I remember when I was in school the words "children are the future of America" held little meaning to me. I never considered that along with millions of other baby boomers would one day be running the show. Fortunately for us the school system was still geared to grade on the curve, reward the high achievers by putting them on track to succeed. We had nutritious lunches, physical education, and recess. Unfortunately for the current generation things aren't so rosy.
Danny Weil writes on truthout.org when there used to be a time when children were viewed as the future of our society, the harbingers of progress and imagination. This all changed in the 1980s, as childhood became the subject of hyperbolic commodification, and children, specifically those of color, were demonized as a threat to the larger white society.
The rise of Reaganomics saw the defunding of schools, the closing of publicly funded recreational centers, and the elimination of social protections for kids, especially for marginalized youth of color. Once thought of as prospects for a bright future, children have now slowly morphed into either being considered little more than consumers in the marketplace or marked threats in the eyes of the public. Childhood has been replaced by adult bewilderment, rapaciousness, virulent immorality and greed.
This can all be considered part and parcel of the decades of war against youth. Youth expendability is now the norm as there are no jobs or simply low-paying jobs being created for future adults.
Outsourcing, automation and cyber-learning have left a deracinated, futureless landscape in cultural and economic despair. Play time has now transgressed into penal time as the carceral state seeks to define more and more what it means to be a child.
Read the entire article here.