Kalilia's message for Carver performance

This piece is about the difference in education within the households of America. The post apocalyptic decisions parents face and the struggles that lie behind the saying, it takes a village.

Most of you here have heard the term 'it takes a village’. A poster heading that resembles a sense of unity. That it takes a community to raise a child, to produce something with unparalleled value. That it implies love, community outreach and humanity. Most importantly, the collective effort to pass on knowledge needed for children to succeed. After all, knowledge is a big part of how a child views the world.

What they don't tell you is that each Village is different. That each Village has its own gears, ideologies and ways of passing on knowledge. They don't tell you that certain villages carry the burdens of sharing knowledge that doesn't need to be given to children. That they are stripped of their choice before the child takes its first breath.

Let's focus on villages A and B.

In village A knowledge pertaining to violence, hate and death are reserved for the elders. The children in this village do not need to know of such things. They're children after all. Always worrying about what they're getting for their birthday this year. They dream about unicorns, and finding Narnia. About receiving a giant chocolate cake or stumbling upon a fairy or a genie.  

Village A is extremely terrified of Village B because the media they've been consuming for years paints the inhabitants as barbarians. As thugs and murderers. Village A must teach their children to be warriors, and to be cautious. Sometimes the warriors show force that is not needed, however being gentle with their own tribe. They're fascinated with the other villages but they are too unknown to understand.

Village A copies the other villages shamelessly, never fully understanding the power behind it. Example, A Nearby Village builds houses made from bricks and stones. Village A thinks that's cool and so they do it as well. They don't care why or how, they just know they want their houses to be the same. They see that village later on and they say 'gee, what a silly way to build a house.’ The members of village A see nothing wrong with this and praise each other for having strong, reliant housing.

They can afford to be rude, to cheat and lie, to wear their hoodies atop their heads when it's raining. They can afford to take the lives of innocents, and to treat the other villages like they are less than dirt. And despite all this village A does not change.

The children in Village B worry they won't have a birthday at all. They must carry that burden of knowing things like that are possible. They're lucky if they make it and even luckier if they get anything at all. Dreaming about losing someone turns the countless hours of slumber into countless hours of being alert. Dreams turn to wishes and wishes are never fulfilled. They wish for dad to come home this Christmas because he's been wrongfully imprisoned, or maybe that their older brother makes it through the night because a life of being turned away from employment, has  hardened him in the ways of crime.

The children of Village B are told endless stories of death, of struggle, of woe. If they were not, they wouldn't know that they aren't allowed to do certain things. They wouldn't know to be safe always. To watch what they say around everyone, to be polite, and to never put your hoodie atop your head, even if it's raining.

So now, village B must teach their children to turn the cheek when they are profiled, harassed and treated as if they are aliens. Village B must convince their children to ignore the other village, and that the house is fine the way it is. On the continent, hate overrules love. Village B is demonized, mass incarcerated, and torn apart. But the village with the power is absolutely fine. When they do the things Village B does they get second chances. It's only a problem when the other villages do it, because the other villages are just so unknown. And what they don't know scares them.

Village B knows that this is what the other village is thinking; so they must prepare. They must tell their children stories of trauma in the hope that they learn and can be cautious in their day to day life. Comfort their children when they haven't had enough sleep that night. Accept the mysterious bundles of cash their child brings home. Tell them that their wishes will come true. Get them a gift even if they can't afford it. Tell them that the sturdy stone hut they live in is nothing to be ashamed of. Convince them not to slip into darkness and that it'll be okay. Village B must convince their children that Village A isn't all that bad. Village B must convince themselves.

So it does truly take a village to raise a child. It's just that each Village must overcome obstacles that the other village does not. Village B had no choice but to expose their children to the crime, violence, and harsh reality of living in America, while Village A can chose when and how their children acquire that information. It if they need to learn it at all.

So when you hear the phrase it takes a village and you think of unity, what kind of Village are you thinking of? Village A or village B? Because a thing they don't tell you is that they are divided. And that they are different. That they have gears and ideologies and ways of creating that, ‘unity’. That this saying implies love, community outreach and humanity but it is the exact opposite. And last but not least, the one thing that matters most is left out. They don't tell you that

Village B has had enough and their children have had it too.

The end