Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named a top state social services official to serve as his child welfare commissioner, because she is a mother. Gladys Carriòn, the appointee, plans to restructure, starting with dividing the Agency in two. Consistent with De Blasio’s “two cities” philosophy, one bureau will deal with “rich kids,” another with “poor, screwed up” kids.
The new Children’s Agency director admits this is a “tough assignment,” because her entire career has involved only poor, screwed up kids, and no rich kids.
Then she forthrightly admitted. “Except for my own.”
TPV asked how this would actually work in practice.
“Well, for instance, I could never send a kid to reform school. Well at least no kid that resembled mine. You know, a rich kid.”
But you could to that to a poor kid? TPV asked.
Oh no, it’s not as simple as that. It’s all about sensitivity. Just being poor is a result of having two cities, as Bill has hypothesized. That’s no reason to lock up a kid. But a poor screwed up kid is something else. We lock them up to protect society.
So, interrupted TPV, it’s all about protecting society?
Well, also property values. And the general comfort you get from knowing that the poor screwed up kids are locked safely away.
Suddenly TPV understood. Rich kids don’t make people or neighborhoods uncomfortable, no matter how screwed up they are?
“Exactly,” Carriòn answered. “And they actually raise property values. They’re a double benefit. Oh I just adore my children beyond anything.”
TPV was sure all parents shared that feeling.
Well, all except parents of poor screwed up kids.
TPV was stunned and uncharacteristically silent.
So we will have one bureau for rich kids and one bureau for poor screwed up kids. In fact we’re giving a Christmas party for the rich kids tonight at the Pierre.
That didn’t seem fair to the poor kids.
Oh there are so many of them. And they don’t expect anything special like rich kids do. It’s all about sensitivity. This administration is sensitive to both cities.
Hold on, insisted TPV. This whole two cities hypothesis was very controversial because it seemed the mayor wanted to destroy it and meld us all together like in a blender. A social blender. But that’s not so?
“Well, of course not,” said Carriòn with a chuckle. “It’s all about sensitivity. We’re sensitive to both cities and intend to give each what they’ve grown to expect. We don’t want civil war, we want civil respect. Civility. It’s all about sensitivity!”
TPV said good bye extremely civilly and left to find out what time the party starts at the Pierre. Many at TPV have kids too, and even if they’re not rich, we’re teaching them how to act as if they were. We’re beginning to understand
For the Times’ reporting to http://nyti.ms/1fyzzrI; as for how children’s agency succeed when big words are its foundation, watch the excerpt below:
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