Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lives Matter

The Michael Brown killing upsets me on multiple levels.   Whether he was killed by a frightened police officer who felt his life was in danger or was killed by a racist cop who sees all young black men as dangerous we will never know.   We do know that a life was taken too soon and that the chance of Mr. Brown turning his life around from criminal activity will never have a chance to happen.   We do know that the hopes and dreams of innocent small business owners in Ferguson have been snuffed out by rioters and looters.   I have no idea whatever how those actions will secure justice for the other Michael Browns of the world.   We do know that life in Ferguson will be compromised going forward because there will be fewer commercial services for residents and property values will go down because no one wants to live in an area subject to rioting.  So the Michael Brown killing will take more innocent lives.

I think what bothers me the most is the rallying cry Black Lives Matter.   Of course they do.  But so do red lives, yellow lives, brown lives and white lives.   All lives matter.   Here are some issues that might deserve a rally- but will get none.

Every single day children are abused by those who are supposed to love and protect them.   We have child protective services that are understaffed, overwhelmed and conditioned to put kids back in the very environments that hurt them.   Where is the rally to remind us that these kids' lives matter?   Where are the decent loving foster homes to give these kids a chance at life?  How about a Presidential conference on that issue?

We consign children to deteriorating schools with lousy teachers.   What are their chances to escape the poverty of their families without a decent education?  We kid ourselves to believe that test scores will lead the way to better teaching.   They won't; but high test scores are a feel good way to believe that.  We need to get rid of bad teachers.   Not a chance of that happening as long as the unions care more about protecting and defending the weak sisters and brothers than they do about teaching students. Can we organize a march to help our schools get better teachers?

Children with special needs are routinely included in classrooms that do not meet their needs.   They are force fed a curriculum that has nothing to do with what they need to learn in order to survive once their entitlement to a free, appropriate public education goes away at 21.  We insist that by requiring them to learn what plain kids need to learn, somehow their cognitive abilities will grow to the challenge.   Why not accept these students as they are and give them the tools THEY need, not the tools politicians want them to need.  Let's demonstrate about that.

We are the richest country in the world.   Every Friday when the bell rings to end the school day, millions of kids go home to not much food until they come back to school on Monday for breakfast.  Why can't we figure out how to feed these kids.   It really is not that hard.   The political will is just not there.  Where are the TV interviews on this topic?

Look in our communities.   How many young adults are killing each other over drugs or gang turf.  If  lives matter why don't we do something about the killings?   It is easier to just look the other way and pick on a simpler target.  Where are the white, red, black, yellow, brown leaders on this serious issue?

So today we have riots, marches, and Presidential conferences because a killing has ignited our concern for this week's crisis.  There are lots of other causes we could take on if lives matter.   Truthfully, children's lives do matter very much for them and for the future of all of us.   Unfortunately, we just don't give a damn.

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