Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Get ‘Em Young

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by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

There is nothing more malleable than the mind of a child. Their minds are like sponges, absorbing everything they come in contact with. Previously, we’ve discussed the power of moving images as propaganda, including propaganda aimed at children. Film and video can also be used to educate as illustrated by excellent children’s programs such as Sesame Street. The benefits of this technology in that regard is unquestionable. But what happens when education becomes indoctrination? What happens when the lessons taught are hatred and intolerance? Does this cross the line from education into political propaganda?  A recent story raises this very issue and others.

“The Andrew Show” is a crudely produced show viewable on YouTube.  It’s not just crude in the sense of production values, although it is that. It is crude in content as well.  Subtitled “A Show For White Kids”, the show promotes the White Supremacist views of the Ku Klux Klan.  This is no surprise considering the young host of the show is Andrew Pendergraft, the grandson of Thomas Robb.  If you don’t know Robb by name, he’s the National Director for the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and Pastor of the Christian Revival Center.

I invite you to look for yourself at some of the videos below and ask yourself should there be additional limits to political free speech?

To save bandwidth, I only embedded a single video here.  To see the full playlist of videos, use the “Watch on YouTube” option in at the bottom right side of the embedded player. Videos were still being added to the series as recently as April of this year.

This story also raises other issues. When does propaganda become child abuse? Raising a child to have such socially intolerant racial views is not preparing him for success in the real world where living and working with people of different races and creeds is a given. But is it grounds to interfere with custody?  We’ve seen stories before about parents losing custody of their children for giving them Nazi names. The production of this show not only arguably is a disservice to this child, but to any child who watches it. It is, however, political free speech. Free speech comes with consequences and duties and has recognized reasonable exceptions at law such as defamation, incitement, and threats. While these videos are certainly disturbing, they don’t rise to the level of the current exceptions and are clearly protected political free speech. Political free speech is a paramount concern for protection and at the heart of the Founder’s desire to protect the ability of the public to dissent. With the noted exceptions to free speech in general, I don’t think anyone should be stopped from expressing a political view simply because it is unpopular or distasteful. Bad ideas will be sorted out in the marketplace of ideas so long as political free speech is protected and debate encouraged. However, when the issue is children, you are not just shaping the minds of the young, you are shaping the future.  A responsible society protects its weakest most vulnerable members and no category of human is more vulnerable than children. Human children are require a huge investment to be shepherded into adulthood compared to most other species.

How far should we go to protect that investment?  How far can we reasonably go to protect that investment and protect other valid concerns like liberties and freedoms? Including the right to raise your children as you see fit? Is ill-equipping a child for survival in life as damaging as incitement or a threat?

When do unpopular political views cross the line into being directly damaging to others?

Should society limit political free speech by exception, no matter how heinous or unpopular, when children are involved?

Can such a restriction ever be reasonable?

Keep in mind that anything that can be learned can be unlearned.

What do you think?

Source(s): Huffington Post, YouTube, Wikipedia

The Propaganda Series;
Propaganda 105: How to Spot a Liar
Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Streisand Effect and the Political Question
Propaganda 104 Supplemental: The Sound of Silence
Propaganda 104: Magica Verba Est Scientia Et Ars Es
Propaganda 103: The Word Changes, The Word Remains The Same
Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Holly Would “Zero Dark Thirty”
Propaganda 102: Holly Would and the Power of Images
Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Child’s Play
Propaganda 101 Supplemental: Build It And They Will Come (Around)
Propaganda 101: What You Need to Know and Why or . . .

Related articles of interest;

Mythology and the New Feudalism by Mike Spindell
How about Some Government Propaganda for the People Paid for by the People Being Propagandized? by Elaine Magliaro
Is Freedom of the Press Dead? by Lawrence E. Rafferty

~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger

55 thoughts on “Propaganda 102 Supplemental: Get ‘Em Young”

  1. Parents can have the most lasting impact on children, so preparing them to make choices that will make them citizens that will help their nation and the human race are critical.

    Propaganda of parents is a very powerful energy to their children.

    Even adults can be seriously affected by even inadvertent propaganda:

    Something strange was happening in New Zealand. In the fall of 2007, pharmacies across the country had begun dispensing a new formulation of Eltroxin—the only thyroid hormone replacement drug approved and paid for by the government and used by tens of thousands of New Zealanders since 1973. Within months, reports of side effects began trickling in to the government’s health-care monitoring agency. These included known side effects of the drug, such as lethargy, joint pain, and depression, as well as symptoms not normally associated with the drug or disease, including eye pain, itching, and nausea. Then, the following summer, the floodgates opened: in the 18 months following the release of the new tablets, the rate of Eltroxin adverse event reporting rose nearly 2,000-fold.1

    The strange thing was, the active ingredient in the drug, thyroxine, was exactly the same. Laboratory testing proved that the new formulation was bioequivalent to the old one. The only change was that the drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline, had moved its manufacturing process from Canada to Germany, and in the process altered the drug’s inert qualities, including the tablets’ size, color, and markings.

    So why were people getting sick? In June, it turned out, newspapers and TV stations around the country had begun to directly attribute the reported adverse effects to the changes in the drug. Following widespread coverage of the issue, more and more patients reported adverse events to the government. And the areas of the country with the most intense media coverage had the highest rates of reported ill effects, suggesting that perhaps a little social persuasion was at play.

    (The Scientist). The media can have “social persuasion” / propaganda impact on adults, and parents can have crippling effects on children.

    I seriously doubt that our culture / society is the best first place for dealing with the damage to children depicted in this post.

  2. It is better to know what people believe and what they stand for — good or bad. We cannot limit or regulate ignorance or stupidity. We can only try to educate, and be prepared to protect ourselves and our rights in the meantime.

  3. I notice that these are ideas most people here would agree are abhorrent. I think they are. But I don’t think the state decides on speech. State control of speech is the more pressing danger.

    The fact that these ideas are brought up as a prime example of propaganda on this blog is, itself, interesting. There are many instances of propagandizing adults and children, most of them in the MSM and what passes for normal political discourse in our nation as it now stands.

    We are in a state on Constitutional crisis and we have a secret govt. applying secret laws which allow the killing, torture, and surveillance of the world’s population. There is not that much outcry from the US population. Many people on the left are still actively defending every action of a corrupt state, no matter the cost to children and adults alike. This could not exist without a massive propaganda enterprise.

    The KKK is effective. It should be condemned. But the KKK is written large in USGinc.’ actions. Liberals are remaining silent or even cheering. Until the left wing will face up to it’s own belief in propaganda and understand what they are swallowing, things have NO chance of getting better.

  4. What OS said.

    Plus … there is a notion of “emotional incest” or “covert incest” (see Wikipedia “Covert Incest”).

    The racist example Gene H presents is of a similar bent.

    The hatred of the adult is expected of the child, who is not an adult.

    It is quite clearly abusive.

  5. Blouise,

    You know me and the devil. We’re just like that. (holding fingers crossed) That’s him on the left. He is sinister you know. 😉

    (I love getting to make Latin jokes.)


  6. Have Americans, including readers/posters here, & Europeans become so mentally incapacitated by toxins in the air,food,water,vaccines,etc.., that they are now unable to correctly identify who is the biggest threat to their personal safety as well as a threat to the entire world?

    Is it that people are now unable to recognize what their objective must be & formulate a personal & a public plans to meet their objective.

    Occupy Wallst & the Tea Parties have basically been co-opted by forces that wished those movement killed in order to maintain the status quo.

    Those forces want you to keep wasting your time/efforts commenting on one off topics: It’s the Blacks, it’s the KKK, it’s the Christian, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants.

    Everything will be fine & the status quo will remain firmly in place just as long as all these & other splinter groups do not join forces & go after the real source of most of the world’s current problems, the billionaires behind the Wallst/City London Banking & Insurance co’s.

    Finally because of the net those of us that are interested now are being exposed to a flood of important information that humanity needed to be hearing for more then a 100 years.

    I believe you will find this link below well worth the one hour spent watching it.

    It deals with propaganda/ our education system/brainwashing

  7. Gene asks, “The question was “Can instilling a non-functional antisocial political view equate with psychological abuse?”


    Gene & Juliet,
    That is one of the several elements that comes under the rubric of psychological abuse, but it is not sufficient grounds for action standing alone. It fits under the definition of corrupting the child, but then we get into the problem of defining when corruption becomes actionable, and where do we draw the line.

    Corrupting a child is easier to for authorities to act on if the corruption consists of teaching the child to shoplift. That corruption is much easier to define as actionable because shoplifting is statutorily illegal. Instilling a belief system is Constitutionally protected. When it comes to belief systems, that is the ultimate slippery slope.

  8. Gene,

    Nice job playing devil’s advocate. I’m going to add to it a bit by commenting that the “think of the children” mantra also plays into the 2nd and is, in keeping with the theme, the devil’s tool.

  9. I think there are arguments to be made for corruption, exploiting and/or isolation, but that they are substantively too thin in this instance – absent other evidence – to win on the merits.

  10. And, as OS just commented, this video does not come close to fitting those criteria. The kid actually appears quite well adjusted in this albeit snapshot. He probably could use some speech therapy, but he’s cute as hell.

  11. nick,

    Actually I think it’s pretty clear from the above statement that we do agree on this. As abhorrent as I personally find the ideology of the Klan, I have to stand by their right to speak it. Even to children.

    The marketplace of ideas will sort it out as will education.

    However, that being said, if the ideology was openly promoting violence instead of just intolerance?

    It might be a different story as that could fall under the exception of incitement.

  12. Gene, No. Not even close. For First Amendment reasons primarily, but for the reasons both Juliet and myself stated. I am pretty sure we agree on this. The Vatican will need a devil’s advocate when they beatify Pope John Paul. Christopher Hitchens played that role w/ Mother Theresa. Maybe you should apply.

  13. Regarding child abuse. There are four basic kinds of child abuse. Physical, sexual, medical and emotional. The first three get most of the press, as well as attention from the legal system. However, emotional (sometimes called psychological) abuse is by far the most prevalent form of child abuse. It is neglected because it is not always obvious, is covert in the family system, and it does not bleed or show up on x-rays.

    I have a whole lecture set on this stuff, and have used it in TPR and custody cases before. Child welfare agencies in numerous countries have come to a nearly unanimous conclusion about what constitutes psychological/emotional abuse of a child. Child psychologists agree there are six basic kinds of emotional abuse. They are:

    – Ignoring
    – Rejecting
    – Terrorizing
    – Corrupting
    – Exploiting
    – Isolating

    If there is a single key figure in the study of psychological abuse of children, and the long term effect it has when they grow up, it is Dr. James Garbarino of Loyola University in Chicago. In 1986, he and colleagues Dr.Edna Guttmann, and Dr. Janis Wilson Seeley published a book, Psychologically Battered Child. That book was one of the key elements which drove what has become a discrete field of study in child abuse. Their definitions influenced child welfare organizations in many countries.

  14. Juliet,

    “We can’t protect every child from everything that’s abusive. And removing the child for placement elsewhere also offers no guarantee of safety.”

    A statement I agree with 100%. I’m well on record here for stating not only that we cannot insulate children from every harshness or danger of the world, but that trying to do so can be a great disservice them in the long run. It’s one of my primary issues with the “Think of the children!” style arguments for advocating policies that may on their face appear to protect children but at too high a social cost or in ways that are ultimately ineffective. This article is in part intended to create discussion about that very matter in conjunction with protecting political free speech. What’s the cost of such a restriction? Can it ever be reasonable?

    Personally, I don’t think it can nor will it ever be worth the cost as it would serve to stifle political dissent.

  15. nick,

    Did I say “And yet psychological abuse can solely be the grounds for terminating parental custody as well, Juliet”?


    The question was “Can instilling a non-functional antisocial political view equate with psychological abuse?”

  16. No way should this be censored. Democracy is about allowing people to express what they believe, no matter how objectionable others may find those views to be.

    In fact, high schools should show films like this and allow the students to discuss what is right or wrong with it. Such would be much more educational than monologues for their own views and showing the students the Disney films that many of them show now.

  17. Gene: What Nick said. He beat me to it.

    We can’t protect every child from everything that’s abusive. And removing the child for placement elsewhere also offers no guarantee of safety. “Psychological abuse” is too vague and too subjective to be used very often as a reason to break up a family. My father was director for our area’s child protective services for 20 years. It’s all his office could handle to remove kids who were being raped and beaten.

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