism of anyone who disagreed with Kerry, and more specifically, also supported the war in Iraq was a “Chicken Hawk.” The term was a play on the “Hawks vs. Doves” argument in terms of one’s view of warfare, and was referring to the pro-war Hawks being too chicken to enlist. When you get down to it, it probably wasn’t the best term for what was trying to be conveyed, since chicken hawks are birds of prey, not to mention the name of one of the coolest Warner Brothers characters drawn in the Bugs Bunny cartoons. The intended meaning was directed toward anyone of fighting age or with children of fighting age who were not serving in Iraq. The basic message was that the leftists were justified in opposing the war because they were trying to bring the troops back home beside them. If you supported the war and weren’t volunteering to enlist and personally throw yourself on an IED or have your sons do so you had no moral standing to support the war.

I use the Chicken Hawk term for anyone out there who is spouting this “It takes a village” vomit about raising a child. It takes a parent, preferably two. In fairness to Harris-Perry, there is small bit of truth to what she says. When Sister Babe and I were looking for a home a huge factor was finding a good neighborhood to raise children. The schools in the area ranked high on our list, as did the neighborhood, what places were in driving or walking distance, etc. And I can see where the notion that children belonging to the state goes hand in hand with leftist notions of responsibility. As I summed up our differences in philosophy a while back:

Conservative: “I should do something to help”
Leftist: “Someone else should be forced to do something to help”

But no matter how much we love our community, the school teachers, and our neighbors, at the end of the day the ones responsible for raising any children are their parents. You’re not the one getting up to feed my baby when he’s crying at 4:00 AM, you’re not the one who’s carrying around a 15 pound dead weight when he’s fussing, you sure as (dung) aren’t the one who carried and gave birth to him. If you want to raise a kid, raise a kid yourself. Don’t tell me how mine “belongs” to you and your statist friends. Or as @iowahawk tweeted, “Feminists: “don’t like abortion? Fine, don’t have one.” Me: “want to raise children? Fine, make your own.””

Out of curiosity I looked Harris Perry’s web site to see what she’s doing these days. In addition to having a show on MSNBC, she is also a teacher at Tulane University, an author, and of course, professional victimhood advocate as the founding Director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. That’s a lot to do for anyone, but I also checked around and saw that she has a daughter who is around ten years old. One thing parenting quickly teaches everyone is humility and not to judge other parents, but maybe if instead of juggling so many projects she spent more time being a mother she wouldn’t see such a great need for state ownership of her child? I have no idea of what her husband’s role is in raising their daughter, but when they got married he knew what he was getting into (the daughter was from a first marriage). Hopefully he plays a more active role than the state in raising the girl? Being a parent means a lot of sacrifices, and actually trying to be a good parent means a lot more sacrifice. I sincerely hope that their family has found that right balance that works for them. And of course, this entire discussion raises a very uncomfortable question for leftist thought: How come for the first nine months of life a child is nothing more than “a choice” for a woman to make, but after birth it belongs to the community?

And don’t worry, Ms. Harris-Perry. I can assure you that I’m taking an active role in raising Baby Bob. After all, someone has to help prepare him for the day when he sits in the classroom being taught by one of your disciples.

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

74 Responses to “Parenting Chicken Hawks? [Reader Post]”

  1. 51

    Nathan Blue

    @SkippingDog: You say “false equivalency”; others say “believing whatever fulfills your own fallacy.” You’re just parsing words . . . and facts. You believe what you want–I’m glad you have the right to do so. But I still think getting on GWB while giving Obama a pass is simple bias that is hard to respect as conversation. Invoking rhetoric gimmickry (false equivalency . . . brilliant) makes you look dumb . . . and more like a “nut” than not.

    I devote a small portion of my time to debunking right-wing nonsense and trying to get my countrymen to focus on rational and realistic assessments of both our national circumstances and the realistic methods by which we might make some improvements to our country.

    Bandying words over relativistic opinions and “facts” on a political blog isn’t rational, or realistic (unless your aim is to annihilate those with a different point of view than your own, and pissing off “righties” gives a little satisfaction). It’s rather silly, and bit naive. If anything, you’re convincing those concerned countrymen (and countrywomen . . . leftists tend to be subconsciously sexist, so I’ll fill in the equality gaps for the still-oppressed women out there) that there really is an end to the Great Conversation, and it all comes down to petty quips that distract and ultimately do nothing.

    If you have lots of extra time on your hands (since you humbly told us your world, and everyone benefiting from your presence, is “doing as well as humanly possible”), perhaps its time to act on your sense of charity and do some real humanitarian work. Something that helps people, rather than talking about helping people while spouting hate-speech. You’re not helping your cause here, you’re only hurting it . . .

  2. 52


    Nathan Blue
    I like that comment
    please allow me to take some of that in my future comments,
    you have a way to turn sentences perfectly

  3. 53

    Nathan Blue

    @ilovebeeswarzone: Thanks for the kudos, bees. Likewise.
    It’s just good to converse and trade ideas/experiences, whether they come from the “right” or “left”. I can’t abide necessarily “identifying” with a side, though my views put me in a camp, for sure (hate to admit it, but there it is). However, logic keeps bringing me into the midst of a growing political mindset, and that usually is called conservative. I’ll only call it “healthy”.

    I’m getting old, I guess (yeah right . . . I’m only 35).

  4. 54


    Nathan Blue
    35 is perfect to enter POLITIC, I see you have the right stuff,
    I like RAND PAUL, HIS STANCE IS of a real cool politician which is ready to take on the AMERICA
    with the biggest challenges ever for a new PRESIDENT,
    what’s your opinion may I add?

  5. 55

    Nathan Blue

    @ilovebeeswarzone: Considering my analysis is superficial, I’d say I think tPaul would be great for our country, in any capacity he can serve, in the short and long run.

    Will the liberal-run media find some non-story about him they will use to negatively “brand” him in a way to preclude thoughtful voting (Yes, Rubio and water bottle come to mind . . . as does Howard Dean and the “AAEEAAHHHhhh!– it can happen on both sides)? Yup.

    But beyond those hurdles, I’m starting to see how hard the internal politics of the con/rep side make it for new blood to get out there and help Americans. Still learning about what a RINO is, conceptually.

    We’ll see in 2016 if the lib propaganda machine has completely compromised the flow of real information to discriminating voters. I’m worried that is will take more than merely winning an election to oust the tyrants now putting the finishing touches on the start of an illegitimate American dynasty (take that comment with a grain of salt).

  6. 56


    Nathan Blue
    do you see, WE, AMERICA, cannot afford to sink further in socialistic mindset,
    we have the WHOLE world with their eyes on us, to do the right thing,
    and if we don’t move with ascertainment a sure footing,
    they get worry for themselves,
    we where always there, that cannot be change so easy, we always had a moral duty,
    we train the WORLD that way, and they are taking us for granted, but we are responsible for having been
    there to take on the dictators anywhere with a cost of blood unmeasurable after these centuries,
    now we must take care of ourselves because we are sinking deep, we must know the right measure of keeping to help us, and the measure of giving our blood and money,
    that ‘s why we must take a step back to focus on our own citizens hurting no jobs, depress needing boosting
    needing good feelings needing to see our effort to help them before anyone else a total focus on our priority is THE PEOPLE of AMERICA the AMERICANS, those who also came back from almost getting killed a hundred time need to work the young who come out of school ready to take on their future need to be busy, we don’t want more felons we need to give them jobs also they are AMERICAN blood,
    they are priority to any foreigner coming to learn skills in our schools, and also priority to the illegals which no matter that OBAMA want to call them the new majority.
    they aint no new majority, they won’t be either, we must make sure of it.
    if you take on the politic path, make sure of it.
    you’re character could achieve much for the PEOPLE, if you keep the focus why you got in

  7. 57


    Nathan Blue
    I like DYNASTY the real one are the salt of this EARTH,
    we are there because of them.
    we are required to do our outmost for keeping the salt on the EARTH, this EARTH,

  8. 59

    This one

    She has a point:

    Melissa Harris-Perry Stands By Promo: ‘Our Children Are Not Our Private Property’ (VIDEO)

    Melissa Harris-Perry dove headfirst on Saturday into the weeklong controversy about her MSNBC promo.

    Harris-Perry became the target of relentless conservative attacks for the ad, in which she said society needed to think in a collective manner about its children and that “we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to their communities.” On his MSNBC show, Chris Hayes estimated that the 30-second promo had, when you added it up, been covered for over an hour on Fox News during the week—even though it was aired for just a total of four minutes on MSNBC.

    Speaking on her weekend show, Harris-Perry said she thought the spot had been “relatively benign,” and was surprised by the reaction it got. She assured viewers that she did not intend to steal their children from them. But she stood by her statement.

    “I believe our children are not our private property,” she said. “They are not just extensions of ourselves.”

    Then, Harris-Perry explained why she thought she had caused such a ruckus. She said the fight over the ad was, at its core, the same argument the left and the right have been having for centuries.

    “This isn’t about me wanting to take your kids,” she said. “This is about whether we as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good. And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years.”

  9. 61


    @Nathan Blue: I’m still involved in many of the activities I posted for you, Nathan, so I’m acting on my beliefs and making tangible contributions still and regularly. That doesn’t preclude the occasional amusement I get from pissing off righties. I think of it as a guilty pleasure.

  10. 63


    think collective, think SOCIALIST, think MARXIST, scary stuff
    think COMMUNIST,
    no we won’t, not in AMERICA, not for long, you are almost done ready to go and get in the hasbeen,
    which AMERICA couldn’t wait to see this time come and IT”S coming soon,
    you where not fit for this grand AMERICA, no SOCIALIST IMPOSITION FOR HER,
    no ZOMBIES socialist from the GLOBAL ZONE,
    this is AMERICA who reject being a multiple photocopy of the same leader,

  11. 64

    Larry Sheldon

    @This one (the John?):

    have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good

    Neither “society” nor any component has that right for any purpose. (All have a right to ask me to yield for some agreed-upon purpose…..)

  12. 65


    you are a sicko, and you won’t have your fun too long
    you like pissing on righty hey?
    that work both way, we will piss on you when you show up here,
    unless CURT let you piss in the cyber space all by yourself,

  13. 67


    you are the one to think before you talk of your fun pissing the righty you said,
    now it’s out, so don’t be surprise to see a chair flying in your direction when you arrive,
    or a drone would do fine for a troll.

  14. 68

    Brother Bob


    @Skipping Dog #39: I hope you’re still following this thread. With all of the comment traffic that’s flowed this is the only one I have time to respond to right now. Interestingly enough, I think that in this specific comment you’ve argued for both of our cases here…

    First off, great answer! Seriously, I am truly glad to hear that you’ve successfully raised your kids to adulthood and played an active part in their lives as they grew up. For your argument, your comment makes an excellent point of how children need more guidance than what they’d get in the vacuum of their own family. If your kids have grown up to be happy, well adjusted adults your parenting no doubt played a role in that. And if they haven’t don’t beat yourself up too much – it took many years before my parents could honestly say the same of me =8^)

    Where your comment makes my case is that part of good parenting is guiding your kids to various organizations in your community and getting involved yourself. Where we seem to be differing is where Harris starts talking about “ownership”. Statists like her feel that they are more qualified than parents to make decisions over childrens’ lives. They don’t like the idea that the kids they seek to indoctrinate might get resistance from parents who have different views from their own. There’s a big difference between being a part of a community that gives a kid a good place to grow up, and it’s quite another to think that you should have a greater say over kids’ lives than their parents.

    As for me personally, I can’t say that Sister Babe have been as good parents as we would have liked with Baby Bob. The kid won’t sit up straight, clean up after himself, or speak without mumbling. But given that BB is only three months old please don’t judge us too harshly. =8^)

  15. 70

    This one

    @Brother Bob: “Statists like her feel that they are more qualified than parents to make decisions over childrens’ lives.”

    I see nothing in her comments to support this. as with the 2nd Amendment debate, the right has to take an extreme position and make outlandish claims. It take a village. That’s all. It says a lot about those who picked up on this bullshit story which was started by puss faceed Rush Limbaugh.

  16. 71

    Liberal1 (Objectivity)

    Brother Bob uses information about supposed studies regarding single head of household families versus traditional families yielding specifics results when actual conclusions of various studies are equivocal—do your home work instead of feeding the audience the information that they want to hear.

    Melissa-Harris Perry used one word in her ad that instilled the ire of conservatives: Collective (which in the arch-Conservative mind is synonymous with Communism). May I suggest that your ardent readers expand their understanding by consulting a dictionary occasionally.

  17. 72


    Liberal1 [Objectivity]
    we know how your left use the word COLLECTIVITY to further their AGENDA of SOCIALIST
    and COMMUNIST MARXIST all blended together, meaning the same oppression on a PEOPLE
    so tolerant as THE AMERICANS, they are pushing their agenda in the throat of the civilians,
    but will not see it happening, they will be punish one day coming soon and loose their power
    to become the scum of society they really are,

  18. 73

    Nathan Blue

    @SkippingDog: Thank you for admitting you are not contributing to rational discourse, but instead being obnoxious.

    Apology accepted.

    There are hurting people out there who could use your time and expertise a lot more than the readers of FA. Best wishes in finding a useful place in a broken world.

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