News has come out of China that a 10-year-old girl was recently hauled in by police and detained for 20 hours without food or water. Her crime? Being the daughter of a dissident. That's right, she was just a relative of a supposed criminal. She hadn't actually done anything wrong because she's just a little kid, but cops bullied her anyway!
Man, I feel lucky to be an American today.
Say what you will about our government, but there remains a respect for children in this country. Even kids who are actual suspects of crimes here are allowed to have their parents in the room when cops are interrogating them. They go through different procedures and different courts.
Zhang Anni, who was taken by four men she didn't know away from her school and kept from her family, got none of that. She was bullied for hours by adults trying to pump her for information about her dad, a writer who has been jailed frequently for standing up to the government. Apparently he was in the same building, but no one told her, and she wasn't allowed to go to him for comfort.
And remember, she did nothing wrong.
Little Zhang Anni's story is one so foreign to us because it comes from another country, but the laws of the various lands shouldn't even come into play here. That China is different from America, that their culture has different rules, shouldn't matter.
On a humanitarian level, going after kids is unacceptable. Going after families is unacceptable.
There's a reason even husbands and wives are protected against testifying against their partner by spousal privilege in America -- because the family unit is sacred. We, as human beings, deserve the right to that basic connection with the people we love.
It's not a legal right so much as a moral one, one that springs from the depths of our souls rather than anything governments have scrawled on paper.
And yet, it is happening, right now, in 2013, and it behooves us to say something, to do something. We are lucky to be Americans, and it's just because we're so lucky that we should be angry enough to force a change.
Do you think this crosses a line? Is it up to us to see that this doesn't keep happening to kids?
Image via daquella manera/Flickr