In Trump’s America: The Root’s Angela Helm reported on September 10 that an 8-year-old biracial boy in Claremont, New Hampshire, was hanged by a rope around his neck by other juveniles in what his grandmother said was a racist attack. The boy’s grandparents and other relatives noted to nh1.com that the same teens who had attacked the 8 year old boy have been racially antagonistic to the boy for some time.
NH1.com said that Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase refused to comment on the case, but said the department is investigating the incident, which took place on Aug. 28. He said that because the perpetrators are juveniles, he is prevented from discussing the case publicly. He said that unlike the adult judicial system, which is aimed at punishment, the juvenile justice system is designed to correct and rehabilitate aberrant behavior.
Already, there are a multitude of contradictions that surface from Chase’s claim that the juvenile justice system is aimed at rehabilitation. If the contradiction isn’t immediate for you, let’s remember the overwhelming numbers of black and brown children who have been shot and killed over nothing more than posing a perceived threat, such as Tamir Rice; who was shot by two Cleveland police officers without even being asked to drop a toy gun he was holding. If rehabilitation is the goal of juvenile justice, why is it that violence is dispensed to Black and Brown youth by the police, but these white youth in New Hampshire are met with patience, understanding and tolerance?
We all know the answer, it’s the grisly truth of our nation and that is the prevailing white supremacy inherent in our so called “system of justice”.
Mark Chase claimed that these children “need to be protected” and that “mistakes they make as children should not have to follow them later into life”. Chase characterizes these predators as “young children”. He normalizes white supremacy as nothing more than a juvenile “mistake”. But this was no mistake, and the fact that the 8-year-old boy survived is a miracle. Those teens could have killed a child and it was up to chance alone that the boy was able to struggle free of the rope.
We need to recognize that this society will always characterize the violence carried out by white Americans as something that should tolerated or accommodated. It is trivialized as juvenile mistakes, and the vicious and bigoted teens who carried out this attempted lynching are characterized as “children”, while Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin [along with many others] are painted to be criminals, thugs, and labeled to be dangerous solely based on the color of their skin.
The boy’s grandparents and other relatives noted to nh1.com that the same teens who had attacked the 8 year old boy, have been racially antagonistic to the boy for some time.
It must be said…
If we normalize fascism, if we infantilize white supremacy, if we characterize attacks carried out by white supremacists as “juvenile mistakes”, we will be seeing more headlines like this every day. We will see many more Black and Brown youth meet the same end as Emmett Till, a 14 year old Black youth lynched in Mississippi in 1954. We will see the violent white supremacists continue to run free, spreading hate and violence as they do. With a president who openly incites violence from his “base” against protesters, who endorses police brutality, who defends the white supremacist attacks and murder in Charlottesville; we will continue to see the racist populace of this country emboldened. And we will continue to see headlines far more often and with a far more grim outcomes.
This country’s white supremacy cannot be approached as some outsider, fringe element. It is the prevailing ideology of this country and has been for some time. And this regime is fueled by that ideology, and this regime emboldens the fascist Nazi thugs in this country. We cannot accommodate or normalize white supremacy. It must be called out for what it is, regardless of the age of those who engage in its violence practice. This is why we must mobilize before it is too late, to drive out the regime that fuels and normalizes this type of violence. And we must continue to push day by day to prevent these headlines from growing in number and severity. Because it can get worse from here, and it will continue to unless this fascist regime is removed.