The only demographic in the U.S. to whom it is legal to be violent, even in the absence of any illegal behavior, is children. We permit violence to children in our homes and in our schools. We have invited the police into our school system and co-mingled the school system and the criminal-justice system to form a true carceral continuum for minors. Once in the criminal-justice system, children are especially vulnerable to coercion, false confessions, and further abuse. Everyone was once a child. Most of us will have children. This violence is ours.
Rivka Weinberg is a professor of philosophy at Scripps College. Her research focuses include procreative ethics, bioethics, theories of moral obligations, and the metaphysics of birth and death. She is an author, most recently of The Risk of a Lifetime: How, When, and Why Procreation May Be Permissable.
This program is presented in partnership with the Humanities Institute and the Office of Public Events and Community Programs at Scripps College.