First Acts of Small Violence: Reflections on Breastfeeding and Enemas in West Africa
In conjuring up acts of violence, many Westerners readily picture guns or other unyielding weapons that allow one person to use force against another — including projectile force (via bullets) or, even more, ‘weapons of mass destruction’, which have an enormous capacity to produce a great deal of violence with a minimum of effort. When we consider such acts of violence, many of us likewise readily picture strangers as their perpetrators. The government-funded initiative, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) — which is now administered by local police departments in 49 countries — takes as its earliest goal the socialization of young children into fearing strangers as potential perpetrators of drug-motivated violence.1 Through the program, police officers entering elementary school rooms instruct five-year-old children to shun strangers who might abduct them for unspeakable purposes. Other programs target even younger children for this lesson (Holcombe et al. 1995).
KeywordsEarly Childhood Female Genital Mutilation Critical Race Theory Structural Violence Female Genital Cutting
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