Leave those kids alone

 

John-Telford

May 22, 2014

Telford’s Telescope

Leave those kids alone

“In Knox County, Tennessee teenagers who were caught with cigarettes or skipping school can find themselves in handcuffs, facing steep fines and even criminal records, all without being represented by counsel.”

Teenage Mischief Can Lead to Jail Time in Tennessee

Tell Me More, NPR

What scares me most about this is the lack of national uproar as a consequence, probably because most of the nation isn’t even aware this is going on. In our age of increasingly dumbed-down infotainment, when the objective is to give the masses all the candy they can eat  and to hell with what they need, stories such as this which stand as a stark warning sign along the road to oblivion are forever muffled by the deafening white noise of irrelevance and trivia.

Our children are being criminalized for acting like children, and we are OK with this because either we have accepted the ludicrous right wing/religious tough on crime stance that no punishment is too harsh for an errant child in need of correction. Or because we simply don’t care or don’t want to know.

But the future has a memory, and when she looks back at how ignorant we allowed ourselves to be, and how we tossed our own children onto the funeral pyre like so much cordwood as a willing sacrifice to that ignorance which we cherish so dear, there will surely be hell to pay.

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