A Nation of "Community" Children?!

Carol Platt Liebau

4/9/2013 1:28:53 PM - Carol Platt Liebau

As a mother, I was fascinated to learn from Melissa Harris-Perry that my husband and my children aren't really ours:

We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we've always had kind of a private notion of children: Your kid is yours and totally your responsibility. We haven't had a very collective notion of these are our children. So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it's everybody's responsibility, and not just the household's, then we start making better investments.

The whole promo would be laughably pretentious if it weren't so redolent of creepy collectivism. Kids "belong" to whole communities?  What does that even mean? Because I don't notice "the community" taking a huge interest in waking up at night when one of my children has a nightmare, or paying for a birthday party, or teaching table manners (much less the difference between right and wrong).

There's only one particular in which Ms. Harris-Perry may be right: If liberals started feeling a greater sense of social responsibility for children, maybe they wouldn't insist on keeping them trapped in failing schools . . . or pushing easy sex and even easier abortion . . . or diminishing the importance of fathers in the home.  That's the kind of "investment" that might actually make a difference.