So we have outrage over the killing of the gorilla (Harambe) at the Cincinnati Zoo. We have outrage over the child's mom for apparently looking the other way and losing track of her child for a moment. We have outrage over bathrooms. We have outrage over the outrage and over so many other things.
But it doesn't seem like we have outrage over children fending for themselves while their moms and dads work two jobs just to barely make ends meet.
We don't have outrage when children live in substandard housing because their parents pay predatory interest rates for their mortgage or pay rent to landlords who don't fix leaking roofs.
We don't have outrage when children go to bed hungry (or when Congress votes to cut school nutrition and SNAP programs).
We don't have outrage when a parent battling addiction, often due to drugs prescribed by their doctor, can't get the treatment they need to be healthy and sober.
I have worked in the field of child abuse prevention for nearly 20 years. I assure you, the dangerous threat to our children is not a gorilla. It is not a stranger using the bathroom in Target.
The real threat to our children and their future is our system of policies and systems that leave too many of our children (and their families) out in the cold.
Instead of blaming each other and being outraged at the most recent sensational headline, it's time we enact laws and public policies that remediate child and family poverty. It's time that we increase efforts to meet children's basic needs. It's time that we develop partnerships with families and respect culturally diverse practices. It's time that we address our flawed systems of racial and socioeconomic disparities in this country.
It's time that we build public will and grow social norms that encourage giving of ourselves to benefit those less fortunate. It's time that we offer help when we can give it, and it's time to ensure that we get help when we need it.
It's time that we stop pointing fingers and start lending a hand.