Monday, October 1, 2007

NT Because Now Is the Time to Get It Done

. . . in the immortal words of Mos Def.

One would assume that a kindergarten teacher is equipped to manage the tantrum of a 6-year-old. But let's say that the teacher is woefully inexperienced, and may have to call for back-up. The back-up I am thinking of would be a stern-faced principal, not Johnny Law:
Police arrested a 6-year-old Florida girl and even handcuffed her when she acted out in class. Police officers said Desre'e Watson, a kindergarten student at Avon Elementary School in Highlands County, had a violent run-in with a teacher on Thursday.*
And you see? Even the language in this lede is inflammatory and biased. Here, let me rewrite it from another angle:
When an upset child acted out, her teacher panicked. Instead of calming the child, the teacher provoked her until she was out of control, then called the police to arrest the child. Showing a lack of judgment to beat the band, an officer handcuffed the girl and booked her on felony charges.
A 6-year-old is not capable of having "a violent run-in" with an adult. It is not possible. A teacher who is incapable of handling the tantrum of a 6-year-old has no business in the classroom. As far as the principal and the police go--they should all be abjectly ashamed of themselves. For their stupidity, if nothing else.

Again, do I need to note the child's race? It is staggering that denial of racism in this country continues against the backdrop of injustices that range from housing and job discrimination ("The Discrimination Research Center (DRC) has found that temporary employment agencies in California show significant preference for white job applicants over African American applicants") to disproportionate sentencing and incarceration ("Although blacks account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population, 44 percent of all prisoners in the United States are black"--and it is not, as that moron Heather MacDonald asserts, because Blacks are more violent--"Contrary to popular perception, violent crime is not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the United States since 1980. In fact, violent crime rates have been relatively constant or declining over the past two decades."), to lower-quality healthcare (resulting in lower life expectancy: "Comprising 12 percent of the U.S. population as of 2000, African Americans' life expectancy is six years shorter than whites at birth, two years shorter at age 65").

This, the structure of racism that is invisible to so many (I was going to say people who are not affected by it, but we are all affected by it, and if you are not injured by the injustice, you should accept that you benefit from it) so built into the foundation of every aspect of American life, is the crisis we are facing today.

* Thanks to Yobachi at for writing about this.

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