Houston Forward Times

16 July 2014 Written by  TaShon D. Thomas

What About Our Children?

 

Over the past few weeks, many Americans have been outraged by the "sudden" appearance of thousands of unattended children at the southern border. Since the crisis has been brought to the light, many are scrambling trying to come up with a solution to the problem, including a $3.7 billon emergency-spending request by President Obama. There has even been some talk about using the former Terrell Middle School building to house the children. Though we do have the responsibility to humanely respond to the crisis, it should not be on the backs of the American children and families who are already suffering.

Currently, 16 million American children live in poverty (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2014); a Black young man born after 2001 has a 1 in 3 chance of entering prison (Children’s Defense Fund, 2014); the national high school graduation rate is 80 percent (Center for Education Statistics, 2013); and lets not forget the American children who die everyday because they were left unattended. The United States has been the "Big Brother" of the world for far too long and now its time to admit that our own emergencies must take precedence over other countries.

Why do we send billions upon billions of dollars in foreign aid to countries whose residents will die trying to get here? Why do we continue to dictate the affairs of other countries, when our children rank at the bottom on most international scales? If we truly wanted to locate the root cause of many of the world’s problems, we only have to look in the mirror. We purchase the drugs that have produced the cartels. We hire the undocumented immigrants for the low wages and cheap labor. We turn a blind eye to corrupt foreign governments who bend at our will but harm their citizens. We feed the world with the myth of the American dream.poverty-in-america-1 - Copy

If we were truly honest with ourselves, we could see that the American dream was not built on morals, but on money. If it were built on morals, there would not be an issue with actually solving the immigration crisis, not just put a Band-Aid on the situation. Our children suffer everyday because we make decisions that impact their lives based on the cost of solving the problem. I have empathy for those who cross hurt, harm, and danger to get to the United States only to go through even more hurt, harm, and danger. But at some point, we must examine ourselves and take care of our own before we force change in some other country. How can you clean my house, when yours is falling apart? #ijs