Tuesday, June 09, 2020

finding a stark contrast.

Today I'll continue preparing for my 3D design class on Saturday with the Eureka Springs School of the Arts. I'll be in the wood studio at ESSA while my students will be across the US participating through Zoom. This will be a first time for me to teach using this technology and at a distance, but it's what's called for by these difficult times. There are still a few spots available in the class. https://essa-art.org/workshops/wood/online-principles-of-3-dimensional-design/

I noticed in the news that an 8 year old boy in NYC was arrested and hand-cuffed for carrying a stick, and find that to be a stark contrast with police "forces" across the US carrying metal and wood "batons" into crowds of unarmed protesters. I've noted in my teaching of kids, how holding a stick can give confidence. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/08/us/new-york-police-complaints/index.html

Kids want to make hiking sticks and canes. They need to be cautioned about their use and about not waving them in the air where they might injure another. But it is natural to find some delight in the sense of power that one finds in waving a good stick. An officer who would arrest and hand-cuff an eight year old boy for carrying a stick should be ashamed of himself. And any officer who felt the need to carry a baton to wield against a group of unarmed protesters should also reconsider.

Geoffrey Canada had written a book that I consider a classic about the escalation of violence. It is called Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun. But the use of sticks is not directly related to an escalation of violence or an expression of violent intent.  It can be an exercise in imagination. I'm reminded of many years ago when one of my much earlier students, Sylvester, stood triumphantly at the top of a slide, stick in hand. He proclaimed it to be a cane, a sword, a broom and an umbrella.

I also read a suggestion that police be redefined as a "service" rather than a "force." What a good starting point that would be! Some of my readers may disagree with me on this. But open hearts and open minds will find a path forward.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning lifewise.

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