Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Substance of Truth

Youth in a Suspect Society: A Review - The Substance of Truth - By Tolu Olorunda - BlackCommentator.com Columnist
"In a radical free-market culture, when hope is precarious and bound to commodities and a corrupt financial system, young people are longer at risk: they are the risk."

- Giroux, Henry. Youth in a Suspect Society: Democracy or Disposability? New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, p. x.

"If youth once constituted a social investment in the future and symbolized the promise of a better world, they are now entering another stage in the construction of a global social order in which children are increasingly demonized and criminalized…"
-Ibid. p. 29.
"As the politics of the social state gives way to the biopolitics of disposability, the prison becomes a preeminently valued institution whose disciplinary practices become a model for dealing with the increasing number of young people who are considered to be the waste products of a market-mediated society."
- Ibid. p. 82.

It need not be said, though I find it necessary to restate, that Henry Giroux is one of the most important public servants the last 100 years have produced. In his expansive three decade plus academic career, Henry has written over 35 books, contributed to countless scholarly journals, and received numerous educational honors.

But perhaps what most makes this former high school basketball star distinct is his tireless advocacy on behalf of the frail, the vulnerable, the disposable.

Henry has focused much of his writing over the fragile existence disenfranchised populations are largely relegated to. Giroux's "critical sympathy" to the often forgotten, as Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson once mentioned, is what pushes him time after time to engage issues many of his peers would rather stay far away from - for fear of sanction, resentment, or job loss.

In that spirit of deep moral determination and fervent conviction, comes his latest work: Youth in a Suspect Society, which, above all else, is an attempt to interrogate the increasingly hostile future our society is preparing, with no sense of shame or irony, for its next tenants - young people.

Giroux wastes no time condemning the "assault against youth" being waged by all those blind to the radical realities of reproof youth, and especially those of color, are being confined to by way of policy and legislation. An example of this is provided in the case of Deamonte Driver, a seventh grader from Prince George's County, Maryland, who "died because his mother did not have the health insurance to cover an $80 tooth extraction."


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