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Historian Lawrence Goodwyn taught and wrote for decades on the promise of Democracy.  Would the children described on this blog ever hear of a social arrangement called democracy?  Are they learning in a school system that subscribes to democratic values?  Of course not!  Entire districts across the USA are robbing young ones of their life potential, just as the 1903 child laborers pictured above were stripped of theirs.  This seems to be okay with us because the only protests we hear are from affluent parents in NY state or Montclair NJ or Douglas County, CO where the Robber Barons, in their greed, have mistakenly marched into neighborhoods that are not fully socialized into the complex power politics of deference, submission or passivity.  

Mother Jones used to say that “God made women and Rockefeller made the ladies.”  Mary Jones was no lady and she was smart enough to recognize in the faces of mill and mine children the absence of progress.  For them, the present was not better than the past and the future bore no signs of betterment.  So Mrs. Jones marched onto the public stage with kids in tow, an impoverished spectacle, banners aloft, trekking from PA to NY in the hopes of gaining Teddy Roosevelt’s attention and the Guilded Age’s cooperation.  Do we stand with her today?  Shall we walk a mile in her shoes?

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