Friday, March 28, 2014

Our #1 Responsibility: Protect our Children

I’m actually scared to turn on the news or open my Washington Post.
I’m scared that there is going to be a report that the “body” of young Relisha Rudd has been found. Not the “person” or the “child,” but the “body.”

Perhaps if you don’t live in the DC-Metro area, you haven’t heard of this case, I’m not sure how wide-spread it is.  But in late February, the mother let her 8-year old daughter leave the homeless shelter with a janitor that had been giving her child gifts.  She was finally reported missing almost a month later, after the janitor’s wife had been found shot dead in an area hotel.

* Ding * Ding * Ding *

When a grown-man who is not related to you (or even related to you) nor is even really your own friend offers your child, your daughter, gifts – that’s a big red flag and warning bells signaling “danger!”  A little too much, a little too scary-stranger? Maybe. But I don’t think so.  We’ve heard of the mother-bear instinct, we’ve seen it with dogs and their puppies. You get to close and they will bite off your hand. Because that is supposed to be a mother’s natural instinct – protect your child.  Relisha’s mother didn’t do that.  She let this man continue to give her child things and then one day, she handed her baby over to this man to take away with him.  And when he didn’t bring her back the next day or the day after that or the day after that, she didn’t tell anybody.

So, in my CSI/SVU watching mind, that tells me she knew that she was wrong in giving this man her daughter or she didn’t expect him to bring her back because of some deal they struck. My maternal brain cells are trying to block thinking about what a mother would, could, has traded for her child. How do you take the flesh and blood from your own body and hand it over to someone else? What could be worth that trade?

So, yes, without judge nor jury, I am single-mindedly determining the mom GUILTY.  There’s probably some technical, legal terms, but bottom line she is GUILTY of not protecting her child.

How and when did the police get involved?  When the girl didn’t show up to school for an accumulated 30 days, social welfare was notified and some days later the police were called in.  And this is where more finger pointing occurs.  The mom lied to everybody about where her daughter was and why and with whom, but we’ve already determined she’s guilty. Who else dropped the ball?  Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, but reading over the trail of events over this girl’s lifetime in a recent Post article, it seems that her life was basically a game of Hot Potato. It was thrown around, dropped, and kicked to the next person her entire life.

I don’t live in DC and I don’t vote in DC. But if I did, I’d want to know what a new Mayor will do to better protect the children of that city.  Maybe when kids are found abused and in unhealthy living conditions, the city can do more than write a report. Maybe schools can check up on a kid before they’ve missed a month of school. Maybe the folks at the homeless shelter could provide better security for their residents or screen their employees better.  Maybe some more folks could act like they care about a little, defenseless brown girl.

Because our primary responsibility, duty, requirement as mothers, fathers, parents, members of a society - is to protect our children.  They're depending on us for their life.

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