Guns for Tots

toy guns.jpgBy Frida Berrigan, Re-postd from TomDispatch

I remember well going to the rodeo at Madison Square Garden in New York City with my six-guns proudly strapped to my hips. I was probably eight or nine years old and those two ivory-handled — okay, undoubtedly plastic — revolvers were probably from a Hopalong Cassidy line of toys. That cowboy character was a favorite of mine on TV and, of course, with my friends I regularly played “cowboys and Indians.” But far more of my war play — we’re talking the early 1950s — came out of World War II, my father’s war, even though the country was then involved in a bloody stalemate of a conflict in Korea. Continue reading

Learning from Laughter: Fish Funeral

shovelBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

“Keep your eye on these fish for a few days. You don’t want him to be around if one of them dies,” she whispers so Isaac can’t hear.

For his two year old birthday, we got three fish which he quickly named “Two, Baubee, and Three.” He’s learning to count and there really isn’t anything more exciting at the moment than the numbers two and three. He can tell them apart and feeds them every day. And when bedtime comes around he refuses to turn off their light because, he insists, the fish do not want to go to bed- just like him.

Yesterday, one of them did died. It started growing something gross on its face and by the time we got home, Baubee was gone. The store attendant’s voice was ringing in my head, “you don’t want him to see if one of them dies.” Actually, I think we do. Continue reading

Mary, did you worry?

maryBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I wrote this poem two years ago when I was pregnant with Isaac. These days in the wake of events in Ferguson, I still hold onto these worries and hopes of what it means to raise a white man today.

Mary, did you worry your son would grow up
to idealize the military and violence around him?
What did you sing in his ear?
What toys did you give him?
That taught him to put away the sword
and to give his life before shedding the blood of another. Continue reading

Words to Our Children…Part 2

leah burgessKate_Foran

 

 

 

 

 

Leah and I have had a rich correspondence as we have both tried to grapple from our different social locations with the power of racism in our lives. The grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown left us both feeling outraged and hamstrung, with the question, what do we do now? And what do we tell our children? Leah has a daughter, Dance (10 years) and two boys, Michael and Gabriel (3 years). I have a daughter, Sylvie (4 years). I asked Leah what she would tell my child, and Leah asked me what I would tell hers.

Kate Foran, November 2014.

Tuesday we posted Leah‘s letter. Today we post Kate’s. Continue reading

Words to Our Children…Part 1

leah burgessKate_Foran

Leah and I have had a rich correspondence as we have both tried to grapple from our different social locations with the power of racism in our lives. The grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown left us both feeling outraged and hamstrung, with the question, what do we do now? And what do we tell our children? Leah has a daughter, Dance (10 years) and two boys, Michael and Gabriel (3 years). I have a daughter, Sylvie (4 years). I asked Leah what she would tell my child, and Leah asked me what I would tell hers.

Kate Foran, November 2014.

 

Today, we post Leah’s letter and tomorrow we will post Kate‘s. Continue reading