The Dec. 30 editorial, The young are dying — and we care, right? and letter to the editor by former Miami Assistant Police Chief Louis Vega, published the same day, skirt a blatant truth:
The community is apathetic over murdered children in Miami because, simply put, mostly they are black and their killers are black.
If children in Hialeah, Coral Gables or Kendall were being routinely shot to death, commissioners and police would hold emergency meetings, school officials would be up in arms and parents would mount a veritable insurrection at city hall. Something would happen.
Chief Vega points to a lack of jobs, fear and guns as sucking the life out of the black community.
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Some say blacks should take responsibility for their own. But we never say that when whites, Latinos or others are facing crises.
What we do is pitch in, raise funds, help. Vega quotes the proverb that it takes a village to raise a child and he pleads, “Where is our village . . . to help our youth?”
Miami, deeply racially segregated like most cities in the United States, has made it clear that it does not consider the children of Liberty City and Overtown “our youth.”
When a little boy in a rotten apartment with no working plumbing has to urinate and defecate outside because the city won’t force landlords to fix their properties, the message to that boy — to us all — is the city and its residents really do not think much of black children.
Tellingly, a letter to the editor the very same day praised Coral Gables leaders for their effort to preserve an oak tree.
The city apparently went so far as to purchase two lots to protect the tree.
I love oak trees. But I love children more.
What if we put such effort into protecting our — yes, our — children?
Jordana A. Hart,