As we move towards another Dr. King holiday weekend, I find myself being a little more disheartened with the direction we are going as a country. I have alluded to this several times in prior blogs but the parent in me has taken over on this one. I truly fear for the future of our children.
Within the last week, some of the most violent cases of child abuse and murdered have hit the airwaves. Here in DC, a woman was found to be living with the murdered bodies of her 4 children, possibly since May, 2007. She said they died in their sleep because of demons inside them. She did not want to call the police because she did not want any more “problems.” She is being charged with their murder. What makes this case even worse is the fact that these children, ages 4-18, completely disappeared off the radar until of course it was time for the woman to be evicted. When it’s time to cut off someone’s lights or evict a person, she suddenly becomes easy to find.
In Alabama, a man is accused of dumping four children (one not his own) over a bridge to show his wife that he was the man of the house. There is also the case of “Baby Grace” who was buried today. She is the 2-year old girl who was beaten with leather belts, had her head held underwater in a bathtub, and then threw her across a room, leading her head to slam into a tile floor. Oh yeah, she was then placed in a box 2 months later and dumped in the river. This was done by her parents. We are losing our way.
Many of us mistakenly equate Dr. King’s vision with a struggle for equal rights between people of all races. Though this is partially true, Dr. King was dedicated to the prevention of cruelty and violence against anyone, and this would especially include our children. In so many of the schools I visit, students speak casually about how they were thrown out of their homes because the mother chose the boyfriend, they were being abused, they didn’t have a job, or were just taking up space. Students talk openly about their newest foster or group home, when their parents could still be in the picture simply if they chose to be. We are losing our way.
If we are going to hold true to King’s vision, we must take greater care of those who will be the carriers of the torch. We cannot treat others better than we treat our own children. So many parents I run into place more importance on significant others and material items then their kids. We have more love for the lottery than for literature so our kids see what we value everyday. To honor Dr. King properly, we must find our way. We must instill our future leaders with the belief that they will do a better job than we have. We must show them that there are opportunities that they must take advantage of and not shy away from the many opportunities to success that now exist for all of us! Let’s prepare our youth a better tomorrow so that they can make Dr. King’s dream a reality.