Our children are not blind

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

The recent election that catapulted Donald Trump to the highest position in the world leaves one to ponder the message it sends to our children in regards to morality and respect for others. During this election, the public was exposed to the ugliest and most unacceptable practices that could be exhibited by one vying for the most honorable and prestigious position in the free world. Regardless of how you stand politically, there is no way you can honestly and legitimately accept the methods and statements made by our now president-elect in his race to attain the presidency.

While some may have dismissed Trump’s antics and strategy to galvanize racism, misogynistic views, hopelessness, and hate to use as a vehicle to ride during his presidential campaign, the damage done to the psyche of many young people is inexcusable. He has tarnished the position as well as the requirements for fulfilling the most honorable and powerful position in the world. What can many of us teach or tell our children about ethics, morality, honesty, respect, and empathy after witnessing President-elect Donald Trump dismissing all these virtues and capturing the presidency of the United States of America?

Like it or not, he was elected president using some of the most deplorable antics ever manifested by a presidential candidate. Let’s be aware that many young people saw his victory as confirmation for rendering disrespect and hate. What can we tell our children about walking the straight and narrow or that good prevails in the end, based on what they saw during this last presidential election?

Those who were so adamant in supporting Trump, regardless of his unethical apathetic views and vicious tirades toward opponents, are responsible for sending the non-benevolent message to impressionable young children that anything is acceptable in trying to obtain your goals. Our overall lack of unity in denouncing Trump only illustrated to many of our youth that winning is everything, regardless of the people you may hurt to attain your goal.

Perhaps the saddest part about the whole situation is that Trump’s ardent supporters literally gave him permission to spew lewd and racist indignities and rewarded him in the end. We must understand that our children were seeing and reading the same things as we adults about Trump—and studying our reactions. Many children could not help but feel indifferent, based on many of their parents’ stanch support for Trump—thus concluding that his caustic, belligerent behavior must be acceptable.

What can true supporters of Donald Trump tell their children about decency and respect for others when their children saw what they saw and then watched many of you look the other way? Don’t deceive yourselves. Most of our children are capable of deciphering what is wrong or right, and they have a tendency to mimic our actions and behaviors.

Racism, bigotry, and hate are not inherent characteristics. They are taught and learned. Many Trump supporters have given their children a head start in practicing racism and intolerance for others. Those who supported Trump by rationalizing that party loyalty was paramount (regardless of the antics of the party’s candidate) did their children a grave disservice. Everyone knows that telling children to do as you say regardless of what they see you do has never resonated with many children. In fact, many children are quick to identify their elders as hypocrites.

Unfortunately many impressionable children adopt their parent’s unsavory behaviors as they become older. We can only hope there exist enough youth who denounce and refuse to manifest the ugly unsavory racist behaviors their parents may have displayed.

Many would be quick to say we are becoming a country devoid of morals or conscience. As adults we need to be more vigilant concerning how we conduct ourselves around our youth. We must be united in conveying what is unacceptable behavior and instilling a sense of decency, respect and humanity among our children. This can only be accomplished by leading by example. We owe it to our children.