Off the Beat w/ Marc Lacy: How do We Explain Politics to Our Kids


Man, one thing I detest in general, is the subject of politics. Politics is the ugly baby that must be talked about and analyzed in order for any type of progress to be made in any arena concerning people and their well-being. Another reason it is so painstaking is because of the polarized politically divisive times in which we live.

It is unbelievable the depths to which common decency have sank in terms of the political climate. Forefathers are spinning in their graves like fancy rims as politics has become a sharp object just waiting to penetrate into someone’s soul. And just think, kids are glued to social media.

Outside of checking out their favorite athletes and entertainers, they are seeing the news stories, the conspiracy theories, and the hate and vitriol that seem to dominate social media platforms, especially when folks have extreme disagreements on race, religion, politics, etc. Of course it is up to us to guide and direct the children, as well as show them the right way. But the truth is, they’re spending more time on social media via their devices, than they are listening and/or watching us. Not blaming them, for this is the era in which we live.

When you think about minority youth, you have to try and process the forthcoming bourdons and pressures that are going to eventually weigh heavily upon their shoulders. The main thing is basically what it’s always been, how to survive and advance as a minority considering the current climate that has been created…especially in the realm of politics. Take a city like Atlanta and think about the things the minority youth are drawn to, ATL hiphop scene, athletics, styles, and fashion. Why? Because the city is a huge market for it, and they are certainly a factor in the local economy.

Now, this is not to say that kids are not focusing on school and grades. But you know the impacts of peer pressure and what goes on in school. Regardless of the youngster’s level of focus, things always seem to go back to what the majority of the kids are interested in. Kids will be kids and they are going to be drawn to what keeps their attention. Nine times out of ten, the focus will not be on a grown up lecturing them about the importance of being as mature as possible. Their immediate peers and those whom they’re “following” are going to always have their attention. This is why we have to be creative in trying to get a point across to them.

So with everything that is floating around in electrons and on twenty-four hour cable news platforms, the question is, what are we supposed to tell the children and how are we going to do it? Folks, I don’t know if you realize this or not; but we are living in an age in which grown-ups have laid the foundation for the unfortunate fact, that it is okay to be indecent and it go viral. It is okay to say horrible things about the next person on social media regardless of whether it’s fiction or fact.

Actions have created a pathway for the aforementioned…and children are watching. With that said, it is up to each and every responsible adult out there to be a living example of what it is to be a caring adult…whether it is concerning our own children, or children from other families. Each and every moment we have the opportunity, we need to creatively illustrate to the youngsters, HOW TO BE…period. A lecture is not necessarily needed all of the time. But perhaps just spending time and taking the time to listen to them and finding out what impacts them the most on a daily basis.

We have to let kids be kids while teaching and showing them what it is to be a true adult. We adults have to stop talking about what happened back in the day. Kids nowadays are totally not concerned about that. And if we approach them speaking in those terms, we’ll run them off so quickly that it’ll seem like they were never there to begin with. As proverbial as it sounds, THE TIME IS NOW.

Folks stuck in old school eras are going to have to get used to the fact that we are living in a social media heavy, swipe-right age. And with it comes a serious understanding of how the world receives, processes, and digests truth. Even though truth is truth is truth, nowadays even if people know better, they tend to lean on what is trending and what others are saying about what is trending.

See, back in the day, when truth was spoken or uncovered, that was it. But in today’s world, people can say, “Well that might me true; but remember what happened last year.” Thus that rationale gains traction, gets tossed around in debates, and the truth is left behind. We should NEVER turn down the opportunity to show the younger generation the importance standing for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.



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