In May last year, a two-year-old girl was shot dead by her five-year-old brother with a small rifle made specifically for children. The accidental shooting happened in Cumberland County, Kentucky, when the boy was playing with a gun purchased from a company in Pennsylvania called Keystone Sporting Arms, which, in 2008, produced around 80,000 rifles for children. The guns, which sell under the model names Cricket and Chipmunk, were originally advertised on a “Kid’s Corner” on the company’s website (it has since been removed), which showed children firing them at rifle ranges and on hunting trips. The guns are produced in bright blue, pink and rainbow colours and marketed like toys, under the tag line “My First Rifle”.

via the Guardian

tobacco companies are forbidden from doing anything remotely like this according to law (some would argue and have argued even the placement of tobacco behind the counter and anywear near candy is a violation of that law). This is due in large part to the recognition of how destructive cigarettes are to life, especially young life. An instrument explicitly DESIGNED to kill though, well, I dunno, there’s some tired shit in the Constitution that people want to warp as far as that goes so whatever I guess

I like Coates’ addendum on his blog. He gives some love to the academics and teachers who slog through survey courses that likely end with many of the conclusions drawn by my students: absent the application of power to the foundation of class, there is no racial justice or equality. I like it when teachers get some love.

I like it because I identify as a teacher and also because I’m a bit of an education zealot. I’ve talked about how fundamental public libraries and teachers and those annual scholastic book ordering drives were to my childhood. Vivian liked to say that if They have put it in a book, then I should be able to figure out how to do it. And so the mantra for my life’s story, should it ever be worth writing, will be, “LOOK IT UP!” because that’s what Vivian screamed every time I started playing 100 questions with her.

Because education seems to have worked out fairly well for me and because I am not shy about stanning for librarians on social media, people are often surprised by my explicit political position that education is not and should not be a social policy solution to inequality. I do not think that higher education “access” is that laudable of a goal. I am mostly uninterested in political rhetoric about education being the “new” civil rights movement. I do not think that narrowly focusing on college completion is a particularly good thing. I’m a heretic about almost every fundamental populist education belief we’ve got.
How can I revere education as I do and refuse to accept it as the gospel that will save us from persistent, intractable inequality?

It is precisely because I revere education – formal and informal – that I refuse to sell it as a cure for all that ails us.

Degrees cannot fix the cumulative effect of structural racism that doesn’t just reinforce the link between family wealth and returns to educational attainment in the labor market but exists as a primary function of that link.

Reparations can.

When we allow education to be sold as a fix for wealth inequality, we set a public good up to fail and black folks that do everything “right” to take the blame when it goes “wrong”.



magspag replied to your post “also he’d be grosser, i assume; maybe i should hate-read hemingway”

Hemingway was an author i read way too much of as a surly american teen with too much internalized misogyny, because it was approved as serious literature and validated my own shitiness. i cannot recommend it in any way

aw :( i only read farewell to arms of my own free will, at like 17, and i was stupendously unimpressed

when you think about it it’s pretty fucked up and irresponsible to tell American teenage boys already steeped in misogynistic culture that Hemingway was a great man who wrote some of the greatest American literature…. but that’s just about every American high school for you.