Kids in the Other America Where It’s Guns Not Roses

Kids and Guns

A Katniss with guns: British-born Brooklynite, photographer Sharif Hamza has a  fascinating project on children who are more interested in gun-related sports than in soccer or tennis.

In light of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Miami Dade, Florida, this project takes on a special urgency. Most of the children, ages ranging from 12 to 18, are from Texas, Florida, Arizona, and the Southern States, which are emerging children’s markets for guns. The Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz, prior to being expelled from Stoneman Douglas, was a member of a Varsity Rifle club that received a ten-thousand dollar grant from the NRA.

Hamza notes that children of this other America prefer guns over soccer balls primarily because they have a different perspective on their environment from children raised in rich, urban and suburban centers on the two coasts and progressive states. The former see the world as a more “dangerous” place with rising crime and insecurity, than the latter do. The rich, one can guess are focused on making money, getting ahead in life in the usual capitalistic way, and they may see the world as a risky, yet exciting financial market.

My two cents: You can’t produce or protect wealth with guns but with intelligence and wit. The clever know that.

Besides shooting-sports aren’t physically active sports; you just stand and shoot targets. Being a physically unchallenging sport, it is a low-risk and no-strategy sport which parents from progressive states in America don’t encourage in their children.

Hamza’s project is yet another evidence that America is a divided nation, from the cradle itself.




A Wrinkle in the Narrative of White Supremacy

The narrative of white supremacy in America has predominantly been a masculine one, conceived through a masculine lens, if you will.

In her book, “Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy,” Elizabeth Gillespie McRae of Western Carolina University, argues that the story of white supremacy is also a story of women.

Professor McRae presents her ideas in a nutshell in the New York Times.

The “Able-Bodied” American

As the New York Times points out, there is a resurgence of the word “able-bodied” in contemporary conservative discourses on which American deserves state aid and who doesn’t.

The consensus seems to be that an “able-bodied” citizen should not qualify for state aid like medicaid, for instance. Only the empirically “disabled” should avail of the welfare network of food stamps, subsidized housing and subsidized health.

If state aid is contingent on the state of the body, then does that ground the definition of the poor in a physical rather than an economic criteria?

One wonders.

Food Fear

“If there’s something we need to cut from our diet, it’s fear,” writes Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The most interesting–and disturbing–point raised by Dr. Carroll is about an American antipathy for science in this case. Even if scientists discredit the notion that “gluten-free” food is necessary for everyone, American consumers don’t care. The indifference to science is part of a general anti-intellectual trend that pervades our culture, perhaps since time-immemorial.