ThePoliticalCat

A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Update: Alexis Goggins, Hero


The Detroit News is reporting that some $30K was donated to help little Alexis Goggins, who was shot while defending her mother.

That's encouraging. We could wish it had been more, but Alexis is undoubtedly grateful that so many kind people opened up their hearts and wallets for and to her. Alexis continues to receive medical care at Children's Hospital, where she has been since she was shot. She is expected to have a lengthy stay there. So far, she's had five surgeries.

One thing that bothers us, here at Casa de Los Gatos: most of the money will be used to reimburse the hospital for her medical care, not for Alexis herself. This is when we wish most fervently that we had UniversalMedicalCare, which would be free to Alexis. After all, the child is guilty of nothing but bravery, love, and heroism. Qualities we, as a society, would do well to inculcate in all our children.

Another thing, relating to these quotes from the article:
Wayne County Probate Judge Freddie G. Burton Jr. on Tuesday ordered the creation of the Alexis Goggins Hero Fund, a special needs trust account for the girl.

If anything happens to Alexis, money donated to the fund will go to charity, not the girl's parents as proposed by a lawyer for the girl's mother, Burton ruled.
There seems to be an undue emphasis on how the court and lawyers are working to ensure that the parents not receive a penny from the trust fund. While we do not think parents should profit from their children's deaths, the degree of emphasis placed on this issue suggests something else at work.

We noted it when the story was first reported in the media. Many people who commented on the story were more interested in blaming Alexis' mother, Selietha Parker, for her poor choice of partner (it was the mother's ex-boyfriend who shot the little girl), for her single status, for her single motherhood, for her weight, and for her failure to be killed instead of having her child injured.

The overall tone was that she was a fat, black, single mother who was poor due to her own bad choices and she should have protected her little girl, even dying if necessary, rather than allowing her child to come to harm, which only showed what a useless, fat, lazy, slut of a single mother she was.

All of which detracted from the facts of the story: Alexis is a child with many impairments, but her heart, her courage, and her love are unimpaired. She threw herself in the gunman's way. Her mother may be a saint or she may be a whore, but that is beside the point. We really do not know what Ms. Parker's story is. But we are sick and tired of hearing women blamed for the violence of men. Of hearing single mothers blamed for their singlehood. Of hearing the subtext, whenever a black woman is spoken of, that she is somehow an irresponsible lazy welfare slut if she happens to have a child and be single. After all, Dick Cheney's daughter is a single mother - horrors! she's a LESBIAN single mother - and we don't hear anyone getting their knickers in a knot about THAT.

We find the tone of the commenters, the lawyers, and the court unpalatable. We are left with the distinct sense that they are all more interested in blaming the child's mother than recognizing that this little child possessed more courage in her tiny body than most adults. Certainly more than the bunch of lying crooks, cowards, and shills who, never having served in the line of fire, continue to throw other people's children into the meatgrinder called the Iraq War.

So lay off Ms. Parker already. We get the message. She's not getting a penny of the money. Do you really think it would make her happy to get $30 million if she had to lose her daughter to get that money?


If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?

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