Thursday, November 01, 2007

Teenage rebels work for change

By Libby
Updated below

I hesitated to post on this because I know ArmyWifeToddlerMom slightly through my friendships on some rightwing blogs and I like her, but she's way off the mark in this post. Still, I would have let it pass except that she links to a video at Nickelodeon that I think is just terrific. It's a 20 minute mini-documentary hosted by Linda Ellerbee on teenage 'rebels' that, as Kathy also notes, filled me with more hope than I've had for a long time.

The rightwingers are objecting to two segments. One on the teenager who is working with an anti-war group and staging very creative demonstrations against torture. Oh, and the kid said he wants to see Bush impeached. The other is the 15 year old girl who puts together videos against the war. She's apparently well known, although I've never heard of her, and the vid she put together on injured Iraqi children with a soundtrack of a child singing Jesus Loves Me is powerful and moving.

The wingers are claiming this is some kind of left wing indoctrination of children but that seems a little weak considering it aired at 5:00am and the piece was focused on empowering teenagers to speak up. I don't see the problem with acknowledging teens who are actively participating in civic projects instead of downloading the latest tunes to their iPods and playing video games. The main objection seems to be that they disagree with the kid's POV and believe no child should be exposed to criticism of our government. Clearly they forgot that in America, we're supposed to be free to express our dissent.

I have to wonder whether they would raise the same stink if the segments had focused instead on some teenager staging pro-war demonstrations or making videos of the glory of war set to Bible verses. Would they be decrying the right wing indoctrination of our children? I think not.

These kids are to be lauded for getting involved, not criticized for challenging authority. Whether you agree with them or not, they're getting involved. Theirs is the generation that will be paying the bills Bush ran up on these wars and dealing with the aftermath of the Bush doctrine. They have a right and a duty, as Americans, to make their views known. Me, I just dropped Nick a note thanking them for airing this series.

I'd urge you to watch the segment. It's really quite uplifting.

UPDATE: I explain my position more fully in the conversation going on in comments but for the record, this post should not be construed as supporting The World Can't Wait. While I do admire the creativity of their protests and the energy of their members, I neither approve of or condone the confrontational tactics of many organizations on the left and the right. For me, this is about the First Amendment right of every American, especially teenagers whose rights are regularly trampled, to voice an opinion, no matter how unpopular or uncomfortable it might be.

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