“They Are Our Kids”



[19th Century Young Girl’s Grave, El Campo Santo, San Diego, CA, soon after Dia de Muertos, 2014]

Don’t get me wrong: I love my daughters, I love my grandchildren. I loved sitting in my Quaker meeting this morning watching Meeting children happily search for Easter eggs outside. I love Christmas, I love birthdays, I love making any child happy by buying just the right gift.

Here’s what I don’t love: The disparity between children like my grandchildren and those happy children I watched this morning and the poor children of this country. As a recent “New Yorker” article put it: The American dream is in crisis, [Robert Putnam, author of Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis] argues, because Americans used to care about other people’s kids and now they only care about their own kids. But, he writes, “America’s poor kids do belong to us and we to them. They are our kids.” 

Here’s what deeply moves me: That on October 31, 2014, someone placed those plastic necklaces and those two dolls on the grave pictured above. A Mexican-American child decorated that child’s grave for Dia de Muertos, I’m guessing.  She swept the dirt, she arranged those bricks as best she could, she threw away—God knows what that child discovered in that gritty, surrounded-by-bars-and restaurants cemetery in the heart of San Diego’s Old Town. That generous child is very likely one of those “poor kids” Putnam wrote about.

My kid. Our kid.


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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia! Happy Easter to you, my dearly precious white friend and sister, to your dearest and darling husband, and to all of the rest of your great and marvelous family, and as well For Always to the blessedly pure in heart Friends at your inspirational and holy Friends at Cambridge Quaker meeting!!!!!!! I love each and every one of you so, so very much and cherish all of you so, so very much For Always, and For Always keep each and every one of you in my daily and frequent thoughts and prayers!!!!!

    Sister, I so love and dearly appreciate your love and concern for all children including children who suffer as indigent children in poverty. You are such a committed and undaunted Christian white anti-racist woman and sweet white sisterfriend, and you care for all people and all children despite race and class. I know that as the Christian lesbian black woman who I am as a disabled woman with multiple disabilities receiving a low, fixed income in my disability benefits that I feel so loved and validated as the very person who I am from you, Patricia!!!!!! If I had had children, I would never distrust you and your motives as a white woman, my preciously dearest white sisterfriend, and I would have the utmost trust in the sincerity of other white women for as I For Always say you, sister, and other white women are my very, very heart as the lesbian black woman who I am!!!!!!! I just so love and cherish this very blessed and heartwarming, insightful and inspirational blog post article of yours, Patricia!!!!!! May this Easter Monday, and all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, my special and dearest white sisterfriend!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always with Peace and Love To You For Always, my white sister, Patricia, with Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always my white friend,

    Your Christian lesbian black friend and sister For Always in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

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