Friday, September 21, 2007

The Jena 6

The Jena 6 controversy has nothing to do with race.

Let me repeat that: the Jena 6 controversy (with which I agree with the protestors) has NOTHING to do with race.

What it has to do with is the ongoing criminalization of childhood.

In a world where 5 year old boys can be brought up on sexual harrassment charges for kissing another 5 year old, we should not be surprised that a high school fight amongst teenagers has turned into criminal charges. I will leave aside the fact that anyone who thinks a 5 year old can sexually harrass someone is a sick, twisted pervert who themselves should be put away for obviously being a pedophile (what else is it when you see a five year old sexually?), and focus instead on the fact that we are labeling everything children do as pathological.

If a child can't sit still or pay attention (something they never seem to have a problem with when doing what they want to do), we fill them full of Ritalin. (I will refer you to the South Park episode on Ritalin where they give a completely accurate, time-honored, valid alternative to drugs.)

If two children get into a fight, the parents of the children get sued, the school gets sued, the children are arrested and charges are brought up, etc. There was a time when children would get into a fight over something, and then be over it an hour later, and be the best of friends two hours later. The reason for this is that we are social mammals, and we have to establish our hierarchies. That is done through non-deadly aggressive displays -- including fighting. When we do not allow those hierarchies to naturally establish themselves, the violent feelings escalate and escalate until the violence that does break out can and oftentimes does turn deadly.

I am not saying that there should not be punishments -- just that those punishments should not involve the government, but should instead be taken care of entirely in-school and within the communities. Why do we think it is better to send our children to prison than to spank them? But that is the choice we have made. Because we have interfered with our natural social behaviors, especially the aggressive behaviors that allow us to know our place in the social hierarchy, we have created situations of ever-escalating violence. Because we do not allow for varying levels of punishment, we end up saying that all behaviors are equal, and if all behaviors are equal, then why hold back if you are going to do something wrong? Further, children -- even teenagers -- should not be treated as adults. That is another false equality we are trying to create. Our children are not adults. I know the egalitarians around the world are criging at this, but I will repeat it: our children are not adults. When we treat them as adults, we end up with 12 year olds dressing as adults, 10 year olds having sex, and grown men thinking it is okay to have sex with 5 year olds. We have Kindergarteners brought up on sexual harrassment charges, childhood behavior pathologized so our children can be drugged up and pacified (so we won't have to actually parent), and every little fight turned into "attempted murder."

Indeed, Free the Jena 6!

Monday, September 03, 2007


Why must I be made to fail
Because I fought for your success?
Why should I be made to lose
Because I wanted you to win?
I brought you gifts more precious
Than silver, gold, and rubies
And your response has been to throw
Them in the mud and piss on them.
The ignorant now rule the wise,
The foolish run the show.
Why buy the real when a mirage
Will satisfy the average man
Who’s willing to buy every ruse?
And don’t we know when everything
Is up for sale it’s value that we lose?
Our up is down, our down is up,
And when we miss the mark
All we have to do is yell that it’s not fair –
We’ll expand the bull’s eye too.
We forget that to miss the mark
Is what we once called “sin.”
But don’t you worry – we’ll hold your hand –
You won’t have to learn a thing –
And you’ll be happy not knowing how
You came to shout aloud, “Sieg heil!”