Thursday, March 27, 2014
Amber alert case in DC area for Relisha Rudd leads to debate on "shared responsibility" for the next generations
On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, the Metro Section of the Washington Post offered an opinion by Petula Dvorak, “We have failed Relisha: all of us”. Online, the title is “Relisha Rudd’s disappearance deserves as much attention as Malaysian jetliner’s”, link here.
Out of town readers can check the fact pattern in this article and related news stories. Relisha’s mother, Shamika Young, had left the eight-year-old in the “care” or a janitor at a homeless shelter. The Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department has assigned cadets to scour some areas in SE Washington for her.
Dvorak mentions that Relisha’s mom had expected her to care for younger siblings, at ages 7, 5, and 4, and that brings up another issue with me. Dvorak argues that it becomes impossible to parse “blame” for this situation: a “whipsaw” economy (with inequality) tends to feed the “bad choices” that lead to teen or young unmarried single moms in welfare shelters.
When I got my new iPhone on a very recent trade-in with Verizon, an amber alert text message for Relisha showed up almost immediately.
I perhaps take issue with the idea that “all of us” are somehow at fault for this. Is this raw collectivism?
Maybe an economy that actually discourages the better-off from having enough children to provide a well-prepared next generation dumps the burden of “family responsibility”, including the values that promote futility, on the poor. We’re seeing this idea play out oversea, especially in Putin’s Russia. We can’t take this lightly.