from truthout–Winter in America: Democracy Gone Rogue, by Henry A. Giroux
As the country undermines its own democratic values, violence and anti-democratic practices become institutionalized throughout American culture, their aftershocks barely noticed, testifying to how normalized they have become. For instance, one major report indicated recently that more “than 60 percent of children were exposed to violence within the past year … [with] nearly half of adolescents surveyed … assaulted at least once in the previous year [and] one-quarter had witnessed an act of violence.” In one week, the media reported on a 12-year-old student who was arrested for doodling on her desk at school. Her teacher thought it was a criminal act and called the New York City police who promptly handcuffed her and took her to the local police station. In Montgomery, Maryland, a 13-year-old student at Roberto Clement Middle Schools was taken out of class by security officers after she refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The mainstream media provide glimpses of such assaults, but rarely are they analyzed within a broader political and social context that highlights the political and economic conditions that make them possible. For instance, such assaults say nothing about the increasing militarization of public schools, the right-wing attempts to defund them so they can be privatized, the rampant inequality that approximates a form of class warfare, or the racism often at the heart of such practices.
(See original op-ed for footnotes)