Signing Off: What About the Children?

May 09 2011

Signing Off: What About the Children?

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A semi-lighthearted post to close off the year – I know this doesn’t use three sources or whatnot, but I think it’ll get people thinking.

One of my favorite YouTube series is the “Kids React” series, where kids from ages 5-14 are shown viral videos and asked questions about them. They’re always hilarious videos. However, yesterday, the latest “Kids React” video was released – their reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death and President Obama’s speech announcing that.

The video was not intended to be a typical “everybody LOL” video; it was intended to have serious matters. The people who make the videos, the Fine brothers (YouTube channel “finebros”), introduced the video by stating that:

It is important to take pause when historic events occur and to reflect on how the next generation views the action of our ever changing world. Though this is a subject more serious than our usual episodes, it is valuable to learn from the insights of more innocent eyes than our own.

I couldn’t agree more.

The kids’ reactions were fascinating right from the start. All of them had heard the news of bin Laden’s death beforehand, although not all had seen the speech. Their first reactions to the news ranged from ecstasy similar to that which was seen all over Elon’s campus that day…

Why would you feel bad? One of the worst people in the world is dead. (Shannon, age 10)

…to general happiness…

Happy. (Emma, age 8 )

Sure, it’s sad that people die, but since he murdered tons of other innocent people, he’s not innocent. (Marlhy, age 9)

…to being unsure how to react…

I asked my mom, “Is that a good thing?”, and she said, “Yeah.” (Dylan, age 9)

…to contemplative happiness and mixed feelings – which was exactly my reaction at the news.

I felt very happy, but also kind of bad. (Megan, age 10)

I was happy that our nation felt pride….That’s good, but I’m not cheering, cause this is still a man’s life. It’s a bad man’s life, but it’s still life. (William, age 10)

The reactions to all the cheering in the streets were mixed as well. There were those who thought it just fine…

Not for good people, but, like, bad people, yeah, it is OK to celebrate that way. (Morgan, age 6)

…but the majority reaction was, like many Americans, thinking the celebrations were overdoing it.

Going out in the streets, that’s just a little too much. (Landon, age 12)

In my opinion, however, this was the most insightful response:

I just think that’s kind of a hypocrite move….When 9/11 happened, they were all cheering in the streets, and we all thought that was wrong. (William)

Reactions were mixed on the possible releasing of photos:

Release them. (Lia, age 14)

I don’t think that they should….Maybe, like, some countries would hate us even more. (Elle, age 9)

Kind of yes, kind of no. (Dylan)

Don’t let the kids see it, though. (Jake, age 11)

Most of the kids were concerned about possible retaliation by other terrorists, wisely noting that the organizations will in no way take bin Laden’s death lightly.

Well, it’s gonna be a lot more dangerous…and then, they’ll get back at us, and we’ll just keep going back and forth. (Athena, age 13)

He’s the leader, so they might get revenge; I heard he has 25 children. (Darius, age 11)

The kids’ thoughts on why terrorists hate the United States were fascinating, as well as their ideas on how to stop terrorism; I’ve quoted enough of the video, so I won’t quote them here. I recommend that you watch the video so you can actually see what they have to say, not just read it.

But overall, I agree with what the Fine brothers had to say at the beginning of the video: that we can learn a lot from eyes more innocent than our own. We need to listen to what the next generation has to say; maybe only then will we truly be able to learn how to help make the world a better place. For them.


(P.S. I did say this was a semi-lighthearted post, but I haven’t put the lighthearted part in yet. The video did have its hilarious moments; I insert a few of them below.

(On bin Laden) Just a camper – he’s a camper, like on Black Ops. (Landon)

(On other terrorists avenging bin Laden) When one bad guy dies, somehow another one pops up – kind of like Whack-a-Mole; you whack one down, pwoop!…There’s always gonna be a bad guy. (William)

Terrorists, if you’re watching this, please stop terrorizing us. (Shannon)

Ah, kids.)

One Response to “Signing Off: What About the Children?”

  1. kkoch2 Says:

    This is a really cool concept and although I have not had a chance to click on the link and watch the video because I am in the library, the kids answers seem to be pretty well thought out and impressive. It is amazing how similar their variation of views seem to be to our variation of views; some of them are happy, some are scared, some think that we should not be celebrating and some think that we should be. Also, thank you for including those quotes at the end…they are all hilarious!

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