I was listening to a TED talk about an African American man talking about the day him and his fellow friends were playing with water guns in their neighbourhood. Unfortunately, his dad pulled him inside telling him about the danger in him being black and pretending to shoot people. The topic was inspired by ‘Blacklivesmatter’ and the lose of innocence because there are certain things black kids can not do because of the color of their skin and prejudices in society. Even though the TEDtalk had some very valid points to think about concerning the difference of a black childhood vs. a white childhood, it still made me think about something totally different in that story.
Like why has no dad ever pulled his son inside and told them that pretending to kill their friends for fun is not really the way to go? I feel like I might be ‘waaay’ gone by questioning this because we are so used to hearing that; toys are just toys and let kids be kids or even that, boys are inherently violent and should be allowed to express this part of themselves. Am I wrong for thinking this is kind of,.. weird? If you ask anyone who has ever been in war, real war or had their family killed in a war, if it was fun, you might be one big insensitive assbeing. When a war is so real you don´t have to pretend, in fact, you might be praying hard for it to just be pretend. How could they ever think it is fun? It is pure violence. Why would you pretend shooting a friend after another friend had been shot days ago? Or to shout “pow pow” while aiming at your dad when somewhere else, another family just lost theirs from decades of unjustifiable and stupid wars? I don´t get it. This is not a talk about being pro or anti guns but more, the fact of pretending that shooting and killing is a fun thing for kids to engage in.
If a kid picked up a play knife and pretended to violently stab their little brother or slice their sister´s neck off or even their dog’s, whoever was watching will feel kinda disturbed by that. But why are we okay with pretend guns and shootings then? How is one form of violence okay and even fun as long as it is ‘just pretend’? Is pretend rape fun? Can pretend gas chambers be fun or even pretend lynchings? They are all forms of violence and even killings too. Is killing only fun if it is done with a socially accepted, well marketed and embraced toy weapon??? Help, I just don´t get it? What is so much fun about pretending to kill people?
I fear that we have become desensitised to how pro violence our society truly is. Yet we wonder why there is more and more violence when all we really want is peace??? How do we say that, that is what we want, when we are willing to pay for our kids to engage in the opposite? It also explains why the pursue of peace will always be a fantasy far far away, when we subconsciously teach our kids that, pretend killing and horror is a fun and acceptable activity to partake in with loved ones and friends. How can we teach kids that violence is wrong and wars are serious and dangerous but go ahead and pretend because then, it is just fun? How can we talk to them about how cops are killing black people like it is a game and then hand them their new toy gun and tell them to go out and have a blast? Perhaps we need to rethink this one more time. But hey, maybe I am being too sensitive,..or have I lived way too long in a pro insensitivity, contradicting and assbeing society? I don´t get it.
Help me understand and don´t be a stranger