Monday, July 31, 2017

Two smart responses to the New York Times story about foster care as the new Jane Crow

One of them replied to “sanctimonious … commenters with their pockets full of stones.”

In a previous post, I discussed some of the dumb responses found among the 514 comments readers posted to The New York Times in response to its story “Foster Care as Punishment: The New Reality of ‘Jane Crow’” – including a particularly dumb comment from someone who hides behind the pseudonym “Jane Addams” and probably is a high-ranking child welfare official.

But, perhaps because the Times is relatively careful about moderating comments, the majority were thoughtful and a couple of them were brilliant.  So I’m reprinting those two in full here. 

First, from someone who identifies herself as Frieda:

The REAL Jane Addams would have sided
with "Frieda" and cheered on "LF" 
I was reading this article today while resting in my car on my way upstate for a camping trip with my 11yo son, when someone knocked on the window. I was stunned to look up to a pair of cops who asked me to step out of the vehicle.
 I had made a stop for a quick nap, but first picked up a lego set at Walmart, among other things, and I parked at the far, empty end of the Walmart lot and told my son he could build his lego on the curb outside while I napped. (he needed a flat surface, and the car was too packed with our gear.) 
I woke up rested, read some news, and didn't even realize that cops parked some spots away until they hovered over me. I was told I was endangering my child. "Someone called the police that a child was sitting unaccompanied in a parking lot." they explained. 
I was stunned and protested that he is nearly twelve! My child is expected to do algebra, you think he can't sit in the lot by himself without an adult holding him on a leash? I conceded that a parking lot is not the ideal place to play but I didn't understand most of all why this "good Samaritan" who called 911 didn't come over to talk to my son. He is a tall, 100lb kid.
If people are so concerned, why don't they help instead of running to phone in their faux kindness? Being a single parent is stretching yourself far enough, how is an approach of blaming parents for everything going to ever empower us? I shudder at what would have happened if I was black or male. It probably wouldn't be behind me.

There was also this, from “LF,” in response to those who rushed to wag their fingers at the parents profiled in the story:

I love these sanctimonious, would-be-perfect-parents-if-they-ever-had-kids commenters with their pockets full of stones. They would never, NEVER take a bath after the kids were down for the night. Heavens! They would never walk downstairs to the front door with a child alone upstairs. Abuse!
No, these glorious specimens of perfect, theoretical motherhood wouldn't sleep, eat, bathe or use the bathroom. They would follow the child around, day and night - filthy, haggard, unwashed, eating the occasional granola bar, dressed in an adult diaper, with their eyes pinned open, Clockwork Orange style, just staring, staring, staring at their child. That's how you raise the perfect child, apparently - with constant, frantic monitoring. Oh, how well-adjusted those kids are going to be.
Thank you Frieda and LF.