Karol Markowicz and Bethany Mandel are the authors of a new book, Stolen Youth: How Radicals Are Erasing Innocence and Indoctrinating a Generation. Writers, thinkers, and mothers, the pair look at what’s being done to children today by schools, Hollywood, government, and the medical profession. Because Helen is interested in this stuff too – she stole the review copy when it arrived and I had to work hard to get it back – she’s contributed some questions to this interview, too.
Glenn: You had rather a rough childhood both before and after immigrating. Can you tell us a little about it? Does that have something to do with your concern for how today’s kids are treated?
Karol: It’s funny because while it was rough, in so many ways, I always felt like being a child was an important time and that childhood was something the people around me were trying to protect for me. What I saw during the pandemic was a reverse of that. Children were put last, again and again, especially in New York City where we were living. I knew I could save my own kids but because I had grown up poor, in a bad neighborhood, I knew there were so many people who couldn’t just easily form a pod for their kid or get them a tutor or move to their beach house to have space and sanity. I couldn’t forget about those people and I could not forget about their children.
Helen: I was stunned when I read about the hardships you dealt with as a child. You had to endure a lot of childhood trauma with a sick mom and an absent Dad yet you proved yourself resilient. Why are so many young people unable to cope with life these days?
Bethany: My mother was a social worker and prided herself on raising me tough. There was no wallowing, there was only moving forward. I was praised for working hard and she deeply resented the participation trophies they handed out to us as kids. In the last chapter, I talked about the therapist that “tough loved” me into not just self-identifying as an orphan and a victim. Now, kids are praised for their victimhood status; they’re encouraged to marinate in the bad parts of life.