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The Sorrow and Sociology of Dead Children


The Sorrow and Sociology of Dead Children

Robert C. Koehler

Experts have put urban violence under the microscope. You might call it the sociology of dead kids.


“They were trying to explain why a specific young African-American male in a high-crime neighborhood becomes a shooting victim, while another young black man in the same neighborhood doesn’t, the study said.”

The explanation is simple. One cop missed.

Dehumanizing an enemy is an old tactic of militaristic societies. We can look at the way the dominant media of the past has portrayed the Spanish, the Germans, the Japanese, the Arabs, and any other population that we found in our crosshairs.

Tragically, young men of color are being defined by the corporate media as our (meaning us white folk) enemy.

Additionally, why does the headline mention “dead children” while the study being criticised deals only with “nonfatal” shootings?



The soico(pathy) of city administration being made the primary metric for making all human concerns subject to the economic metrics of capitalization would seem to be the over-arching poison. The participation of the human beings making up ‘demos’ in democracy is shunted aside by the machinations of industries playing usurpatious demi-god as ‘solution’ to its previous iteration. In that stage (not to mention the entire history of violence on workers) when the colonizing of low/slave wage could be shipped overseas, all that had been ‘externalized’ to create those bodacious profit margins was systematically consigned to some perverse ‘amortized’ status. The word amortize is worth considering - the Latin ‘death’ being its etymological root. Life in this system, like nature, is obscured and erased from conscious business lexicon and metric as being the foundation that it IS.
This is a real ‘trickle down’ embedded in the construct. ALEC is among the diarrheal spawn within the process with ‘deadly’ consequences.By deadening (perhaps a metric of unspoken ‘amortization’?) the vitality of the lexicon of inclusive process in the informed consent of the governed is slathered with advertising scripts of ‘consumer’ to the exclusion (externalization) of both participatory economy and participatory democracy by which only the predatory dynamics model is recognized.

The construct in Great Britain has now apparently mandated that banks shall levy a fee for ‘consumers’ to use their institutions to “save” their “money”.


From Mr. Koehler:

“I guess what I felt as I read this was the ache of same old, same old. An impersonal study postulates an impersonal way of looking at the shooting deaths of young male Chicagoans (of color, of course); and a large, impersonal governing force, the Police Department, “armed” with impersonal data, watches and manipulates human beings from a distance in the name of crime prevention. And the consumers of spectator culture, the American public, read about it and move on, slightly reassured, perhaps, that the experts are handling these matters.”

The item made conspicuous BY its absence is any mention of machismo and the particular armed and dangerous form of masculinity–marketed as TV police hero or overseas super soldier–that’s being conditioned onto males, in general. And with it, of course, comes a love of guns, fighting force, and any cause to show one’s prowess (like a peacock presenting its feathers) at the faintest of provocations.

Militarism could not exist without a raw form of masculinity. It’s military might that makes for a capitalist run consumer society. Without the fist in the glove and the force of arms to commandeer the resources of other less well-armed lands, there certainly would not be the embarrassment of riches packaged on mall and supermarket shelves.

As usual, Koehler avoids the 3rd rail of sexism, misogyny, patriarchy, and the shadow rape culture in order to make cases that fit into his preferred parameters. I agree with what he said. My issue is with the taboo to which he never gives voice.


Koehler also stated:

“Missing from the Sun-Times story was any mention of community, at least as something organic and protective. Also missing were words such as valuing, listening, respecting — without which, my God, security for anyone is a travesty. Missing also was any mention of militarized police or our national obsession with war. These are the forces of dehumanization and they put all of us at risk.”

The passive voice that insists upon “our national obsession with war” reminds me of the initial N.Y.C. police reports that saw “an arm come around the victim’s neck.”

In the case of the arm, this nebulous reference leaves the actual police officer and the choice he made to use unnecessary aggression (in a hold-tactic that is against the law) out of the equation.

Similarly, a blanket statement like “OUR national obsession with war” turns what is planned, executed, and deceptively justified by a relative handful of empowered players with complete control of the mass media into what citizens hypothetically want, agree to, and applaud.

Missing from this shallow Status-quo reinforcing statement is any mention of the enormous propaganda hydra that works through houses of fundamentalist religious gatherings, Hollywood’s depiction of overseas conflicts (and related “enemy-making” films), TV shows, a lock-step fake news media, and assorted major sporting events to push, sex-up, and glorify war, soldiers, and fixed cases to “justify” already planned conflicts.

Alleging that the result of all this programming somehow represents what people choose is either propaganda–penned by choice or otherwise that which comes from the voice of the Inner Authoritarian who takes what is conditioned upon a People for what they would otherwise arrive at on the basis of an honest media and truly open, Democratic society.

Robert apparently still can’t believe that “it’s not butter!”


Militarism could not exist without banks.