Your Kids are Privilege Shelters

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When you have kids, you want to give them the world. It’s biology, it’s social, it’s personal. It’s love.

When Moira was born, I immediately began doing all the things to give her the best start science could manufacture. All the books, stimulation, language exposure, you name it. There were little things we could do at home, and then there were things we could *invest* in. Following the science was one thing, but there are other advantages money can buy. We weren’t in a place, financially, at that point to upgrade to the Cadillac brain development model, thankfully.

I say thankfully, because while I was running the Moira Show, I was also learning more about public education. I was learning that “good schools” come with a price tag, and the desire to give your kids “the best” comes at a cost, not just to your bank account, but to those who can’t afford to keep up with your spending.

This is a hard truth: inequality is preserved through the resources we pour into the next generation.

Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be giving your kids all the love, health, curiosity, calm, confidence, and support you can. I am saying we need to bravely look at a system where so many advantages are available for purchase, or require significant parental resources to secure. We have to look at how the market drives life outcomes because “best” (best here being defined only as “most situated for financial and social advantage”) is only available to a few.

The same is true for the insistence on specific “patriotic” or nationalistic narratives. If we raise another generation to believe that whiteness is the central hero in the American story, we raise another generation where whiteness is an advantage.

White parents, if this bothers you, if today’s power imbalances and inequalities disquiet your soul and you find yourself wondering what you can do, the uncomfortable answer is to look at your kids. Where are you trying to make sure they are comfortable and advantaged, rather than secure and fulfilled?

Wealthy parents, where are we trying to buy a spot in line for our kids? Are you reinforcing unjust systems in the name of doing what’s best for them?

All parents, where are we believing total-life-capitalism’s lie that the “best for our kids” is having a competitive advantage over the other people with whom they share the quickly depleting resources of this planet?

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