Sunday, February 14, 2010

Programs that help or applying to have kids?

Last week, one of my colleagues asked me to read a few articles on racial discrimination, child rearing and the U.S. institutions that are suppose to help mothers and their children. After reading a few articles, I became fairly upset. I became upset because I wanted a just system. In a few of the articles, I read about women of color who lost their children, who were discriminated against when it came time to be reunited with their children, who were afraid of asking for help and feared losing their children, and who did not have access to the resources to help their children and themselves lift themselves out of poverty. I was dumbfounded to have learned that so much pain was inflicted upon so many women and children. I guess what really hurt me was how blind I have been to my white privilege. Yes, there are white women and men out there who have their children taken away, but white people tend to have social capital (i.e. white privilege) that men and women of color lack.

The more I read, the more infuriated I became. In the end, I basically decided that governments either need to revise how they distribute funds and implement certain programs, or we need to have a formal application process when we want to get pregnant and have kids. Please be aware that I am not trying to discriminate here. Everyone, white, blacks, hispanics, asians, heterosexuals, homosexuals would be subject to review. Yes, yes, I know white heterosexuals would unfortunately have an advantage because we can't just go back and reset the clock. Historically, white heterosexual people have had certain privileges, and this is not my point. My point is that everyone should be treated fairly and in order to do so, we need to fix our institutions that are designed to help men, women, and children out of difficult situations and not make the situation worse. Taking children from a parent because she left a 13 yr old kid with a 3 yr old, is not right while she was gone for only half an hour (especially if the 13 yr old has neighbors he/she could go to for help). And then to see these children go into foster care, be abused, and then go back into the system via the justice system. This is also extremely problematic since young black men are more likely to be charged and even convicted as adults.

I know my opinion here might be a little uncouth, but hey things need to change.

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