I probably shouldn't care about the toddler in Detroit who was murdered by her mom's 20-year-old boyfriend.
It's just another news story in the Detroit Free Press by Jack Kresnak about a faceless kid who was born to a 17-year-old mom and whose boyfriend beat her baby to death. As a legislative staffer in the Michigan House of Representatives, I worked for the committee chair responsible for legislation dealing with abuse and neglect.
I've been a lifelong Republican and child abuse and neglect has never been an issue with them. I worked for a Democratic House speaker once and these days child abuse and neglect is not an issue for them either. So, why should I care?
Most legislators would hold their nose at people who beat and kill their kids. They'd cringe with sympathy for the child and then go on. But, down deep they'd act like they were better and react with the understanding that that type of action is expected with Detroiter or others in the lower class. One funeral director told me a couple of years ago that such actions were in reality population control for trailer park trash.
You'd think the non-profit social service groups and agencies would be leading the cause to examine this exploding problem. In Michigan, they seem so intent on preserving their contracts with the state that they fall right into a quiet line in whatever formation the state's Family Independence Agency tells them.
And, the Michigan Family Independence Agency (FIA) gets all self-rigtheous when a lawmaker asks about a case gone bad. If Michigan State University's football team could play defense like the FIA, they would be national champions.
The FIA hides behind confidentiality, while perceptions abound about workers not doing their jobs.
The CPS and foster care workers have the worst jobs in the world. They are the jobs from hell. There's always somebody unhappy and angry with what they do. They have to make decisions with the wisdom of King Solomon.
But, state lawmakers never get enough knowledge about the day-to-day challenges of these workers to make informed decisions.
And, lawmakers, does the legislative leadership put their strongest members on these family and children committees?
Governor Jennifer Granholm, Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, House Speaker Craig Deroche, the interest groups and the spiritual ledership of Michigan need to demand answers and work together to find solutions.
When I retired from the Michigan House of Representatives, I had a row of yellow file folders on my desk with each folder containing information about each child's death that my boss--Rep. Lauren Hager--asked for a Michigan Office of Childrens Ombudsman investigation. The row was long and it kept growing and it continues to grow.
I wonder if the cycle will continue with all these kids who are abused and beaten.
God must be unhappy with us. All of us. It's so easy to forget about these kids, but God doesn't want that. I was reading the book of Isaiah from the Bible the other day. Judah really dropped the ball and forgot about the people who were easy to forget, the widows and the orphans.
Are we going in the same path?
We need to hear the death cries of Tashona Holmes and Ariana Swinson and all the others.