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An American Failure



I sit here at my office at home where I usually catch up on the latest Browns news and take notes for my next podcast at BelieveLAND Media. I should be as of this minute sifting around for some sort of breaking news or just searching around to listen to my colleagues’ podcasts. But today is different. Difficult and different. For the last 5 days all I can think about is the utter sadness we experienced Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas where 19 angels succumbed to evil, an unexplained evil that has left this country in shambles. I think about those families. The heart wrenching pain they must be feeling every waking second. Being a father of four, a grandfather of 16 and a great grandfather of one, I just could not imagine getting that call. Words cannot come to me the hurt I feel for those parents. 19 children. Fourth graders who should have been waiting to celebrate the end of another school year and the beginning of summer. America has failed these children. Young lives cut too short. Two of the young girls posing with their honor roll certificates, one young girl in her cheerleading uniform. The youngest victim named Uziyah planning a spring trip to visit his grandpa, another boy Javier was looking forward to a summer of swimming and a young angel named Makenna loved her tumbling classes. America failed these children. They won’t have summer vacations, soccer games, birthday parties, quinceañeras ( Hispanic equivalent to sweet sixteen), high school, college careers, or even children of their own. There’s is a void that cannot be filled in their schools, their community and more importantly, in their families. America failed these children. Tonight there are parents who won’t get to argue about bath time or bedtime. There are probably piles of clothes in a corner that they told the kids thousands of times to pick up that now go ignored. Tonight, 19 mothers will curl up in bed or wherever, with blankets, hoodies, stuffed animals and T-shirts and smell the scent of their babies while sobbing uncontrollably. America has failed these families. I sit here and this hits home. We here at BelieveLAND Media use this forum mostly for sports entertainment. I am honored to be part of it. We have the founder himself, Kevin Sledz, with school aged children, I see his pictures he posts with his young daughter and see the glimmer in his eyes when he’s with her. How proud he is of her each day. My podcast partner Clarence Wilson, with children the same age as the victims, he talks about them with me every time we talk. He is so head over heals in love with his children. Joey Schneider, another one of our fantastic writers, editor and podcaster has two beautiful young daughters, one calls me Tio, the absolute love he has for them is unmatched. It all just feels so hopeless. A space designed for learning turned instead into a killing field. A community that will never ever be the same. Survivors and family who will carry unimaginable grief and trauma and heartbreak for generations to come And yet we all know too well how this song goes, “thoughts and prayers “ will be on offer aplenty. If only someone could take the country by the shoulders and scream the scream of a mother, or a father, or a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle now looking at years of pain and someone always missing from the kitchen table. We are sick of it all. We’re also sick of hearing the same old song, always with a new verse, but always one where more of our children get butchered and no one in authority does anything. When will this song end? Or will it? One thing for sure is a constant: America has failed it’s children.


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