This is nothing new. For decades brown and black bodies are routinely denied their childhood to justify violence being perpetrated on them. The events in the US of the past year, where 12-year-old black boys are shot dead because they appear older, or the justification of targeted bombing of Palestinian children because “war is war” shows us that the intersection of race serves time and again to dehumanise and delegitimise the lives and childhoods of brown and black bodies.
by Judith Wanga
In yesterday’s Independent online The Evening Standard’s restaurant critic and ex-Guardian soap opera reviewer, Grace Dent, gabe us the gift of her deep understanding of wider society, this time opining that the teenagers in the news who have left the country, apparently to join ISIS in Syria, should not be allowed to return to their British homes.
Dent’s approach to the girls is cynical and full of condemnation. Her description of the girls as appearing to be “cool headed, elegantly pulled together, determined young women” deliberately ignores their ages (the youngest is fifteen) which confirm their child-status. This is the same logic and defence used by those who groom and abuse kids. “They didn’t look underage”; “they were really mature for their age”. It requires you to dismiss the evident fact that, despite their mature appearance, these were, in fact, teenage girls who are naive and susceptible…
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