Monday, 23 February 2015

"Good liberal" @GraceDent writes bad article that treats children as ifthey are evil

This article is full of the kind of obnoxious and unempathetic lack of nuance that creates exactly the kind of culture where young people become "radicalised": 

We never solve anything by denying the humanity of humans. Children and young people need love and support (as do adults) but they live in a society where they are under attack from the policies of political parties and the reportage of the media. That's all kids I'm talking about although of course some have enough privilege to allow them to be less damaged by our anti-youth culture. 

But what about kids who exist in the intersection of multiple oppressions? What about kids who are told every day that they don't belong? Who exist in a racist, islamophobic, classist and sexist culture that says they are lesser in loads of other ways. In a culture that claims to be a democracy but where no one feels like they have power and the options for who to vote for are massively limited (not that many young people are old enough to vote). A culture that is at war with countries full of people. People who look might like you or practice the same religion as you and who your country is systematically murdering. Whilst at the same time it's clear your country are selectively murdering since other countries where people look like you or practice your religion are not bothered at all because they are "allies" which means attacking them not in the interests of those in power. 

And then of course there are personal factors to do with your upbringing, your brain chemistry, and the like that can help cause people to make mistakes or even to do terrible things. 

Surely trying to understand people's reasons or motivations for hurting others is essential if you want to stop people hurting each other. Surely remembering that all people, no matter how terrible their actions, are people is just seeing reality. All are a part of the global and national cultures that we are also a part of. We do not exist in isolation from each other.

Considering the kind of things I am articulating terribly above is not the same as condoning murder or torture or any of the other crimes committed by ISIS or the British Government or the bloke who lives next door or anyone else. Nor does putting those three entities in the same sentence mean I am saying they do violence in the same ways or for the same reasons. 

But you don't stop hate with hate. You don't understand things better by being ignorant. We can oppose evil actions whilst remembering that the people who do them are not evil. We are all products of our nature and our nurture and our culture. 

We can fill our prisons full of every marginalised person we can find, we can fight violence with violence, we can send in troops and drones to every country in the world and we will not solve the problems we face. We will create more and more problems instead. And the people with the money and the power will still have the money and the power. And I tell you who doesn't have the money and the power: Teenage girls.

I'd like to acknowledge that I say all this from a position of privilege. I don't fully understand what it is like to be from a marginalised group because I am not in one. But such concerns clearly don't give Grace Dent pause for thought before she writes this kind if garbage in a national newspaper. 

I'd prefer to hear what teenage girls of colour and/or faith have to say than Grace Dent or me. They would have a lot more insight. But they don't get to write for national newspapers.

And why not talk to teenagers rather than about them!

If anyone decides that the appropriate comment on this post is to accuse me of supporting terrorism, or wants to discuss how evil any humans are, they will be wasting their time. I am really sick of that argument. It is not supporting terrorism to understand terrorists are human (all kinds of terrorist not just the official ones). 

No comments:

Post a Comment