Whose child is crying?

Who can tell the reason why a child cries in the stillness of a photo?  What differentiates the cry of terror, hunger or pouting from the cry from an injury?  Does it matter why a child cries?  Are all tears that careen down the face of a child worthy of cameras, national attention, reproofs or accolades? 

As the heat rises in political rhetoric about the border, an image without truth clouds the hearts and minds of the nation’s conversation.  We know when a child cries, someone is responsible to diagnose and be responsive.  What happens if it is about 11:00 p.m. in an immigration detention center and the child that is crying is tired and sleepy?  Do we capture a moment in time and lie, claiming the tears are from separation from parents at the border?  Does this make great fodder for the cameras or opportunity to exploit a conversation and gain political currency? 
 
I thought that Americans were compassionate and had tender hearts, regarding the young.  I somehow believed we cared if children were being trafficked; if drug cartels were being paid exorbitant amounts of money to bring children alone into this nation, in box cars, through desert climates.  As Americans surely we cannot support or encourage parents standing in line to negligently risk their childrens' lives and dignity in a trek towards criminal violations at the border.  What happens to these children of parents who illegally enter the country is heartbreaking. 
 
Yet, I am drawn to this week's images, the HHS Department put out, of children eating three meals a day, playing in recreation rooms and attending schools with a place to sleep.
 
In late 2014, NBC News reported that one in 30 American children are homeless (about 2.5 million) and suffering chronic hunger, academic struggles, exhaustion, stress and mental health issues.   From 2006-2007 to 2011-2012, the numbers increased 71%.   Covenant House of New York, identifies up to 40% of the homeless as under the age of 18. These children have no guarantee of food (unless they get meals from school) no shelter, no health care and they sleep in places that are uninhabitable, suffering untold hardships.  It’s time for those who care about children to do more than march for someone else’s child, although it has its place, too.  It’s time to at least hear the groaning and sobs of our children.  As a former foster parent, I say that we must rise up and stand against the tyranny and inhumane treatment of globally trafficked children used as pawns.  Today we are truly wretched if we do not address the homeless American children who are among us in plain sight.  For those who want to exploit the illegal immigration political quagmire, I want to issue a gentle reminder, “if you are living in a glass house, do not throw stones.”

 

 

 

Who can tell the reason why a child cries in the stillness of a photo?  What differentiates the cry of terror, hunger or pouting from the cry from an injury?  Does it matter why a child cries?  Are all tears that careen down the face of a child worthy of cameras, national attention, reproofs or accolades? 

As the heat rises in political rhetoric about the border, an image without truth clouds the hearts and minds of the nation’s conversation.  We know when a child cries, someone is responsible to diagnose and be responsive.  What happens if it is about 11:00 p.m. in an immigration detention center and the child that is crying is tired and sleepy?  Do we capture a moment in time and lie, claiming the tears are from separation from parents at the border?  Does this make great fodder for the cameras or opportunity to exploit a conversation and gain political currency? 
 
I thought that Americans were compassionate and had tender hearts, regarding the young.  I somehow believed we cared if children were being trafficked; if drug cartels were being paid exorbitant amounts of money to bring children alone into this nation, in box cars, through desert climates.  As Americans surely we cannot support or encourage parents standing in line to negligently risk their childrens' lives and dignity in a trek towards criminal violations at the border.  What happens to these children of parents who illegally enter the country is heartbreaking. 
 
Yet, I am drawn to this week's images, the HHS Department put out, of children eating three meals a day, playing in recreation rooms and attending schools with a place to sleep.
 
In late 2014, NBC News reported that one in 30 American children are homeless (about 2.5 million) and suffering chronic hunger, academic struggles, exhaustion, stress and mental health issues.   From 2006-2007 to 2011-2012, the numbers increased 71%.   Covenant House of New York, identifies up to 40% of the homeless as under the age of 18. These children have no guarantee of food (unless they get meals from school) no shelter, no health care and they sleep in places that are uninhabitable, suffering untold hardships.  It’s time for those who care about children to do more than march for someone else’s child, although it has its place, too.  It’s time to at least hear the groaning and sobs of our children.  As a former foster parent, I say that we must rise up and stand against the tyranny and inhumane treatment of globally trafficked children used as pawns.  Today we are truly wretched if we do not address the homeless American children who are among us in plain sight.  For those who want to exploit the illegal immigration political quagmire, I want to issue a gentle reminder, “if you are living in a glass house, do not throw stones.”