The graphic video from South Carolina of a 16-year-old young woman tossed and beat up by a school police officer exemplifies the brutality and criminalization the youth face today.
Children and young people are a sacred generation in any society. They embody the hope and potential that the society holds for its future. Then what does it say about American society that one in five of our children experience hunger and poverty? That our schools have been turned into detention centers? That our children are subjected to fascism, brutalized in our schools, and even killed by police in our streets?
The graphic video from South Carolina of a 16-year-old young woman tossed and beat up by a school police officer exemplifies the brutality and criminalization the youth face today. Another video from a Kentucky elementary special education classroom shows an 8-year-old, 52-pound boy (with PTSD and ADHD) yelling in pain as school police handcuff him above his elbows after experiencing “disability-related difficulties” and disobeying his teacher. Incidents like these are commonplace across the country. Young people are also the targets of police killings; as of November, over 180 people under the age of 25 were killed by the police in 2015. The brutalization of our class starts immediately. They don’t wait for us to become adults. Why is this happening?
Society is undergoing a technological and economic revolution where our work is becoming automated, and moving toward a future where workers will not be needed. We face a future where a whole generation of the working class will have no opportunity under capitalism. This is why schools increasingly operate like prisons, why children are brutalized by police and vigilantes and why government is letting more and more children go hungry and homeless. Where is the outrage?
The ruling class is fostering a culture where we are told that young people are out of control, that force and violence is the only way to keep them in line—this is fascism. Fear-mongering and media manipulation is used to justify more police, more militarization, more surveillance—at the expense of programs that provide for people’s basic needs and promote the common good.
The reason we are seeing this fascist violence is because the ruling class cannot provide for us. The ruling class cannot provide for those who it can no longer exploit in the workplace—there’s no profit to be made. What is happening to young people in America is something that the entire working class is facing.
Our society is at a crossroads. Will we accept the fascist vision the ruling class is bringing to reality? The capitalists are doing everything they can to keep the working class divided, fighting amongst ourselves, so that they can push their agenda forward.
We must envision a new kind of society, one of peace and freedom, a future made possible by the technological revolution. These new tools, if controlled by the people for the people, can put an end to hunger, homelessness, and brutality. If we unite in struggle, and unite in vision, we can take our future back from the ruling class and build a future that will truly benefit us all.