I don’t watch Talk Shows. I try to avoid them unless George Clooney is trying to help the children in Darfur, or Michael Buble is singing through the commercials.
So today I wasn’t really paying attention as the TV happened to be tuned to “The View” on ABC. I wasn’t paying attention, until the topic began with the disappearance of Etan Patz in 1979 when he was six years old. Until I actually heard Whoopi Goldberg state make the following statement:
“Is it too creepy for me to say, we should, we maybe need to start thinking about one of those little tracking things in children? Because they put it in our animals… I know there’s all kinds of things in the Christian Bible that says don’t do those kinds of things, but I just, you know… I mean, is that too crazy? I mean, we confined our animals when they, when they wander away. Is it wrong to suggest something like that?”
Halfway through her statement, one of her earrings fell and caused a momentary distraction. But then she jumped right back on the horse with the support of her co-hosts.
A few things really bother me about this statement. And I’m here to tell you, Whoopi, that yes, it is too creepy for you to suggest we implant our children.
First, I am a Christian. And I resent your implication that a Christian who follows the Good Book lacks a certain something in society. I can’t figure out if you were trying to call us dumb, or ignorant, or stuck in our old ways… Secondly, you never finished that statement. I’m curious to know, had your earring not fallen, what would you have said about Christians and our beliefs? That we’re not doing enough to protect our loved ones? I’m pretty sure the person who kidnap Etan wasn’t a real Christian. Does he get a pass on his ugly actions for not knowing God? By the way, the Bible’s called Good for a reason. Read it, you might actually figure it out!
Your suggestion that we implant our children was offensive as you categorized our little people as being on par with four-legged animals. You in fact, recognized that we confine our animals. Is that what you want for our youth? To lock them in a psychological, voyeuristic jail where they know that every thing they do is tracked? Where’s Johnny? Oh, he had too much milk at dinner, he’s been in the bathroom for half an hour.
What saddens me more than your one comment, however, was the insane support from your co-hosts. Sherri’s suggestion that an implant be designed to dissolve once a person reaches the age of 18 has so many problems wrapped in it I can’t even get my head around it. Joy said parents need peace of mind. I absolutely agree. But does she really think having a tracking device in my child is going to give that to me? Yes, Elisabeth, that is “too Big Brother” for me.
Certainly there will always be ugly crimes against the world, against children. But your solution does nothing but lower their status to that of cattle branding. Why not have them tattooed:
“If found, please return to Mother.”
Even the best of families experience tragedy. Implanting a tracking device into our children is merely an invasion of privacy and alienation of human rights. If it’s allowed by the parents, where would it stop? School coaches would need to make sure their athletes aren’t getting into trouble. Government employees should definitely be kept on a tight leash so they don’t divulge secrets. We wouldn’t want them to keep unsavory company.
Perhaps we could include a low-volt shock to correct bad behavior. Don’t make faces at your sister, Johnny. Finish your homework, Martha. Watch your language. Change your clothes. I don’t like your hairstyle. Fix it. Fix it! FIX IT!
Where would it stop? The crazy idea that we can protect our children by belittling them, by lowering their status to the same classifications that we give farm animals and pets is ridiculous, insulting, and demeaning.
Let’s put an dog collar on you and place you inside an electric fence for a week. Then you can tell me how great it was that no one snatched you out of your yard. Sure, you wouldn’t be able to go out to coffee with your friends, but you’d be safe. You’d have to send people out to run errands for you, but you’d be safe. You might miss out on some great adventures, but, you know, at least you’d be safe.
I have an idea. Let’s try to keep our kids safe without forgetting that they’re kids. I don’t have the solution. I don’t know what will work. But I know implants won’t. Because guaranteed someone somewhere has already thought up the anti-solution.
But let’s at least not forget our kids are kids. And they’re entitled to feel like parts of their world is safe. Not dictated under the guise of being “for their own good”.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
This post was featured on the BlogHer.com network on April 23, 2012.