Kids, Today's Lesson Is "Fear the Other"

So, President Obama thought he'd launch the schoolyear with a message to the nation's children. What a great idea, I thought to myself. After all, I grew up spending schooltime writing letters to the president, hearing letters from him read in class.

But apparently some people think this is an outrage. That somehow President Obama plans to use his "air time" to foist a nefarious political agenda on innocent kids. Frankly, I can't bother being outraged over their outrage. I'm too busy being heartsick about it.

Has it come to this? Are we a nation so divided that the president of the country, a man legally elected to lead us, can't talk to the nation's kids? It's horrifying and heartbreaking. But here's the saddest, most painful part: Those kids whose parents object to the speech are learning a lesson anyway. A big one and it's this:

Kids, fear anyone who isn't One of Us. Because it's Us against Them, and you are first and foremost one of us, and only secondarily and occasionally an American citizen (and then only when it's convenient to Us).

Got that?