Our babies are in crisis.
There has been an average of one school shooting per week since the beginning of 2018. From Santa Fe to Lexington Park to Parkland and dozens of communities in between, the list is just too long.
But gun violence is not the only thing at play.
1,475 migrant children are currently unaccounted for by the US government, having being placed in homes after crossing the border. News pieces by mainstream mediaseem more concerned with diffusing the blame cast on the Trump administration than challenging those within it todevote the resources to show concern for the lives being cast into the fray.
This continues an alarming trend. In 2016, a post circled the internet purporting that 14 Black and latinx girls had gone missing within a one-week period in D.C. The accuracy of the statistic was disputed (the teens were indeed missing, but police had no record of it all happening in that short window). However, it calls attention to this startling number — as of February, 2017 there are 8,042 active missing persons cases for Black femmes under the age of 18 in the United States.
Last week, a white adoptive father in Texas left his one-year-old black daughter in a 90 degree vehicle before boarding a flight to Tennessee. She was found dead after the mother tried to pick her up from daycare and was unable to find her. No arrests have been made.
Babies are still being brutalized by law enforcement, 15 kids under the age of 22 have been murdered by police this year.
I don’t know how to wrap my head around the staggering neglect of child life. I am coming to terms with the fact that there are some things that I will simply never understand. The capacity for human apathy is chief among them.
Crisis after crisis unearths itself and little seems to be done about it. This is not for lack of effort on the part of some rad passionate folks, who are committed to making sure that lives we neglect count. Still, it is difficult to soar without wind beneath the wings and these crises demand public outcry.
So where is it?
I often question the power of the internet. Undoubtedly it has the ability to rally, inform, and educate. However, I’m a person who is intrigued by the physics of energy and momentum. I am concerned we diffuse our potential as we post. As we click. We see sparing headlines and blips of news trending on social media. Then, crickets. On to the next thing while cogs keep churning, grinding up innocence and spitting it out into unmarked graves and trafficking rings and other fates unknown. We share news without truly immersing ourselves in the horror our posts hold.When will we tap into our rage? What will it take for these thousands of children’s lives to matter?
Audre Lorde wrote that "Within each one of us there is some piece of humanness that knows we are not being served by the machine which orchestrates crisis after crisis and is grinding all our futures into dust.”
We must not let that piece of humanness stay silent. We must let it speak out and demand we do better for our children and their future. We do not have the time to compare pigment or socio-economic status. The headlines are stacking up.