By: Kidman J. Williams
There are very few people in this world that speak to volumes of people, there are even fewer people in this world that touch those volumes of people down to their souls. Fred McFeely Rogers was that rare person who spoke to us all and meant every word that he said and we knew it.
We have heard the old story about how Mr. Rogers was a military sniper, well, that is far from the true story of this great man who taught us all how to be great, warm, caring people who should never forget how to look at life through the innocent eyes of a child.
Rogers was able to really speak to children with honesty and warmth and reached them on their level of understanding while his passion reached the adults on their level.
A Brief History on Mr. Rogers
Rogers who graduated college in 1951 with a degree in music composition. When he went home in his senior year of college he saw the new addition to his family – the television set. Rogers was captivated by the television medium and thought that there was a fantastic future for him in that medium. He was right.
Rogers claimed his first job in TV in 1953. He was hired by WQED in Pittsburgh for a community station; it was the first one of its kind.
By the next year he started to co-produce a little show called “The Children’s Corner,” and as his experience grew so did his aspirations.
Rogers went back to school to earn his divinity degree. He got it in 1962. At his ordination the Presbyterian Church asked him to serve children and their families through television.
After a short stint in Canada he and his wife moved back to Pittsburgh where Rogers began Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1966. Then two years later it was launched on PBS throughout the country.
Mr. Rogers touched the hearts and minds of our youth and adults alike from 1966 – 2001. Rogers died from stomach cancer with his wife by his bedside on Feb. 27, 2003 and left us with amazing lessons and expansive imaginations.
Mr. Rogers Vs Nixon and his Congress
Fred Rogers was seen with many political figures over the decades of his career, but none was more important than when he sat in front of Nixon’s congress opposite of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications.
Rogers was looking to support funding for PBS while Nixon was looking to cut the budget, taking them from the $20 million that President Lyndon Johnson wanted and bringing it down to $10 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
It was high noon in Congress on May 1, 1969 when Mr. Rogers sat in front of the chairman, John O. Pastore who started the dialog with a confrontational tone and dismissive eyes…until the unasuming children’s show host showed him just how powerful he was.
We Need A New Mr. Rogers?
Today we are seeing a new Nixon? Are we seeing a new Nixon? An enemy of the people and the state? We just might be.
Trump has already went after women and the LGBTQ UNOFFICIALLY with his actions and “grab her by the pussy” attitude.
Trump stated that he wants to go after the funding to PBS like a Republican after your Social Security checks. PBS defunding and privatizing comes in with his proposal to cut Federal spending by $10.5 trillion in 10 years.
Where does that leave PBS? It wouldn’t go away, but by privatizing PBS they would feel the itchy burn that Trump has dealt with in his crotch for years.
Just use the cream that your doctor gave you Donald, you have the cream and the shampoo buddy.
Eventually PBS and NPR could just go away, but that is really what he wants. The left leaning ideals of both could no doubt put a hurt on Trump and his love den of money drunk fiends and ghouls.
He can’t go after CNN, but he sure can attempt to put a hurt on their access if they aren’t willing to play ball with the new administration.
Despite Trump’s willingness to give the churches in this country a voice without losing their tax exempt furthering his deplorable reputation and trying to turn the U.S. into medeval times England, defunding PBS and squeezing Big Bird into the garbage can with Oscar the Grouch would further destroy the fundamental growth and education of our youth.
As the sunsets on the horizon our children could be witnesses to a very terrible day in the neighborhood.