Liberty and Justice for All?

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HenryAGirouxPiya Chattopadhyay of The Agenda interviews Henry A. Giroux, Contributing Editor.

Piya Chattopadhyay sits down to discuss Giroux’s new book “The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine.

Giroux’s interview, like his writing is incisive and rapid fire. He argues that the transformations of U.S. society and government have not only become chilling to democracy, but eviscerate it. An exaample of this is his discussion of the militarization of police forces – something we have all to glaringly seen with the police response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri after the police murder of Michael Brown.

Here is is opening example of the violence in society.

“You have a culture that is so indebted to a spectcle of violence that it’s almost out of control. I think that one of the things that we have to recognize is since the 1980s is that the violence really becomes one of the highest priorities and ways of mediating social relationships in the United States.”

“I’ll give you an example. I’ll give you three examples.”

One is you now have the increasing militarization of local police forces. The weapons that were in Afghanistan and Iraq are now being brought home and given to police forces. ”

“Ohio State University got a tank to put on its campus for its local security forces. I mean a tank?  On a university campus? I mean, what does that suggest? ”

“Secondly, what you have is what I call “punishment creep.” Meaning that the model of the prison is increasingly now moving into other institutions. Schools now in many cases are now being modeled after prisons, more security guards than teachers, right? Kids have to be humiliated walking through all these metal detectors. Zero tolerance policies in schools that are nothing but hyper-punitive in the way in which they work.”

And thirdly, you have the increasing criminalization of social behavior meaning that to be homeless is now a crime. Its’ not just simply a social problem that we need to address. “

This is just a sampling. I encourage listening to the interview, and reading his book.


Also available at The Agenda

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