I know it is the season of good cheer, but I can't get a little girl named TaJanay
Bailey off my mind. A lot of people can't.
She was a brown-eyed Indianapolis toddler that should have been watching
Sesame Street and naming stuffed animals.
She was beaten to death, allegedly, by her mother and her mother's live-in
boyfriend. They are charged with beating her, smacking her, whipping her and kneeing
her right in the head.
She had been previously removed from the home by authorities. If TaJanay had been a
dog, she never would have been returned to her "owners." Six animal rights groups
would have taken up her cause and Ellen DeGeneres would have been crying on
But TaJanay had the misfortune of being a child, not an animal. Now she's a
statistic, human collateral from the imploding structure of family. Children like
TaJanay die frequently, which is why I'd like a word with the women today.
Ladies, we create expectations, individually and as a group. There used to be a
consensus about the expectations and they cut across the board regardless of color
The expectation was that a young woman dated a young man, they got serious about one
another, tied the knot and then had children. In that order. Sometimes the order got
out of sequence (an event as old as the history of man) but there was almost always
an effort to "make things right."
Today, one of the more common expectations, furthered by women, is that there is no
order -- women are free, easy, impregnable, disposable and replaceable.
We have let go of the expectation that the men who create babies will step up to the
plate and become responsible husbands and fathers. You know why the men skate?
Because women let them. In unprecedented numbers, women are giving away the milk for
free and then wondering why the bulls wander off to greener pastures.
And then the woman left with a child welcomes yet another man into the equation. The
minute he saunters through the door, those children are 50 times as likely to die of
inflicted injuries than if they were living with two biological parents. So says the
journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A few "boyfriend" news items from recent months: In California, 6-year-old Oscar
Jimenez Jr. was beaten to death, then buried under fertilizer and cement. In
Arizona, Devon Shackleford, 2, was drowned in a swimming pool. Two-year-old Jayden
Cangro, died after being thrown across a room in Utah.
In Pennsylvania, a man watching his girlfriend's 14-month-old baby killed the child
when he put the baby's head in the crook of his arm and squeezed until he "heard a
The boyfriend "accidentally" burns the baby's feet in the tub, "accidentally" lets
the baby fall off the kitchen counter, or mom comes home from work and finds the kid
"accidentally" got a black eye, bloody nose and skull fracture. And the woman lies,
makes excuses, covers and chooses the boyfriend over her own flesh and blood.
It's time for women to grow a backbone and shove "accidental" out the door. It's
time to rebuild a consensus of expectations, to quit pretending that all these
alternative living arrangements have equal value.
No, I'm not judging a lifestyle. The lifestyle speaks for itself. Tragically,
there's not always someone to speak for the kids.