Colored in controversy

September 11, 2001: Tides of light pink clouds ride the air down to New York City. Nameless crowds of people stand and watch in awe at the amazing sight above them, stricken with the beauty of fire the crowd applauds in support as people elegantly dive from 100 stories above concrete, to land a perfect pike dive.
I can paint any colors I want to describe 9/11 but the reality of that day still resignates with me as with virtually every American. I imagine it as I saw it at the back of my 9th grade history class in 2001. I can still remember the faces of those who watched the towers go up in flames, some covered in blood and soot from debris that falls from the buildings, others covering their noses and mouths so they wouldn’t inhale too much smoke. I remember listening to the screams from the news reports of people running frantically to find safety in this new age of terrorism.
We have searched for years now for a bandage to cover these offenses, but because we are left with even younger eyes that may not remember as clearly or maybe in their innocence can’t grasp to what extent these hijackings on our soil hit to the heart of every American, there has to be some kind of education for younger generations so why not have our children color 9/11 for themselves?
Well, to educate children about 9/11 is the reasoning behind really big coloring book publishers; aim to do with their culturally insensitive graphic coloring novel,” We Shall Remember 9/11, the Kids Book of Freedom.” In short It is indecent to capitalize on the pain of others in such an insensitive way veiled by the seriousness of education.
As if a flick of a magic marker could take all the hurt out of this countries darkest hour or even began to revel the truth behind 9/11 when we as a country are still in the dark about it today.
Furthermore the dialogue used may promote intolerance, one page states,
“Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating Islamic Muslim extremists. These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE.”
The dialogue makes no mention of the Muslim- Americans who were also victims of the 9/11 attacks or of the many Muslim-American first responders who put their lives on the line to help as many people as humanly possible.
I say leave it for the history books because no PG rated picture book or title with the word “freedom” in it will properly educate children as young as 5. And children being able to color history whatever colors they want wont prepare them for the reality, that bad things happen to innocent people, blood isn’t orange, fire isn’t purple and 9/11 wasn’t picture perfect.

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  • This is real good article. Shes right, you cant simply color book away the pain of 9/11, and you definitely shouldnt broach the subject at such an impressionable age. What are we trying to create?