It’s rare that a single Star Tribune article from even the finest and most practiced writer (Mitch Pearlstein) can so effectively slap a race of people and class of service providers, while ignoring or just not knowing (which I don’t believe possible) the underlying reasons for “why” the sad truths he speaks of exist (elephants in the room).
As a long-time volunteer guardian ad-Litem, having watched generation after generation of abused and neglected children create their own families of abused and neglected children, I know that until this community recognizes struggling young families need basic help to raise coping children, schools will remain under-performing, child protection and justice systems overwhelmed, and more and more communities will become unsafe and fall behind in the quality of life factors that once made this nation great.
Six million children a year are reported to child protection agencies in the U.S.
Minnesota’s racial disparity in this area is well established and persistent.
Mr. Pearlstein points out that 84% of African-American babies are born to single moms and that graduation rates for those babies when they become adolescents are about 50%.
I know something about that.
Mental health and coping skills are not delivered by the stork. Mentally unhealthy children don’t often graduate from high school (but they do go to jail and they do have babies).
Unnoticed by Mr Pearlstein, the children we speak of are mostly products of toxic homes and suffering from the traumas suffered in childhood. That is why they are not ready to learn in school and why they are so often involved in the justice system.
About a third of the children in child protection use psychotropic medications (when tracked – most often not published). Judge Heidi Schellhas provided me with a list of children in her courtroom that were forced on to psychotropics, it was long and children as young at six and seven years old were prescribed Prozac type drugs.
If your sister is born into is drug addicted, abusive, or otherwise toxic family, without community assistance, she will herself raise babies that are soon to be drug addicted, abusive, or toxic to their own children (and so on and so on and so on).
The male side of that statement was made much more eloquently by former MN Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz “the difference between that poor child and a felon is about 8 years”.
Daycare workers are mostly untrained and paid less than food service workers in this nation. And even then, most poor and middle income people can’t afford daycare. There’s many a child left with the drunk uncle or boyfriend because of it.
This reflects poorly on how America values children and goes a long way in explaining what some people would have us believe is beyond our powers of understanding so we should just continue to build more prisons.
The beatings will continue until the morale improves (anonymous)
“What we do to our children, they will do to society” Pliny the Elder 2500 years ago Read the rest of this entry →