Free-range parenting for black kids is okay, but not for whites

How is it perfectly acceptable for a black 10-year-old kid to hang out at a Philadelphia  gas station approaching strangers for money, with no one calling 911, while a white couple's 10- and 6-year-old, playing by themselves in a park close to their Silver Spring, Maryland home, are essentially kidnapped by the police and turned over to Child Protective Services?

Mr. and Mrs. Meitiv of Silver Spring hit the news in February when they were charged with “unsubstantiated child neglect” for allowing their children, 10 and 6, to walk home alone from the park two months earlier.  Danielle Meitiv told Nightline she would not change her parenting style despite the ruling.  According to Mrs. Meitiv, granting the children  the freedom to play encourages independence. 

Things heated up again this past Sunday.  The Meitivs’ latest odyssey began  when the "free-range" parents expected  their children home at the agreed upon time of 6 PM.  When the siblings didn't show up, the couple frantically started searching for the youngsters.  At 8 PM they were contacted by CPS and immediately  rushed over to the Rockville Office.   At 10:30PM they were allowed to see their children and take them home, but only after signing a written agreement stipulating they would not leave their children unsupervised again.

Contrast the Silver Spring parents with the Philadelphia boy.  On April 7, the 10-year-old and a white homeless man were competing for customers at a Sunoco station on 5th Street.  Both were approaching drivers and offering to pump gas for spare change.  At some point, the boy went home and told his mother the homeless man hit him.  Evidence from surveillance cameras showed the boy was lying.  

What happened later that evening, around 7 PM, was caught on video and led to the arrest of two women: the boy's mother, Aleathea Gillard, and her neighbor, Sharina Joachim, who both have been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and related offenses.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer (video):

That evening, she and friends and family members - up to seven of them - pulled up at the station in a friend's minivan and spilled out with Mace, a hammer, and a rocking chair leg in hand, police say.

Video from the station captured the brutal, agonizingly prolonged beating that followed and that left the 51-year-old victim near death in a medically induced coma.

And as the man lay unconscious and bleeding on the ground, one of the women in the van pulled the boy back toward the man to show him: This is what we did for you.

Meanwhile, back in Silver Spring, the Meitivs have retained a D.C. law firm to  file suit on their behalf.  Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were “rightfully outraged by the irresponsible actions” of Maryland Child Protective Services and Montgomery County police, said attorney Matthew Dowd, of the firm Wiley Rein, in a written statement.

“We must ask ourselves how we reached the point where a parent’s biggest fear is that government officials will literally seize our children off the streets as they walk in our neighborhoods,” he said.

 We might also ask ourselves why the government is not seizing unaccompanied inner-city black kids raised by psychotic, crazed, violent relatives off the city streets.

How is it perfectly acceptable for a black 10-year-old kid to hang out at a Philadelphia  gas station approaching strangers for money, with no one calling 911, while a white couple's 10- and 6-year-old, playing by themselves in a park close to their Silver Spring, Maryland home, are essentially kidnapped by the police and turned over to Child Protective Services?

Mr. and Mrs. Meitiv of Silver Spring hit the news in February when they were charged with “unsubstantiated child neglect” for allowing their children, 10 and 6, to walk home alone from the park two months earlier.  Danielle Meitiv told Nightline she would not change her parenting style despite the ruling.  According to Mrs. Meitiv, granting the children  the freedom to play encourages independence. 

Things heated up again this past Sunday.  The Meitivs’ latest odyssey began  when the "free-range" parents expected  their children home at the agreed upon time of 6 PM.  When the siblings didn't show up, the couple frantically started searching for the youngsters.  At 8 PM they were contacted by CPS and immediately  rushed over to the Rockville Office.   At 10:30PM they were allowed to see their children and take them home, but only after signing a written agreement stipulating they would not leave their children unsupervised again.

Contrast the Silver Spring parents with the Philadelphia boy.  On April 7, the 10-year-old and a white homeless man were competing for customers at a Sunoco station on 5th Street.  Both were approaching drivers and offering to pump gas for spare change.  At some point, the boy went home and told his mother the homeless man hit him.  Evidence from surveillance cameras showed the boy was lying.  

What happened later that evening, around 7 PM, was caught on video and led to the arrest of two women: the boy's mother, Aleathea Gillard, and her neighbor, Sharina Joachim, who both have been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and related offenses.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer (video):

That evening, she and friends and family members - up to seven of them - pulled up at the station in a friend's minivan and spilled out with Mace, a hammer, and a rocking chair leg in hand, police say.

Video from the station captured the brutal, agonizingly prolonged beating that followed and that left the 51-year-old victim near death in a medically induced coma.

And as the man lay unconscious and bleeding on the ground, one of the women in the van pulled the boy back toward the man to show him: This is what we did for you.

Meanwhile, back in Silver Spring, the Meitivs have retained a D.C. law firm to  file suit on their behalf.  Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were “rightfully outraged by the irresponsible actions” of Maryland Child Protective Services and Montgomery County police, said attorney Matthew Dowd, of the firm Wiley Rein, in a written statement.

“We must ask ourselves how we reached the point where a parent’s biggest fear is that government officials will literally seize our children off the streets as they walk in our neighborhoods,” he said.

 We might also ask ourselves why the government is not seizing unaccompanied inner-city black kids raised by psychotic, crazed, violent relatives off the city streets.