Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Man's Inhumanity... Where is the Limit?
The story of Shaniya Davis is on my mind this morning. Can't shake it. It makes me want to go Rambo. Probably because her childhood reminds me of my early childhood. I too had a sick mother (the biological one) who should have never had custody of children.
This case is another example of "the system" failing children (ie. Social Services, Police, extended family or whatever safety net you can think of...but especially State services). I'll take that further...it's an example of a nation failing its children. The U.S. is a strange Country when it comes to the welfare of children...and the welfare of its people in a more general sense. I was just reading a report via Reuters that highlighted how far behind this Country is in terms of basic labor rights and privileges (what is now considered to be the standard around the world). The U.S. lags behind other nations when it comes to the number of workers who are allowed paid sick leave, and other time off that ends up being good for families. This is just a microcosm that reflects the wider lack of priority that this Country puts on children and families. This is on top of the fact that there is a general disdain in the U.S. for social safety net/social welfare programs like those that Europeans hold dear.
Why didn't the extended family take action when they noticed problems? Why didn't State officials take action? Why weren't parental rights revoked from the mother when the home (an alleged drug house) was raided a few months ago? I can't help but wonder how State cutbacks may have contributed to Shaniya falling through the cracks.... or not even being on the States radar in the first place. Social services, even protective services, are always the first to go in any kind of major economic slump. But there should be Federal laws which should mandate that child protective services receive the same status as Police, Ambulance and Fire service - deemed essential and the last thing to be cut (rather than the first as it is today in many States). Not only that, but the Feds should also mandate a certain number of protective service agents based on State/County population and caseload.... so that more tragedies are prevented. The current situation is ridiculous. Social services are often cut before garbage collection during a recession. That speaks volumes about American priorities.
It just drives me crazy the way this Country would spend money building a bomb before building a school or investing in the protection and care of its children. Where are we headed with this kind of social order? There is something fundamentally wrong with the United States in this regard. There is something wrong with a nation with priorities that are so out of wack; and there is something wrong with a culture (The American culture) that allows it. Show me a nation that fails or refuses to invest in its own people, particularly its children, and I will show you a nation that can't survive....at least not in the long run.
Beyond the social policy problems... and the sick American culture that helped to allow this to happen, this case makes me question a whole list of other things. It makes me wonder just how evil people can be. It makes me doubt the spirit of human beings. In fact, it reinforces the skepticism and cynicism that I already have for humans.
This also makes me question God...even the existence of God. I'm already fairly secular...but these stories only reinforce my secularism. I mean... if God exists, and if he's omnipresent, how was this atrocity allowed to take place? When everyone and everything failed Shaniya, where was God? I'm not in Bill Maher territory yet, but I have to admit that i'm at least facing in that direction.
Posted by Brian E. at 6:05 AM