By Harry Leibowitz, PhD
World of Children Co-Founder and Co-Chair
I do not write about, or take sides publicly on political issues, but as co-Founder and chairman of World of Children, I see it as my responsibility to call out transgressions on the rights of children.
Yesterday, the president of the United States did something I never thought I would see in this country and I am almost 78 years old. Specifically, he offered to trade the lives and futures of youngsters for the bricks and mortar of a wall.
Let me be clear, whether or not a border wall is right or wrong, whether it would be effective or not is not my place to comment on and I shall not. However, the future and the lives of young people are not and should not be a “tradable asset!”
The very concept of considering such a trade is anathema to our heritage as Americans. When prisoners of war are traded, we see human lives equated with other human lives. In this case, however, the president of the United States basically offered each life of a young person for his “30 pieces of silver.” By making an offer to “TRADE” the right of 700,000 dreamers to stay another three years in return for an appropriation of $5.7 billion in bricks and mortar, he effectively put a value of just 1.76 feet of border wall on each child (based on his 234 miles of wall to be constructed with $5.7 billion).
Is that what we have come to as a nation? Bartering the life of a child or a young adult for 1.76 feet of a brick and mortar wall? Again, whether or not a wall is right, whether or not there is a crisis at the border is NOT for me to decide. It is for our Congress and the electorate to decide. BUT, I ask every citizen of the this great country if this is the path you want our nation to go down … a path where children’s lives, or any life, begins to have a “value” in “things” such as bricks and mortar?
How much is a child worth to you? How much is your child worth? Are you prepared to trade your child’s future for 1.76 feet of a wall?
To me, the value of a child’s life, their future, has no equivalency in “things.” NO CHILD IS DISPOSABLE, and this I can assure you: a human life, a child’s future is worth more than 1.76 feet of a wall … ANY WALL!
Harry Leibowitz founded World of Children 21 years ago and he is broadly respected as an advocate for the world’s most vulnerable children. He has been awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, The Procter & Gamble Humanitarian Award, and with his wife and co-founder, Kay, he was featured as one of the five couples “Changing Philanthropy in America” on Huffington Post.