We've taken a few weeks away from Family Friday Links (Everyone needs a rest!), but I'm pressing back in this evening with a themed version. Two weeks ago, violence erupted in Charlottesville, VA after one of the largest white nationalist rallies in a decade. One young woman was killed when a car was driven into a crowd of protesters. In the days that followed a number of articles appeared geared toward helping parents to talk with their kids about the evils of racism and white nationalism. I'm saving what I believe to be the best of those articles here for all of us to refer back to as our kids continue to process the news.
It's particularly important that kids and youth hear their pastors standing against injustice and oppression. I'm particularly thankful for this statement from Manhattan pastor John Starke. John writes, "Likely, none of us would identify as a white supremacists or a racist. And that may give us some relief, that we can distance ourselves from this problem as 'over there' and not have to think about it at all. Here are three reasons why we may not be able to do that..."
One of the first articles I noticed was this LA Times piece, "How to talk to your kids about the violence in Charlottesville" by Sonali Kohli. She gives nine helpful tips for helping your kids process the news. Two of the best are to turn the TV off, and process what is happening in light of its historical context. Kohli interviews one mom who says, "I didn’t think today was going to be a day of ... history lessons, but it was...” then went on to tell her children why the rally was happening — "she explained who Robert E. Lee was, what the Confederacy was and why people were fighting about it."
Speaking of the importance of educating the next generation, Sally Lloyd-Jones pointed to this this article by Maria Russo, children's book editor at the New York Times. She writes, "Given the language and images many children heard and saw in news reports about the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend, these children’s books about people — including kids — who helped in the fight against Nazis and against racism here in the U.S. may prove... inspiring."
Dr. Brent Bounds points us to gospel hope in the midst of racism in his article "Children, Race, and the Gospel" at The Gospel Coalition site. Brent writes, "There is real hope for change in our culture’s struggle with racism. The greatest potential doesn’t rest in the hands of politicians and activists, however, but in the hearts of our own children."
Finally, Patrick pointed to me to this call to prayer from Matt Guevara at the International Network of Children's Ministers. Matt writes, "Talk to your children about Charlottesville, but don’t stop there. Talk to God with them. Do it every day and with passion and purpose."
After the events in Charlottesville, what articles did you find to be helpful? Share with us in the comment section below.