Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The society that eats its young

A good comment piece in the Grauniad from the inestimable Camilla Batmanghelidjh:
There is a fundamental problem with the way we deal with vulnerable children - whether as politicians, police or ordinary members of the public. All these interventions come from the perspective of the well-adjusted adult, needing to preserve our own sense of safety. We project our hate on to these fragile and marginalised children and we disguise our revenge as legitimate punishment. As the debate around antisocial behaviour rages on, these children are often described as menaces to society. We pride ourselves on the strategies we put in place to control them, whether that's banning them from wearing hoodies in shopping centres or placing them under Asbos that prevent them from walking down a particular street.
I guess the only thing we'd take issue with is the implication that any child who receives an asbo, or makes an adult feel 'threatened', is the product of a damaged background. In reality, some adults have an attack of the vapours if a 15-year-old blows a raspberry at them, and asbos are by no means an automatic indicator of disturbance. Some people hate children with no provocation whatsoever.


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