CRIME, VIOLENCE, DEMAGOGUERY
The opinions expressed in blog posts are those of the author and not necessarily those of YouthFacts.org
Obama’s latest bizarre youth-bashing: Drugs, crime and imprisonment are just “teenagers doing stupid things.” Seriously, what is wrong with this president when it comes to young people? His primitive notions of drug abuse and crime are backward, wrong, and sabotage the good reforms he champions.
The White House’s selective anti-rape politicking. “Rape is rape,” says the president… but only when it occurs on campus by “young people.” Not when it happens in American homes, perpetrated by parents and caretakers against children and youth.
Teenage terrorists in every community! Right-wing bigots depict violent jihadism as typical of Muslims. Official and left-wing bigots depict violent jihadism as typical of young people seduced by “social media.” With idiocies like these governing discussion, no wonder the United States ignores crucial issues.
Obama blames Charleston shooting on “young people.” Barack Obama and Bill Clinton may rank among the smartest presidents, but they sound like primitive reactionaries on youth. Continuing his administration’s ugly campaign to blame the young for all social problems – mass shootings, gun violence, crime, rape, drug abuse, bullying, obesity, racism, betraying America’s ideals, etc. – Obama again singled out “young people” as responsible for the Charleston tragedy.
It’s okay for liberals to talk about domestic violence against children and teenagers. The pretense that youth are murdered, raped, beaten, and bullied only by their peers is a persistent evasion in mainstream and progressive media alike.
Are liberal MSNBC commentators trying to get more black teenagers shot? The supposedly liberal network is baselessly blaming local “teenagers” and “14 and 15 year-olds” for Ferguson, Missouri’s, violence and arson in the wake of November 24’s grand jury decision exonerating the white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager. MSNBC’s bizarre effort to create more fear of black teenagers is amply refuted by Monday night’s arrest statistics.
The demonization of African American youth. The demonization of African American youth as ever-worse murderers, drug dealers, and criminals is perpetrated by the right and left alike–when in fact, murder and other crime by black youth has fallen to 50-year lows and comprises only a tiny fraction of the nation’s homicide and crime toll.
Gun violence: “Our children” versus “their children”. Despite the murders of 700 to 1,000 children and teens every year in family violence, mainly inflicted by their parents, the White House’s Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Initiative continues the official pretense that household violence only affects women, and teenagers are assaulted and killed only by other teens. Why is President Obama, who stridently condemns “youth violence,” so reluctant to talk about domestic violence against children and youth?
Why is it all right to blame all teenagers for rape? Time’s Susanna Schrobsdorff, Forbes’ Bob Cook, and a host of other journalists and commentators would be fired if they aimed their bigoted trashings accusing all members of any other demographic group of being rapists and accomplices of rape–the same as if they’d declared that all Catholics are like sexually abusive priests, or rapist-abductor Ariel Castro was just engaging in everyday middle-aged male behavior.
“Deadly lessons” in lying: CNN’s Anderson Cooper “keeps it unreal” in a hate-myth series on Chicago youth. Lamenting the murders of children is no excuse for this media orgy bashing all of Chicago’s young (black) people with alarmist lies no one at CNN bothered to fact-check — when, contrary to claims of a new “culture of violence,” police and health reports show violence by and against Chicago youth have fallen to all-time lows.
Lead exposure and poverty: Have we gotten “youth violence” all wrong? We’ve found in repeated studies that teenagers and young adults are no more prone to risk-taking and crime than older adults once the fact 15-24 year-olds are 2-3 times more likely to suffer the economic and environmental harms associated with poverty than middle-agers is taken into account. Now, a researcher finds lead in the blood–which at high levels are associated with many aspects of criminal behavior–by generation track crime rates in a strikingly reliable fashion.
Who’s really murdering our children–and why won’t we talk about it? A large majority of murdered American children under age 10 died not from shootings by deranged gunmen, gangbangers, bullies or lurking internet predators, but in violence at home by their parents. A child or teenager under age 18 is 40 times more likely to be murdered at home than at school by anyone. Realities to think about as political interests in the wake of Sandy Hook make schools sound like dens of mass slaughter.
American gun debate stifled by myth, dogma, and resistance to crucial information During Barack Obama’s presidency, 3,000 American children and teenagers have been murdered at home in domestic violence, nearly all by parents and caretakers. That’s a Sandy Hook-sized toll every 10 days. Have the president and other leaders faced this difficult reality? Hardly. The Obama White House has largely ignored child abuse and has flatly blamed gun violence on “children.” Without a major change of heart in the White House, the legacy of Sandy Hook will be just another study in scapegoating.
Plunge in black-youth crime threatens politics of scapegoating. The latest, 2011, FBI Crime in America report shows rates of all types of crime by African American youth have fallen to their lowest levels since statistics by race were first reported (in incomplete fashion) in 1964. Yet President Obama, mayors, media commentators, and right-wing lobbies continue to push their agendas by demonizing today’s black youth as the epicenter of violence–a 2012 bigotry as insidious as Jim Crow.
The “Zimmerman Dilemma”: How afraid should we be of young black men? Self-appointed suburban vigilante George Zimmerman pursues and guns down unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin; his later comments showed he feared Martin simply because the teenager was young and African American. How much responsibility does the national commentariat, from President Obama to black leaders to right-wing fear-mongers, bear for misrepresenting today’s young black men as fearsomely violent… exactly the way Zimmerman misperceived Trayvon Martin?
“Stand your ground” does not apply to black teenagers Typically, after a highly publicized shooting, the National Rifle Association & friends declare that if the “good guy” victim(s) of a “bad guy” gunman had just been armed, they’d still be alive. Strangely, the NRA failed to raise the argument that if African American teenager Trayvon Martin had a Glock 19 pistol instead of Skittles, Martin could have repelled his attacker. In fact, the entire discussion has been whether vigilante George Zimmerman had the right under Florida law to “stand his ground” against Martin after he’d pursued and picked a fight with Martin–not about Martin’s rights under that same law.
But aren’t kids today more violent? NO. They’re far less so — no matter how badly politicians, lobbies, consultants, and the press needs them to be getting worse.
With loony “middle ground” lobbies like these, who needs right-wing racists? Third Way urges progressive politicians to get ahead of conservatives with old-fashioned demagoguery whipping up fears of a youth “crime wave” driven by new technologies and racial change, blaming crime on illegal immigrants, and pushing harsh crackdowns.
How many of America’s 30,000 fatal shootings every year occur on school campuses? Around 30 in a bad year — 1 one-hundredth of 1%. America’s schools are safer from shootings than Denmark. But you’d be forgiven for thinking it must be thousands, given the strenuous efforts by the White House, lobbies, and news media to convince students that violence and school shootings are just the normality for their age.
The middle-aged crime wave you never heard of. Americans in their 40s (that is, the parents!) commit more murder, rape, and assault than teenaged youths do, one of the many facts you’ll never hear from today’s herd journalists and experts.
Press stenographers recite Minneapolis Police Chief’s lie that juveniles commit 50% of the city’s violence. CBS News and other outlets were so eager to award puff-piece congratulations to the Minneapolis Police Department that they failed to fact-check the MPD’s own readily available statistics showing Chief Tim Dolan’s comments blaming youths for violence were flat-out lies.
Police Department’s vitriol against young people is more reason for federal takeover. The cops brand a 16 year-old murder victim as “at risk” and blame her for being shot by a 36 year-old man simply because she was in public. The police chief trashes the city’s young people en masse as greedy and dangerous even though youth perpetrate only a small fraction of crime. Pervasive, continuing police bigotries underlies the reason for the recent federal takeover of the troubled OPD.
UC Berkeley’s Malcolm Potts’ racist/ageist rants blame all war and terrorism on teenagers. Demographer Potts ugly new eugenics blaming dark-skinned young people for global war and terrorism is not just beyond factually insane, his proposal to use birth control to limit their numbers is a throwback to century-old racism… as well as suicidal.