Melissa Harris Perry wants us to know that our children belong to the whole community. When her MSNBC Lean Forward ad got some flack, Ms. Harris Perry went on to explain what she really meant.
She wants you to know that your Tulane student belongs to her because she does her job of correcting their papers (for which she is paid handsomely, no doubt) and does not send the papers back to you to correct. Of course, she jests about this part, but she further explores where she got the idea that everyone’s children belong to everyone – beyond that antiquated notion that their parents are responsible for them. Because her parents volunteered for a non-profit daycare center and spent time as a community basketball league coach while her third grade teacher went that extra mile for her, Ms. Harris Perry reports that they taught her about collective responsibility. All she wants is for all kids to grow up without fear and she feels we can do that through a collective responsibility for them. No apologies.
What she neglects to address is what her parent’s volunteerism, her job performance, and her third grade teacher’s extra efforts has to do with the force of government. She doesn’t explain why state intervention is necessary in order to help children achieve success in life. She does drop this gem – that she also learned collective responsibility from her elderly neighbors who pay their taxes without complaint.
The best twist in this most heinous of all collectivist ideas occurs when she leans forward to mind-meld with her anti-abortion colleagues:
Those people who truly believe that the potential life inherent in a fetus is equivalent to the actualized life of an infant have argued that the community has a distinct interest in children no matter what the mother’s and father’s interests or needs. So while we come down on different sides of the choice issue, we agree that kids are not the property of their parents. Their lives matter to all of us.
In this connection she has identified the problems with both the right and the left: statism. Both parties act as if individuals are unable to make their own choices from reproduction, through the education of their children, to what to eat, who to marry, and how to die without government intervention. Both group vie for the protection of their favored voting blocks always at the expense of individual rights.
And as far as frightening thought goes, Ms. Harris Perry well knows that government control of the lives of children is not a progressive idea, but an ancient one espoused by the most murderous tyrants in history.