Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What Do We Value Most?

CNN.com article: US has second worst newborn death rate in modern world, report says.
The facts in this case sadden me for more reasons than the obvious. First, it is always a sad day when a newborn dies. The joy of a new life in the family is abruptly ended, and the promise of a bright future is no more. For the individual family, the death of a newborn baby is often times too traumatic of a tragedy to get over. We, as a black population, as a nation, and as a global community have to do more to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

However, there is a more specific, more fundamental problem with the US and how it deals with our domestic community. The attached CNN article states that the US ranks at the bottom in terms of child mortality rates (among 1st World nations. Yes, the Motherland, like the black male population in the US, is still at the bottom of the barrel. But this article only lists only 1st World nations; I guess they are the only nations that matter…but I digress). How can that be so? How long have we boasted about having the best, most educated, most taken care of children in the world? It’s America, the Land of Milk and Honey…right?

Wrong. We are falling behind in education. We refuse to provide proper healthcare for our poor citizens, leaving them to fend for themselves. Come to think of it, why am I surprised that the US has a dismal newborn mortality rate? This is what happens when the poor can’t afford healthcare – their babies die.

So, my question to anyone reading this is simple: where are our values located? We seem to care far more about free markets than free healthcare. We seem to want to restrict the rights of gays and lesbians, and put more religion in schools, rather than providing better schools in our urban communities. We SEEM to care about the wrong stuff, but maybe I am the one who is wrong…

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