“A population that does not take care of the elderly and of children and the young has no future, because it abuses both its memory and its promise.”
— Pope Francis
For many, the start of a new year is a chance to turn over a new leaf and take a hard look at the gap between who we say we want and need to be and who we are. As a nation it’s time to close our hypocrisy gap in the treatment of our children and value and protect our children—all of them. We need to examine with urgency how we treat our children and the gap between what we say and what we do.
If we did, we’d find:
*During the school year.
What do these numbers tell us about who we are as a nation and whether we value the life and potential of every child? Why do we choose to let children be the poorest age group in our rich nation and stand by as millions of children suffer preventable poverty, hunger, homelessness, sickness, neglect, abuse, miseducation, and violence? Why do we continue to mock God’s call for justice for children and the poor and our professed ideals of freedom and justice for all?
It’s time to realize the promise of a fair playing field for all children. We can and must do better.
Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children’s Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to staging.childrensdefense.org.
Mrs. Edelman’s Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post.