A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Monday, April 25, 2005

The State Comes Crashing Down on 5-Year Old Little Girl, or, The Trickle Down Effect of the Prison-Industrial Complex Posted by Hello
No, not a good morning at all ladies and gents. The story I'm going to talk about is simply outrageous. A friend of mine (a very close and dear friend) called me Sunday morning and brought this sad news story to my attention after she had seen it on the 'Today' Show (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633/?ta=y) that same morning. The story being a little, five-year old African-American girl had been arrested (arrested by real police officers, mind you...not school security) in a Florida elementary school a few weeks ago. Now, I'd heard a little scuttlebutt (trickles here and there) about what had happened a day or two earlier, but I think I pushed it out of mind because 1) it was just too painful to comprehend (arresting a five-year old little girl...hogwash, that can't be true) and 2) there must be more to this story (i.e., the little girl must have had a handgun or a grenade or something of similar destructive potential, right?). Of course, it turns out the little girl WAS, in fact, arrested (police officers, handcuffs and all) and that she was arrested for throwing a temper tantrum (*gasp*, imagine that...a temper tantrum...that most sinister, ghastly and deadly of weapons; I mean, whoever heard of a five-year old doing such a dastardly thing...give me a break). My friend was irate and so was I (as, I would imagine, were a lot of people). In fact, the more I think of it, the more p.o.'d I get. First off, what does this say about the teachers and school administrators running the show down there in St. Petersburg, Florida (http://www.canadiancontent.net/commtr/article_772.html)? Are they so weak, pathetic and spineless that they can't handle the temper tantrum of a five-year old girl (you know, temper tantrums/fits? The SAME kind of behavior THEY probably exhibited, once or twice, when they were kids? A**holes)? What are they teaching these so-called teachers/school administrators before they are sent into the trenches of our centers of education? Certainly not patience and understanding; nor are they teaching them the basic tenets of small-children's psychology and child development. This is just ludicrous on so many levels that it is hard to comprehend. The Pinellas County Independent School District (http://www.pinellas.k12.fl.us/), which includes St. Petersburg, should be ashamed of itself (http://wizbangblog.com/archives/005757.php). Moreover,what does this say about the quality of our educators when, instead of knowing how to handle a five-year old child, they resort to calling "law enforcement"? Damn people, what is going on here? I'm not even an educator (just a college-educated jarhead, at your service, trained in the field of political science and history...definitely NOT trained in the field of education) and I'm already thinking there's a good chance this little girl is having difficulties at home and/or (if she's the only African-American student in a school composed of mostly Anglo students...go figure) she might be having some real adjustment problems. But, see to understand those possibilities, one must first have a heart and a sense of compassion at the center of their being...one must have the kind of sympathy, empathy and tenderness that is needed and desired in elementary school teachers (at least, that's what I would think). Instead, it looks like St. Petersburg (http://www.stpete.org/) has a few hard-hearted, jackasses running the education show down there...folks that probably should not have become teachers/educators in the first place! The second point I'd like to make is how this travesty is another "shining" example of how our society has been corrupted by the idea (and manifest reality) of what has been dubbed the "prison-industrial complex" (http://www.thetalkingdrum.com/prison.html). President Eisenhower warned us against the "military-industrial complex"(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military-industrial_complex) during his farewell address to the American people some forty-plus years ago in 1961. The same insidiousness and corrupting potential the military-industrial complex had on our system of government, that President Eisnhower fervently warned us against back then, can be said about this new spector known as the "prison-industrial complex" (http://www.alternet.org/wiretap/12810/). Bottom line is this: we are now living in a society (as my dear friend so adroitly pointed out) that is all about "hammer time", in other words, we are society that is more into punishment than understanding and rehabilitaton. That's probably why it was so easy for those people (probably quasi-racists) in St. Petersburg to call the police on a five-year old little girl and have her handcuffed and thrown in the back of the police cruiser as though she was a common criminal. Just outrageous! And what about the little girls memories of this horrific event? Of her little arms being twisted behind her by those uniformed police officers? Her little wrists handcuffed (shoot, I didn't think they even had handcuffs that could fit the wrists of a five-year old girl)? I can only hope and pray that because she IS a child (and thus super-resilient, generally speaking http://www.ericdigests.org/2001-3/mexican.htm ) she will slough off those painful memories and continue on her lifepath unscathed; rising upward and onward to a successful and happy life. But in the meantime, if I was that little girls parent, I would sue the heck out of the Pinellas County School District (http://www.pinellas.k12.fl.us/) and quite possibly the City of St. Petersburg (http://www.stpete.org/) with all the zeal and gusto I could muster. Semper Fidelis


Blogger Tom said...

I saw the same film on NBC this morning and I guess different people see things differently. I was prepared to be outraged too, but came away with mixed feelings.
Apparently the school was left with strict instructions/ cautioned not to touch her by the mother. That left those in charge a little lost when the little girl went around tearing up school property. She was hardly sweet and innocent and while her obvious behavioral disorder was deeply sad, she needed to be retrained in some way to keep from injuring herself and injuring others.
To me, anyway the staff and administartion treated her with extreme patience and gentleness under the circumstances. No one that I saw mistreated her physically or verbally. I'm very sensitive to these issues as I was physically abused as a child and all I saw was people doing the best they could to control a child that was not just throwing a tantrum, but was out of control-especially considering the instructions left by the parent. The principle seemed like a kind and intelligent person truly upset that the situation ended up like it did.
It was very disconcerting to see a child taken into custody, but the police were also patient and gentle.
As a liberal I hope that other liberals won't just sound off about the situation without some sympathy for both the child, and the adults that had to deal with a difficult situation. Just my two cents worth.

Keep up the good work Marine.

7:28 PM  

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