What Do We Value: Tradition or Our Children by L3uo15Y


									What Do We Value: Tradition or Our Children?
By John Burl Smith

It seems toy recalls are simply a part of doing business. A nuisance at best, recalls interferes with the
important business of victimizing children. But, one must ask what happens to recalled toys? Is there
anyone in charge of making sure once defective items or lead tainted toys, food, toothpaste, pet food,
cosmetics, electronics and automotive parts are identified they are actually destroyed?

Many believe such items are simply "down streamed," like sub-prime loans, to discount outlets (Family
Dollar), flea markets, street vendors and thrift stores in minority communities and third world countries.
With the sheer volume of recalled toys (21 million from Mattel alone), this holiday season in the US black
children and their families face a very grave risk that toxic lead tainted toys will show up as cheap
bargains. During the late summer, horrified parents stood helpless as toy after toy recall came across
television screens. News reports gave ticker tape type accounts of million of toys made in China which
were being taken off store selves because of lead paint and other hazards.

Then as quickly as it began, news coverage stopped. Toy makers and retailers began telling consumers
that toys on shelves were safe, even though the system that produced the toxic lead tainted toys is the
same one that produced the toys on selves today. Toxic lead tainted toys are ticking time bombs that will
explode in children’s brains like IEDs (improvised explosive devices) 5 or 10 years down the road. Will
anyone relate little Johnny’s poor performance in school or his inability to focus to the toxic toy he got
from Toys for Tots provided by the City of Atlanta? Think about it!

When there is a big drug bust, officials are quick to show the public bonfires of burning marijuana plants
or cocaine being destroyed as a means of reassuring the public that they are being protected from these
dangerous substances. However, no such displays have been seen of toxic toys. It’s as if these deadly
toys were sucked up into a black hole and the public has to trust the same culprits that caused the
problem to have done "the right thing." That is tantamount to trusting a fox to guard the henhouse.

This year it seems, parents just don’t get it. Toy recalls should have been a wake up call! The things
parents buy their children are not about fun, they are about making money. Toy manufacturers have
parents addicted in the same way as their children. Toys are about making a profit, which means these
gadgets are produced as cheaply as possible. That is why toy makers move their plants to China in the
first place. It is called "plausible deniability."

Toy retailers can blame manufacturers in a country, like China, that doesn’t care about American children
or their own, while both laugh all the way to the bank. Loving parents who care more about their children
than they do about tantrums and tradition have only one option this holiday season. They must find
alternative gifts to popularized toxic toys for their children. This will not be an end to celebrating the
holiday season. Families may actually get back to why the celebration began in the first place. There are
plenty of gifts one can give other than toxic toys made in China.

My favorite gift is a book. Books are gifts that can be shared. Reading to children and children reading
to parents may bring them closer together. Families can spend time doing things together. Games are
great gifts that provide families ways to share time together. Such a Christmas season will allow parents
to explain to their children why they are afraid to buy toys. Remember that gifts are given because one
loves the recipient. Not giving toxic toys will be a show of love this season!


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