April 11, 2013

Who Wants to Care for Melissa Harris-Perry’s Children? Apparently They Don’t Belong to Her

I don’t really know if MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris Perry has kids, but if she does, they might feel confused. The outspoken Perry recently told viewers that children should not be “privatized” rather, she states, children belong “to the community.” Huh?

First of all, children are not commodities or organizations to be made private or public so this notion is absurd from the outset. Secondly, I think that she’s misstating what she really means to assert: that children should be cared for less by their parents and more by the government. That would have been more accurate but would not have sat as well with listeners. After all, assuming full responsibility of ones offspring is one of the most primitive and fundamental instincts of human beings. Mothers are protective, nurturing, and tuned into providing everything from nourishment to love for their children. To state that someone other than a mother (or father) can compete with these instincts is ridiculous.

But I get what Ms. Perry wants. She wants the government to assume care for our children because she and her ilk don’t believe that parents are doing a good enough job. Consider the recent Federal Court decision to release age restrictions on kids who can buy Plan B. Here is a perfect example of the government “caring” for kids because their parents are too ignorant, mean or unaccepting of teen behavior. In this case, I can tell you as a pediatrician who has cared for many sexually active teens over the years, this decision is just plain bad medicine and furthermore, when a child is 13, avoiding pregnancy is just the beginning of her problems if she needs Plan B. Who will care for her mental state, infections she will likely get or the emotional upheaval of having sexual partners (who, statistically will probably be much older than she is?)

Ms Perry’s statement is one more pitch to have the government get on parents’ way, And this makes me mad0 both as a mother and a pediatrician. Research shows unequivocally that parents are the most powerful influence in a child’s life when it comes to keeping them out of trouble and helping them succeed. Does she not read the research?

I encourage you parents who want to keep control over the decisions made about your kids to stay on guard. When the government threatens to wedge its influence between you and your kids, don’t allow it. Make you voice heard and make it loud.

P.S. - If you haven't you seen the recent ad from Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC News click here. It’s made its rounds through social media, drawing criticism from parents and others.

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