Violence, racism and hatred – enough is enough
By Gigi Chawla, MD, senior medical director of primary care and
Anna Youngerman, senior director of advocacy and health policy
We join with the community in saying, ENOUGH. Violence, racism and hatred fundamentally undermine the health and well-being of children. Within 48 hours, a 4-year-old witnessed the killing of a man, hundreds of children at a school in St. Paul are grieving the inexplicable loss of a steady, positive presence in their lives; and, just yesterday, a 2-year-old was shot and killed and a 15-month-old is recovering from gunshot wounds.
While we as adults may be hardened to the violence or hopefully have positive outlets to reassure us, we must understand that these acts permanently alter a child’s sense of security, self and well-being. Being a victim of, witness to or in constant presence of these dynamics has a lifelong impact on their relationships, physical and emotional health and development – some of which may not be reversible.
Sadness isn’t enough. As many have done over the past two days in public demonstrations, we want to elevate our voice and our actions on behalf of the kids in our community. Fight the culture that tells us to “keep to ourselves” and “take care of your own.” For the good of children now and for what they represent for our collective future we need to offer more, not retreat further.
It is our fervent belief that every child deserves to grow up in a safe and secure home and community. And while there’s much that needs to be done, for today, we want our community to know we care and we are with you.