IF ONE CHILD IS UNSAFE,NONE ARE SAFE,By Louise Annarino,December 16, 2012

16 Dec

IF ONE CHILD IS UNSAFE,NONE ARE SAFE,BY Louise Annarino,December 16, 2012

During the first 2 weeks of September 2012, 32 Americans were killed in Detroit; one of them and Iraq Vet and father of five children named David Nelson, who pushed aside a woman neighbor about to be shot by her husband in a domestic dispute and took the bullet himself. (http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/19568205/32-people-murdered-over-15-day-period-in-detroit ).

 

Chicago has already seen 400 Americans murdered within its borders during 2012. During August 2012 alone, 38 persons were killed.( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/chicago-homicides-reach-4_n_1929015.html ).

 

In Columbus,Ohio 83 Americans had been murdered between January 1 and  November 29, 2012.  The breakdown: 88% male, 70.7% African-American, 56.5% age 20-39, 79.3% shooting victims. ( http://www.dispatch.com/content/pages/data/crime-safety/homicide/homicides.html ).

 

During the past year, more than a 1,000 children died before their first birthdays in Ohio. The breakdown: 6.3% white, 5.7% Latino, and 15.8% African-American; likely the highest in the nation for African-American babies. ( http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/11/29/black-infant-deaths-worst-of-bad-news.html ).

 

More than 1 in 5 of all American children live in poverty; 1 in 3 American children of color live in poverty. As a result, America loses half a trillion dollars per year in lost productivity, increased health care costs, and increased crime. ( http://www.childrensdefense.org/newsroom/child-watch-columns/child-watch-documents/forward-for-children.html ).

Many Americans live on the fiscal cliff, just over its edge struggling to hang on, or at the bottom of the cliff all of their lives. Many Americans face the threat of violence and death daily in American cities and towns. The silence has been deafening in addressing these issues. It is not that Americans have been unaware of the problem; but, their solution has been to flee to suburbs and gated communities rather than addressing the needs of fellow Americans they identify as “the other”. Too many Americans have “gunned up”,allowing fear of going over the cliff with the “other”.

We are each outraged over the mass murder in Sandy Hook. We cannot escape the faces of those young, and so beloved children. We must try to understand such violence and do all we can to avoid another Sandy Hook. It may not be possible.

But, I must ask,where is your outrage over the Americans killed by violence in the hearts of our cities every night? Over the infant mortality rate for our babies? Over the 3532 American Iraq War dead? The continued deaths of innocents abroad by arms and aircraft manufactured in America?

I grieve the loss of life in Sandy Hook,Connecticut.  I also grieve the loss of life each night on the streets of Columbus, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and every city-large or small- in our violence-loving, gun-toting country. When will we start speaking for our children and families everywhere? Who can promise we will do all we can to protect them? Can you? I wonder.

 
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