Driving Without the Vote
A discourse of youth rights.
This is dedicated to Serenity, Jennifer, Keeley, Jake,and Aaron.
In my burgeoning youth (I am still youthful) I would meet people who still haunt me today. In a racist class system we were re-educated from common sense to the New American logic: Christopher Columbus discovered America, Paul Revere yelled, "the English are coming" (if everyone was English who exactly was coming?), if we Americans weren't the only country to have used NUCLEAR WEAPONS against another country we wouldn't have ended the war with Japan, etc. Every day in history class I would have to answer questions reverberating American logic. In English we studied primarily white male writing from America and England. Then I would have to engage again in this American logic by trying to immitate their writings, i.e. thought processes.
Haunted by the ERA being regulated to a real estate company, after women having finally recieved the right to fully own and control property less than one hundred years previous, I felt the destruction by our re-education camps.
Science was taught from the male Christian perspective and enshrouded with falsities. I once remember arguing with a teacher that I could see air. It wasn't until I learned physics ten years later that my view point was validated. Biology was based on a system of raising frogs for chloroform and the countless disections of animals not rescued from the "Humane" Society. Earth Science was a mixture of the two with the added inducement of pouring harsh chemicals down the drain and into our water supply. In chemistry all students get the chance to daily dump chemicals down the drain and into our water supply filling the pockets of big Chemical Corporations including Dow. Choice is not a communique of the schools. If you miss an assignment, you fail the assignment. Everyone must experiment with their water supply. When a woman would speak of her observations often about her own body and her inner awareness of it, it was American Logic to say, "Those aren't true observations and you are jumping to conclusions." This is scientific method! And then the class is set back on course towards re-education from logic and common sense.
Do the youth rebel? As the youth grappled against their concentration camps, in which current politics took the battlefield of Christian Zionism parotted by corporate media, the youth took to the streets all over America after entering the highly illegal war against Iraq.
The courage of the youth to speak up against the ecoli rationings in their cafeterias, the coca cola ads in their hallways, the McDonalds and Burger Kings on campus, the FREE animal tested hygiene supplies in Home Ec classes, is unparelleled. The courage was to leave their detainment centers and walk into the streets facing possible reassignment to the most hellish of institutes in the New American Logic refineries: The Continuation School.
The continuation school is a program set up for "troubled" youth, i.e., black, latino, asians, middle eatern and russian kids with a small smattering of white American youth. The idea that the youth shouldn't be troubled by the advancement of corporate global power and the ineffectual perversity of the educated to not educate in order to make national standards tests is one that many a youth and teacher has cried about together. The trouble is often state regulated to home life, those three or four precious hours with family and the three the youth might spend alone. Rich parents who don't work are heros, poor parents who don't work are the New American logic outreach programs mixed with economic bashing. The teachers who educate at poorer schools are paid less. They therefore have more incentive to favor the richer students. Home life is very rarely the cause of the continuation schools. A troubled student is one who in which emulates the behaviors of a mental thought process which functions on illogical factoids and absolute faith. "Under God and Indivisible." A troubled student is one who asks troubling questions.
The continuation schools are loaded to the brim with gangs. Gangs are groups of youth who rove together to ward off cops. Though American journalism and sociology attempt to redefine the Black Panthers as militant and the police as benevolent, in the inner cities the youth have differnet stories to tell. Teenagers who look different or are of color are more prone to illegal detainment and searches as well as physical assault. Not protected with rights they are often entered into the system with falsified evidence and physical violence. Economic class structure is the easiest way to be picked up. Roving gangs of cops patrol the poorer neighborhoods picking off the lone stragglers. Gangs are formed out of neccesity. As the surburban class teenager tags sign posts in suburbia and smokes weed in the park, the poorer chicanos and blacks are beaten and detained for resisting arrest. Both groups have been targeted by American Logic.
Kids are often removed from the re-education camps all together and placed in Youth Authority Programs. In particular the California Youth Authority Program bysteps re-education alltogether and the kids are used as enslaved prison labor.
The threat of becoming apart of this is made clear everyday on billboards, commercials, and in the classroom. "If you don't go to college you will work in a sweatshop or make less money. If you don't pass my class you won't go to college. If you fail too many classes we will have to fail you for the year. IF you are failing too many years you must be troubled and you will be sent to a continuation school. If you are in a continuation school you must be a stupid criminal. If you are a stupid criminal then maybe you should work for the state corporation without pay."
Youth who refuse to be detained by the re-education camps of American Logic are subject to imprisonment. They are sent to foster homes, and to mental institutions. were they can be locked up for years. Under the mind think of the American Corporation, this behavior indicates mental illness and is stigmatic of family problems or a chemical imbalance. Both indicate the need of medication. If parents chose to home school they are still subject to teaching American logic, even if they have the will to argue against it. Going to school is the law, parents who have children who refuse schools are subject to the Clinton/Nixon judicial system which can include imprisonment. Only at the age of driving without the vote are the youth allowed to drop out of the American re-education camps. Those who chose to drop out are often the ones searched illegally by the cops on school grounds, the ones sniffed by viscious looking dogs in their crotch on campus, beaten up off campus by the cops, fed ecoli and mildly poisoned state food by the cafeterias, simply speaking MINORITIES.
Year after year the slander of our youth mounts in venom and unbelievable hatred. Youth are targeted more frequently on the streets. Every week the corporate media targets youth parties and dance clubs, looking for drugs and innapropriate sexual behavior. After the journalist scores some dope they head out to consume it and relax in a bar. American Logic in full force they report youth clubs as sinister and a hive of sin. All portrayed in Neo Christian Zionist terminology.
As youth rights de-escalate and the schools become more and more overcrowded prison camps for reeducation the youth struggle to give voice. As search dogs and illegal searches insue no one speaks out against it but the youth. Advocates of "three strikes" laws are now attempting to lower the age standards to include the youth who are without rights in our country.
Because the youth do not have a medium in which free and full representation is guaranteed, the laws become more harsh every year. Full representation must be hosted by the youth, for the youth, and of the youth. Company endorcement, after school programs, and adult regulated activities do not fall into this catergory.
Children are not allowed to work in our society under the age of 16. This law is not enforced by the states in capturing the youth and setting them to work without pay. Youth rights are trampled by the government in hopes of appeasing corporations- the ones they are the CEO's, lawyers, and board members of.
Every year we decry the dropout rate , the detruction of our enviroment, our economy, and youth behavior. The youth are allowed to drive but can not vote. They often voice excellent opinions on the enviroment and the economy.
I often wished I had dropped out of high school to spend time having a youth. The last two years of high school were the most worthless attempt at homogenizing me to Walmart, Safeway, Pepsi, and McDonald's.
Youth being a large segment of the workers in these corporations are often outrageously mistreated because they do not hold legal ground. As lawyers for these companies often include former senators or Presidents (Richard Nixon for Pepsi and HIllary Clinton for Walmart are two examples) we see the stranglehold of governments andjudicial systems bent on using media to stop youth rights.
Youth rights must be at the heart of the liberal movement. Instead of embracing staid ageism in keeping away from the more radical youth movements, or from reaching out to the college and high school students we must learn to communicate with them without the stigma of corporate media. As one of the most enslaved and misalighned groups in our class system, we must seek rights for them.
The next time you are wondering what the youth think: ask them; not corporate sponsored functions or media.
On the week-ends go downtown and do copwatch. As the cops systematicaly pull over and search black youth, please stay and watch. Find out what they think. Encourage them to post their account to indymedia. Encourage them. They are the ones filling the jails of Portland, San Fransciscop, LA, Chicago, New Orleans, and New York.
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