I recently learned that Trump is a big topic of conversation among elementary and middle school kids here in Brooklyn. Over dinner my daughter did an impromptu impression of Donald Trump building the wall, knowing full well he would never be physically up to the task. (He’d probably hire Mexicans.) Then my son got into the act with an impression of how Donald does his hair in the morning. I was shocked. We didn’t watch the debates. We don’t even have cable. The kids mostly monopolize the T.V. with Minecraft videos on YouTube. I asked how they know so much about Trump. My daughter said, “Everyone in school knows Trump sucks.” My son even had a friend that made a Trump “boss” on his Minecraft server, whose wall gets blown up.
Brooklyn is not Trump territory, so how did he become such a hot playground topic? Obviously children absorb their parents’ views, so it comes as no shock that the general consensus among my children’s public school friends is that “Trump sucks!” What is surprising though, is that kids understand the specifics of his rhetoric. With primaries coming to New York April 19th, I set out to hear more of what Brooklyn kids had to say about Trump. The children I interviewed were asked to create their own fake names, but the ages and commentary are entirely real.
“I’m Billy Bob. I’m 11, and I think Trump is an absolute joke because he kicks people out of his rallies. He kicked that protester out and kept saying, ‘Where’s your mommy? Go back to your mommy?’ but the protester’s mom died when he was 18! It’s very rude. And Trump thinks global warming is a hoax made up by China to shut down American factories. But if that were true wouldn’t China suffer most from their own hoax?”
“I’m Eve. I’m 9. I don’t like Trump because he believes in segregation.”
“I’m Shylenne. I’m 8. Trump sucks because my friend is Mexican and he doesn’t like Mexicans. And he believes in segregation.”
“I’m Alli. I’m 8. My grandpa is Mexican and that means I won’t get to see him in California.”
“I’m Rey. I’m 9. I think Donald Trump is just getting the bad people. I think he’s doing stuff that he really doesn’t want to do just to get to be president. I think he actually is a nice man except he just really wants to be president.”
“I’m Bri. I’m 7. Trump really shouldn’t be president. My sister’s right. He just really wants to be president. He is just saying things he’s really not going to do. He’s trying to get people on his side to get to be president and then when he’s president he’s just not going to do all those bad things, like immigrants shouldn’t come in and building a wall.”
“I’m Kylo Ren. I’m 9. I feel like Trump’s a bit immature, not in a child or teenager way but in an adult way. I’ve hear interviews with him. He’s promising too many things that are hard to do and he’s promising a lot of bad things too.”
“I’m Suzie. I’m 9. Why would I like Donald Trump? He wants to build a wall! He should be Berning his enthusiasm!”
“I’m Tanai. I’m 8. Donald Trump sucks! He’s a loser and he really wants to ruin our country. He wants to do all these bad things but of course we have governors that are going to stop him from doing it. He managed to insult two countries in one sentence. He said, ‘We’re going to build a wall. You know why? Because I don’t see any Mexicans in China.’ I think that’s bad.”
“I’m Sofie, I’m 8. I don’t like Donald Trump because he doesn’t like Muslims. If he becomes president I want to move to Canada because I don’t want to be in his country. I don’t really want Bernie Sanders to win either though.”
“I’m Lucy. I’m 12. I hate Trump. I think he’s dumb. He wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. I’m not sure why exactly. It’s really surprising that Trump is actually winning the Republican votes because I know a lot of people who disagree with how he thinks. Then again they’re Democrats, plus they’re my age.”
“I’m Timothan. I’m 11. I think he’s just going into politics randomly. He’s a bad person. He’s isolating us from the rest of the world. The reason he’s getting votes is because he’s making big promises that he can’t do. He’s just sort of a rich guy that doesn’t know what he’s doing. He also thinks he’s right a lot and doesn’t give other people credit, which not a lot of people do when they’re running for president. But he doesn’t really have a good argument either. If you watch him all he says is, I’m smarter than you. I’m richer than you. That’s sort of how he ends every sentence.”
“I’m Steve. I’m 11. I think Trump is great for the country! He’s uniting us against him.”
“I’m Finn. I’m 11. Trump’s mean. He insults all the other candidates. He’s not a fair sport. He says one of the candidates can’t run because he is from Canada. Isn’t that what a ‘Canada-date’ is though? He has crazy ideas like building a wall between U.S. and Mexico. I don’t know why someone would do that. And it’s not like he had it tough when he was kid either. He didn’t have to build himself up.”
“I’m Lily. I’m 14. Donald Trump is super sexist and super rude to everyone. He wants to build a wall to keep minorities out. He didn’t go to a debate because a woman called him sexist.”
“I’m Amy. I’m 13. Donald Trump sucks! He is mean to everyone who is not a white man. He has something bad to say about virtually every ethnic group. I think Trump should move to Canada!”
Needless to say, even if you are keeping your child away from the Jerry Springer Show that has been the 2016 Republican Primaries, your kids know Trump and have opinions. I had to verify some of what these kids were saying for myself because I never intended to take Donald Trump seriously enough to listen to anything he had to say. Nearly all these quotes accurately check out as Trump views. The only view expressed here that is not accurate is the statement by a few children that Trump believes in segregation. As far I know, Trump has never said anything specific to racial segregation but he certainly draws the white supremacists to his rallies and makes enough negative comments about various ethnicities that it’s not surprising a child could get that impression. Even reporters have paralleled Trump to George Wallace.
Unfortunately, when I asked kids for specific Trump policy details, they couldn’t provide much aside from the wall in Mexico. The focus of their opinion was mostly based on his behavior and persona. But in all fairness, is that the kids’ faults? Trump doesn’t have much in the way of policy.
So Donald beware. Brooklyn kids think you suck!
Tweet your kids’ Trump opinions @momtropolis #KidsonTrump