Saturday, March 31, 2012

Note to Self: Learn the Difference Between a Child, a Young Man, and a Youth *

I was reading this short exposition on the Atlantic from Ta-Nehsi Coates, On The Age and Innocence of Trayvon Martin and the discussion of Trayvon Martin's age obviously, even after Coates's post, went on into the comments. 

The discussion at least for a moment moved from the issue people have with Trayvon Martin's age as depicted by pictures, as Coates addresses, to a questioning of the use of the word "child" to describe a 17-year-old male. The person that started the conversation in the comments argued that at sixteen Trayvon Martin would commonly be referred to as a "Young Man" instead of calling him the "child" the media and others are trying to claim him to be. (I found this and would like to expound on this some other time.)  

A couple of quick points because it's late, but I would like to explore this later:

  • I, in personal experience, rarely was called a "young man" at the age of 16, or even older, unless by an older gentlemen affecting some strange species of formality or someone in a suite. 
  • It was pointed out that 18 is the legal cut off age for childhood. At this age you can still be a ward of the state in America, I think, or at least some places in America. That is, if I'm not completely off with what little information I have about my country's social service's system. 
  • My last point is a point that's probably being often repeated in this case and that's probably because it's important for us not to forget what's important in this situation amid the brouhaha. That is it doesn't matter what we refer to this kid as. A man shot this baby, as my mother would call him and any other child she sees as much younger than her, and he's not been arrested based on a bogus law. That isn't okay. Frankly, the whole ordeal is a whole lotta sad, mixed in a bowlful of scary. 

* I know these are more trivial matters than the true issue at hand, and I do have opinions on those issues, despite this I'm going to take the road less traveled on this one because there are more eloquent and adept people speaking on this issue. Besides, we should know better by now. This is the year 20 and 12 of our lord, why are we operating as if a half century ago isn't a world away? We're operating, in 2012, under laws that seem more of a fit for the middle ages. Nonsense. Somebody needs to do something about that find away to throw out what works without toppling civilization and keep the rest. Simple, at least when said. I love Jon Stewart's take on the "Stand your ground" law. (3:40 sec-4:00 in the long video)

No comments:

Post a Comment