Jesus Mendez-Carbajal - In the past nine months as Project YANO’s 2013-2014 student intern, I have learned an immense amount of information about U.S. militarism, its far reach, and counter-recruitment. I have been directly impacted on multiple levels. I have grown mentally through the knowledge I have gained and also personally through the interactions and relationships I have built with youth, advisors, teachers, mentors, and Project YANO supporters, volunteers and board members. I have had the pleasure of working with students who look like me, engaging low-income youth of color who have stories and backgrounds similar to my own.
This study examines how the mass media’s portrayal of the military, including the war in Iraq, affects U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps recruiting. A telephone survey of households in Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas was conducted to measure parents and young adults’ exposure to information about the military in various media sources and how much attention they paid to those sources of information for information about the military. This study was hampered by a small sample size (N=119) that limits the ability to claim significant findings for several hypotheses. However, the study did uncover a pattern that indicated that greater use of newspapers and entertainment television reduced chances of young adults joining the military, whereas use of movies depicting the military enhanced the likelihood of joining. Also, media use predicted people’s attitudes about the continued U.S. military presence in Iraq.
As a journalist and researcher, I’ve spent the last several years investigating the expanding network of links between public education and the U.S. military. With my colleague Scott Harding, I’ve also been researching the grassroots response to this phenomenon: the counter-recruitment movement.
Under the Obama administration there have been more than two million deportations to date, an average of 1,100 people every day, which is a higher rate than that for any other president in the history of the United States. More than 100,000 of those have come from California. Deportations have been facilitated in California via the implementation of the Secure Communities policy in 2009, which established the sharing of the fingerprint database between local law enforcement and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
The proposed immigration reform bill’s halt and continued deportations have sparked community organizers and activists nationwide to mobilize and stage several nonviolent civil disobedience actions calling for the stopping of all deportations and the shutdown of ICE.
The coalition campaign against No Child Left Behind’s military recruitment requirement, with an emphasis on family privacy. Working with a network of 400 women legislators, we saw school policy change in at least 100 school districts.
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE