Op/Ed By Gloria Winston –
Most recently, an advertisement guaranteeing sex with children was part of a sting operation.
As a result, there were 15 men who responded to the advertisement who were arrested.
However, what was even more disturbing was that, of those potential offenders, the majority were black and brown.
And, it was astonishing to me that men of color have been more than engaged in these horrific crimes.
Seriously, this is no attempt to slander any other culture, but there was a time when men of color appeared to be exempt from certain crimes.
Yet, today, we have seemingly been imitating a behavior that, once upon a time, when we were labeled as “colored” and “negro,” would have been something in which we would not have participated.
Some of you may be old enough to remember when the propensity to commit crimes against children, or the elderly, never seemed to appear in African Americans’ DNA.
But, now, the sickness associated with harming and abusing children seems to be running rampant, and crossing all racial barriers.
What is going on in this world?
Children are innocent, and born into this world with the expectation that they will live a nurtured life, full of love and growth.
And, in addition to the sick sex crimes that have become so pervasive, it also seems that parents, girlfriends and boyfriends are so unbalanced that they too are becoming involved in these crimes.
We have even witnessed crimes involving the murder of our babies recently.
A girlfriend was accused, and found guilty of, punching a child in her stomach, resulting in the child’s death; toddlers have been shot; and babies have been drowned, right here in Rochester.
Many people are quick to blame the already understaffed department of Child Protective Services (CPS), but I don’t envy the job that they do.
I am sure that they have found no comfort in children slipping through the cracks.
Hopefully, the recently-proposed increase in child care workers, and a reduction in caseloads will make a difference for the department.
They certainly share in some of the blame, when a child who was beaten with a hammer was returned to the parent, and the parent then allegedly drowned a 10-day-old baby.
I am not sitting in judgment of anyone, but it seems to me that when this mother gave birth, the child should have been removed from the home, immediately.
Who allowed the baby to remain in the care of an obviously deranged and unstable mother?
She had already beaten one child with a hammer.
Who decided she was no longer a threat to her children??
I just don’t get it.
There are far too many loving couples and potential parents who are childless, that would have been in the position to give this baby a chance at life.
Having worked in this system, I am inclined to think that, maybe because this child was black, and because institutional racism does exist, that maybe that was a possible factor.
However, then there was the case of the grandfather who consistently monitored and reported the abuse his granddaughter had been subjected to, but whose concerns fell on deaf ears until the grandchild was eventually murdered.
Legislation has recently been proposed in her honor, in hindsight, and the county legislature is now considering a budget that will allow for an increase in CPS staff.
But, these efforts are too little too late.
The child is dead.
It’s one reason step parents, either male or female, should be monitored closely.
You can’t trust everyone with your child.
Some people have mental health issues that you may not be aware of until it is too late.
Some unstable women may become jealous of caring for a child that they did not help produce.
And, there are men who may be guilty of the same behavior.
Everyone is not willing to live up to the rule of thumb you may think they are.
There is an unwritten rule that says that if you are with someone who has children that are not yours, then you should consider that person a package deal.
However, I believe some individuals consider the presence of children who are not theirs to be a burden, and they subversively plan to rid the relationship of them.
This is not a new phenomenon, but it seems to be a behavior that has become more rampant these days.
Something is wrong when our children, who can’t fight back, have become the victims of cowards.
The reason I mentioned my prior employment with the Monroe County Children’s Center, is because the institutional racism I witnessed while I worked with the organization was unbearable, and it forced me to seek an arena where I could make a difference.
I worked there in the late 70s, when it appeared that social workers were working overtime to make sure white PINS (Persons In Need of Supervision) and JD’s (Juvenile Delinquents) were placed in foster care, if they were removed from their homes, while most black and /brown children were placed in institutions, which I personally felt did no more than groom them for jail when they became of age.
And, I was not alone in my thinking.
The reason I felt this way was because there were not enough black foster homes.
That was the main reason my mother, in her wisdom, took a leave of absence to become a certified foster parent.
She and my dad provided a home to 12 various black and Hispanic teens for almost 16 years, before retiring.
In closing, I would like to share some solid advice by quoting Sonya Bruce, a wise woman, mother, wife, and friend who writes a Speak In Theory (S.I.T) blog on Facebook:
“Stop leaving your daughters with the boyfriends you barely know. Stop letting family members keep them because it is free. Child molestation, rape, kidnapping, abuse, etc. is real. That’s a wound that’ll never heal. Please share this as many times as possible.”
We can’t do enough to protect our sons and daughters. They are under attack by the enemy, and we all need to pay attention to the sickness that exists in our community. We have to do better.