Monday, January 21, 2019

MLK Day Spent With Kids Writing Letters To Politicians And Marching To Post Office To Mail Them

I'm near Seattle visiting family and so I want along with my daughter and granddaughter to the  library for an event to honor Martin Luther King and to fulfill his legacy.  It was called the Children's March for Peace and Justice.  From the announcement:
"Honor the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Write letters to the leaders of your choice, asking them to work for peace or thanking them for acts of kindness. Then march to the post office to mail our letters. Bring posters or banners from home. All Ages"

We ended up outside because the main room was so full.  Kids were making signs and writing letters in keeping with the day.  There were cards and envelopes for those who were going to do more drawing than writing, and stationery as well.

Kids were asked what topics they might want to write about and the younger ones did seem to need a little more help.  Here's one asking President Trump to be more kind.

Kids also made signs for the march.  

Eventually, everyone got their signs and letters together and we marched about a mile to the post office.  Here's the tail end of the march.

And, some more, and there were just as many beyond - down the hill.

And finally to the post office - which was closed for the MLK holiday - where people put their letters into the mail box.

I'd note that I try hard not to show faces of kids without parental permission.  So I've smudged all the identifiable faces I saw, and smudged the letter where it had a name on it.

I'd note that as I sat there and watched parents coach little kids about whom to write to and the topics to write about, I thought about conservative groups coaching their kids on anti-abortion messages.  Is this different?  I think it is in some ways and isn't in others.  In both cases, kids are being taught to participate in their democracy - to voice their opinions.  And in both cases, the parents' opinions strongly influence what the kids write.  But what I saw today was more about American values in general - freedom, democracy, tolerance, and peace*.  There was also some environmental ideas including global warming.  There wasn't anything here that advocated for limiting other people's ability to do anything - like control their bodies, like seek freedom and opportunity.  I didn't see any signs that demeaned anyone, instead it was about pushing basic democratic values.

*Given how many years the US has been involved in wars in the last 100 years, I'm not sure that peace is really an American value any more, or if it ever was.

1 comment:

  1. It seems very interesting for children to march for peace and justice on MLK day. Obviously, it will be a long way to teach kids what should be cherished more than those basic democratic values.


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