Monday, January 22, 2024

How Much Is A Child’s Life Worth?

How Much Is A Child’s Life Worth?

by C.A. Matthews


Editor’s Note: On January 17, 2024, the Toledo (Ohio) City Council once again tabled voting on a Ceasefire in Gaza Resolution. More than one hundred days into the incessant bombing and bulldozing of Gaza, and the Toledo City Council (TCC) can’t make up its mind whether it wants to denounce the genocide of the Palestinians or not.

What’s the deal? After an intense email campaign flooded all twelve of the TCC members’ inboxes, the vote on the ceasefire resolution has been put off for a later time. We’ve been told this tabling of the motion (by its original proposer) has been done “in hope of persuading the hold-outs” to vote in favor of it. With many cities in the US, including an inconsequential metropolis located 40 miles north of Toledo called “Detroit”, passing resolutions condemning the genocide and calling for solidarity with the Palestinian people, what (or rather who) on earth could be causing a half-dozen plus Toledo City Council Members to lean toward the side of backing the genocidal Israeli government?

Our organizers for this email campaign have told us to continue politely emailing and calling these TCC members for the next two weeks until the tabled resolution comes up again for a vote, but I’ve had it. My patience is gone with those who think a genocide is “no big deal” or that “there’s two sides to every issue.” Sorry, but no. When it comes to genocide, there isn’t a “pro” side unless you’re an outright sociopath. I wrote a polite and fact-filled email earlier in the week, but apparently it didn’t touch the naysayers’ hearts, or whatever they have instead of an organ of empathy.

I can’t trust myself to write another “polite email” (or ten) again, so I’ve decided to write my email into a blog post instead. This letter would be what I would send to the Toledo City Council Members if I could, but I won’t send it and jeopardize this resolution’s chance of passing just to vent my frustration. At least I’ll have a few things off my chest, which might help me refrain from spitting in their faces the next time I see any of them in person. Here goes...

Dear Council Member:

You may not remember my email from this past week among the many hundreds of emails on this topic that flooded your inbox, so allow me to jog your memory.

I’m an immigration advocate, writer/editor, and mother. In my line of work, I’ve seen up close how devastating ethnic cleansing can be for an individual, the same kind that is happening currently to the Palestinians in Gaza. I can empathize with just how terrifying it is not to be able to help your friends and family who are stuck in the middle of the IDF carpet bombing. One small demonstration of support by the Toledo City Council by passing this ceasefire resolution could go a long way in showing the local Palestinian/Arab American community that the city truly cares about them and their families.

 All you as a Council Member have to do is vote yes on the Ceasefire in Gaza Resolution that was proposed. Why is this simple, yet compassionate, act so difficult for you to understand? Your silence speaks volumes. 

It was brought to my attention that a former Council Member has been causing you some confusion. I must say that I am confused by his actions, too, as he no longer lives in the city, but rather he lives in a small, mostly white, affluent suburb located to the northwest of Toledo. Why Toledo City Council allows persons who live outside the city limits to tell them what to do and how to vote on a resolution was a mystery to me until I learned more about this individual.

Mr. Smith* apparently has a lot of rich, powerful friends in the county. I see now how he controls your votes. Although he currently lives in another city, he still thinks he and his gang can tell the Toledo City Council what to do. As we all know, Toledo is no longer as affluent as it once was and is no longer mostly white, either. Mr. Smith in his earlier remarks espoused a Zionist political philosophy, one that is known for its racism against all people of color, Palestinians in particular. It seems probable Mr. Smith doesn’t support a ceasefire because he wants the genocide to continue until all Gazans are dead and the next phase of driving out any remaining Palestinians in the West Bank can begin. Perhaps he is hoping that a similar ethnic cleansing operation could make Toledo “mostly white” again one day? Who knows what lurks in Zionists' hearts?

I’m certain Mr. Smith couches his approval of the Israeli genocide in flowery terms, but the fancy verbiage doesn’t hide the cold hard facts: There are an estimated 100,000 human beings missing, maimed, or dead in Gaza, 12,000+ of them children. Over 700,000 are without food or drinkable water as of today. I’m assuming that you don’t personally feel that toddlers and newborns are “hardened terrorists” like most Zionists do. In that case, you’d agree with me that Palestinian children aren’t guilty of any “crimes” whatsoever. So, if Palestinian children are innocent of any crimes, why should they be punished—or in this case murdered by carpet bombing and the withholding of food and potable water—for actions in which they cannot be held responsible for in the first place?

Wouldn’t calling for a ceasefire to end the hostilities so both sides can sit around the negotiation table and work things out be a good thing to do for the sake of the children? Wouldn’t Toledo City Council backing a Ceasefire in Gaza Resolution help encourage public opinion to demand these negotiations begin and the killing stop? Wouldn’t it show how much Toledo stands in solidarity with innocent Palestinian children and civilians in general? Aren’t children’s health and safety worthy of your time and consideration, so much so that you’d vote yes on the ceasefire resolution today if you could?

To put it another way: How much is a child’s life worth to you, Council Member?

If you’re still siding with a wealthy, white suburbanite who wants the massacres to continue in Gaza, then you’re telling me and the world that you don’t really place much worth on the life of any child—a child of color in particular. A child of color who resides in either in Gaza or Toledo. Brown or Black lives aren’t worth a whole lot to you is what refusing to vote yes on the ceasefire resolution says to me. 

Essentially, you’ve placed a price tag of $0 on these children’s heads. Whether they live or die is of no importance to you. I personally find your callous disregard for the lives of children disgusting.

I’m sure Mr. Smith and his friends (who after all live in a very well-to-do suburb in the same county as the city of Toledo) can write some pretty big checks come election campaign time. I’m also certain that your county political party machine relishes those big fat checks. I'm sure your party leaders have warned you to never do anything that could drive away those big campaign donations on pain of political death, no doubt. So, even if you won’t answer the question, “How much is a child’s life worth?” you've given us all the answer.

 A child’s life isn’t worth your political career, obviously.

This can mean only one thing—your political career must be terminated so that children may live.

I know you’ll take exception to my reasoning, but what else have you given us to go on? A reasonable request to pass a resolution calling for a ceasefire of the bombing of innocent civilians in Gaza is being ignored. There has to be something causing you as Council Member to not enthusiastically support saving children’s lives—any child’s life, no matter what color he/she is or where the child lives. And that something must have something to do with what Mr. Smith and his rich suburbanite friends have that you so desperately want—money. 

Rich people use money as a threat or an incentive to get what they want frequently. I’ll have to assume they’ve threatened that the big checks will stop dropping into your party's campaign war chests if you don’t do as you’re told and vote down the ceasefire resolution. To quote a few outspoken audience members at the last council meeting: “Spineless.” “Cowards.”

A child’s life (whatever his/her color) is of infinite worth in case you didn’t know. I don’t know if you’re a parent or grandparent or have never even held a baby in your arms in your life before, but know this: A child’s life is worth far more than any damn campaign contribution. Spineless cowards like you have put a price tag of $0 on their heads in order to stay in office. Proud of yourself? Putting your political career above the chance of standing in solidarity with others who wish to save innocents’ lives in Gaza

What a “neighborly” thing to do, Toledo! And we belong to the so-called “Welcoming City” organization, too. Ha ha ha!

You seem to forget, Council Member, that Palestinian Americans can and do vote and that Arab Americans/Muslim Americans make up a good percentage of voters in Lucas County. They're well paid professionals just like your friend Mr. Smith and his group, too. They will be writing big checks to your political opponents from now on. Your refusal to vote yes on the Ceasefire in Gaza Resolution will mean the end of your political career after all.  

Ironic, isn’t it? I can’t wait for the day when your cowardice catches up with you.

Sincerely yours,

A Fed-Up Voter For Peace & Justice

*Not his real name, but you probably know someone just like him.

Related Articles and Interesting Links: 

Thousands of Babies Being Born Into 'Hell' in Gaza, Says UNICEF

On Parenthood and Genocide 

Israel Forcing Palestinians to Starve “Just Miles From Trucks Filled With Food”

Palestinian Women and Children Don’t Deserve to Die in Gaza. Neither Do Men.  

St. Louis’s Ceasefire Resolution Is a Testament to Black-Palestinian Solidarity

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 105: Israel destroys Gaza’s last university as Netanyahu doubles down on rejection of a Palestinian state

Israel’s war on Gaza live: No ‘deliberate’ war crimes by Israel, says US

Palestinians welcome Chile and Mexico’s call for ICC probe into Gaza war

Israeli Military Chief Says Lebanon War Likely in Coming Months

5 Radical Martin Luther King Quotes Fox News Would Hate

Senate Kills Sanders Resolution Requiring Biden to Report on Israeli Human Rights Conduct in Gaza

Western racism laid the foundations for Israel's genocide in Gaza

Has Israel Lost its Right to Exist?

Patrick Lawrence: This Is Not Another ‘Phoney War’

Biden, Israel’s accomplice in Gaza, pretends to be a bystander

How Israeli forces trapped and killed ravers at the Nova Festival

Switzerland says Israel President subject of criminal complaints at Davos

Technicality Could Sink Genocide Case v Israel

Indonesia Files Lawsuit Against Israel At World Court

Cuba Proposes Non-Aligned Movement Support Urgent Dispatch Of Protection Mission To The Gaza Strip

Can the US Please Stop Supporting Genocidal Nazis?

The Biden Administration's Absurd Justification For Its Yemen War 

Ohio Pastor Charged for Opening Church to Homeless People in Freezing Weather

One year after the toxic train derailment, is East Palestine (Ohio) safe? Depends on whom you ask.

COVID-19 has killed more than 7 million people since 2020

Global 1% own 43% of financial assets, 5 richest billionaires doubled wealth while 5 billion workers got poorer

Some videos well worth watching:

Palestine in 1920

Are We The Baddies? (A History of US Empire)

South Park's take on Israeli propaganda:

Miko Peled interviews Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate

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  1. I was totally unimpressed with reports of the council's performance. So much for the democratic process, when one tiny self interest group can have influence far out of proportion to their numbers.

  2. Agreed. No group should ever have so much influence, especially if they're bribing elected officials to deny a genocide. It's amoral and reflects badly on the city.


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