Policing youth radicalization

Letters Opinions

“Officer, please, can you come and pick up my 14-year-old son? He’s exhibiting symptoms of ‘radicalization.’ The front page of the March 4th National Post instructed me to turn over my children if we thought they might be having symptoms of ‘radicalization.’ No one knows what ‘radicalization’ means, so I looked it up. Radical means to return to our ‘roots.’ So, I told him, ‘Our roots are white, not terrorist!’ I don’t know what really happened to those angry and confused 130 youth who decided to become so un-Canadian? I hope someone had the wherewithal to ask them what they were so upset about. Are they concerned about ‘global warning?’ While I don’t think my child watches Al Jazeera yet, he asks questions about the high rates of cancer for Aboriginal tarsanders. He asks why it looks like an A-Bomb went off from Google Earth (does Google own the Earth now?). He asks me where vegetables come from? He knows I shop at Amazon. Officer, I’m uncomfortable with these questions and wonder if you could at least speak to him. He wants to get a consumer index barcode for a tattoo. Do handcuffs hurt? Not according to Fifty Shades of Gay. Oh, speaking of my husband. Lately, he’s been crying non-stop. He says all the starfish have melted into extinction and 10 million baby scallops died last week up-island Vancouver Island because they couldn’t form a shell—he keeps mumbling something about “Fukushima.” I told him, “I don’t even like seafood!” Then there’s my neighbour; she sends me 13 petitions a day on Facebook. We used to exchange coupons. What happened to coupons? My gay nephew rages on about rape culture. Or is it the rape of our culture? Please, what is he talking about! Oh, to knock it out of the ballpark, my mother-in-law has a basement full of protest signs: “Make love, not war!” Officer, I’m afraid she doesn’t know enough about condoms to make those claims. I feel much safer knowing Mr. Harper’s Canada continues to expand your many police roles to include those of street outreach worker, drug and alcohol counsellor, marriage mediator, and now moral authority over our children. I can only imagine the many years of training you must have, to know so much. I do hope with all the taxpayer’s money raised to secure us against this groundswell of radical socialism you get a little extra for your pocket, too. I remember the days when you were internationally revered. Will Monday after school, work for you?”


Robert Birch

PhD student

Social Dimensions of Health program