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Todd Harrison on children learning of freedom of speech and the Constitution

Todd Harrison

Todd Harrison

It was Saturday night in Southampton; after spending the day in NYC, my fiancee and I arrived home to our sleepy twins around 9 p.m.

Rather than usher them to bed as expected, we took them for ice cream. It was a popular move; one of those patented memories that will help define the summer.

We arrived in town and strolled toward Carvel. We noticed a crowd gathered in front of JPMorgan Chase. Police stood guard as a handful of individuals held banners denouncing wealth. One of the signs read, "Enjoy your riches while the rest of us suffer."

The twins, 8 1/2 years old, turned to me and I told them they were protesting. I looked down to find them processing the information.

I told them about freedom of speech and the U.S. Constitution.

"I learned about this in school!" said Morgan, the girl. Gavin, deep in thought, said, "So I can say anything I want to people?

I told them that's a matter of manners rather than law. The protesters were peacefully expressing their views.

We approached our car, bringing our stroll to an end as the protesters were approaching us from behind; the kids were visibly nervous. I ushered them into the car as the group walked by, making comments as they passed. I thought about the fragile line that separated us, the chasm of societal inequity and the simple truth that social mood shapes financial markets.


Todd Harrison is founder and CEO of Minyanville. 

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