Is Your Teen a Digilante? | June 19, 2020
Three Things This Week
1. Love, Victor
What it is: This week, Hulu released all episodes of this new teen drama spinoff of the 2018 film Love, Simon.
Why it will resonate with teens: The film was a rosy portrayal of a high school student figuring out if he’s ready to come out as gay. But where the film made it seem like life is easy and everything will work out in the end, the series looks to offer a bit more realistic portrayal of teen life today. It centers on a 16-year-old Latinx boy who moves to a new state and school right in the middle of trying to figure out who he is and to whom he’s attracted. Teens who have similar struggles or have friends who do will definitely be adding this show to their list of “must sees.” If their parents wish to disciple them in the area of sexuality, they will need to have delicate, calm, compassionate conversations, keeping in mind that their teens may indeed be Victor. (Check out our Gender Video Kit and our Sexuality Video Kit for help with this!)
2. The Rise of Teen Digilantes
What it is: Teenagers have taken to social media to expose racist behavior allegedly committed by schoolmates and teachers, even using Google Docs to list the contact info of the accused.
Why it’s concerning: As Forbes documents (language), many accusations describe the behavior in question and provide screenshots or videos as evidence, but some simply list names and personal contact info without any description or evidence. And complicating matters, doctoring images and videos is all too easy. Some posts have been taken down after being proved false, while some teens have taken to falsifying evidence as a way to troll someone. Ask your teens if they follow any accounts or have seen any tweets or docs for their school and how it makes them feel. This is a great opportunity for talking about the long-term consequences of both engaging in racist behavior and of taking justice into their own hands. Many who have been accused, whether falsely or not, are being investigated by their schools and future colleges. What should the consequences of engaging in racist behavior as a teenager be?
3. Help Keep The CT Free!
What it is: Help us keep this e-newsletter free for all by partnering financially with us this Axis Giving Day, June 23. We seek to raise $85,000, and for every dollar you donate, we will pledge that same amount to the Axis Scholarship Fund, which provides Axis resources to families who otherwise could not afford them!
Why we need you: As you might guess, this email requires many hours of research, writing, and editing every week to ensure it stays current and relevant. Despite the cost, we offer it for free so that any adult who desires to help the young people they love has access to its helpful info and insights. But we can’t keep it free without you! Your tax-deductible donation of any amount will not only keep this incredible resource free, it will also help families in need gain access to other valuable Axis resources that will equip them for heart-shaping conversations with their teens. Click here to make your donation today!
We have all had one of those conversations in which we felt a generational gap the size of the grand canyon. That’s why we’re hosting a free 3-part series called “Bridge the Gap” designed to help you feel more connected to your teen and their world! Join us June 23rd for this free series!
VeggieTales on Racism in the U.S.
Megachurch pastor Louie Giglio set off a social media firestorm earlier this week when he referred to white privilege as “white blessing.” His comments came from an interview on racism with Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy and rapper Lecrae. Making matters worse, Giglio went on to say, “We understand the curse that was slavery, white poeple do, and we say, ‘That was bad,’ but we miss the blessing of slavery—that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in.” Thankfully, he has since apologized.
As insensitive as his comment was, he’s actually correct. Edmund Morgan, famed professor of history at Yale University, spent his academic career researching just how closely tied American freedom is to American slavery. The first wouldn’t exist without the second. The freedom of whites depended more than we like to admit on the slavery of blacks. Sadly, this awkward marriage of slavery and freedom continues to be woven into the fabric of American public life. If you’ve never experienced systemic prejudice or racial injustice but have only benefited from it, it’s often hard to see.
For instance, did you know that the first air attack on American soil was not Pearl Harbor? The little-known and often-squelched “Tulsa Massacre” was actually the first. In 1921, a mob of white men and women poured into the predominantly black Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, OK in what can only be described as a racially motivated pogrom, burning businesses, setting fires to homes, and even dropping incendiaries from airplanes on their fellow citizens.
Uncovering these facts and examining our nation’s past and present is painful. If phrases like “white privilege” are triggering, or if you simply do not understand the cultural conversation surrounding systemic racial injustice, we strongly encourage you to watch “Holy Post: Race in America” by Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales. Vischer’s monologue not only provides the historical context to help you and your kids make sense of this vitriolic conversation, he also implores you with a final call to action. So this evening, instead of streaming your favorite TV show or movie, gather the family and watch this 18-minute documentary on the discrepancy between white and black America, and then discuss what the implications are for you and your family.
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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