26 Jun What Is Today’s America Making Our Kids Morally Susceptible To
by Andrew Malekoff. Featured in Blank Slate Media, June 25, 2018
There are a few great films that have lingered in my consciousness; images are seared in, memorable lines are indelible and feelings evoked are still close to the surface.
“The White Ribbon: (2010) is one such film that has left a lasting residue. It depicts the residents of a northern German village, dominated by a baron, sometime before World War I.
Inhabitants of the village young and old are sliding down a slippery slope of moral decline. A number of men in leadership positions are despicable, especially in their treatment of women and children.
The cruelest scene of the movie was not one that showed physical violence, but verbal abuse towards a woman that served faithfully as caretaker and more for the town’s widowed physician.
As for some of the children, although it is only suggested it appears that they are budding sociopaths that perform serial acts of meanness.
Movie reviewer Mike LaSalle wrote about the film, “No child is trained to become a martinet, and no one says anything about a master race. Rather, the kids, from their elders, get quiet lessons in moral absolutism, sternness, emotional violence and heartlessness.”
Weeks after seeing the film, I started thinking more deeply about the children in this pre-World War I town. I realized that they would become young adults during the time Hitler would rise to power.
They lived an incubator in which they adopted the brutality that they experienced, often against unsuspecting victims. They were being unwittingly primed for carrying out the atrocities that later came to characterize their future lives in Nazi Germany.
Seeing this film has led me to wonder about what the times we live in today are a prequel for.
As LaSalle remarked, “It didn’t have to be Nazism that took hold a generation later. It might have been any ideology that encourages blind devotion that flatters people’s vanity by telling them they’re intelligent for not thinking and that they’re virtuous for believing themselves better than their fellow citizens.”
“The White Ribbon” begs the question: What is today’s America making our children morally susceptible to?