Elian Gonzalez sure is a cute kid. So is Alexis.
You know Elian right? Most famous 6 year old in the world. We’re
pretty sure you don’t know Alexis; she lives down the block from us.
Yahoo has 194 photos of Elian on file, but none of Alexis, so we’ll
describe her to you. She has dark skin and a big bright grin
sparkling eyes too; joyous laugh. She has pretty typical tastes for a
six-year-old girl; likes Barbies and stuffed animals. She doesn’t have
a lot of toys, but she sure has fun when she gets a new present.
Everyone cares about Elian. The very highest reaches of the most
powerful government on earth, the Attorney General and President of the
United States, have opinions about Elian. Three senior federal judges,
just one step below the US Supreme Court, are currently trying to
decide whether Elian will grow up in the US or in Cuba. In Miami the Police
Chief resigned and the City Manager was fired as a result of the Elian
controversy. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has
stated her opinion on the Elian case.
What's everyone's opinion on Alexis? What do you think about Alexis?
Why do I ask? Well, Alexis' teeth are so bad she can barely eat. We think
there's some government program that would pay to have her teeth fixed,
but no one's bothered to take her to the dentist. Alexis should
probably be in school, but she's not. But no matter: Alexis is not a
media star, she's just another kid. Real cute though.
Right now, Elian is playing at the federally protected Wye Plantation
in Maryland. Alexis is playing in the street; traffic's pretty light
though, so she probably won't get hit by a car today.
Elian got to America via raft. His mother died trying to reach
Alexis was born in America. So was her mother. And her mother's mother.
Alexis still has her mother; not sure where the father is.
Does anyone know how much money has been spent on the Elian case? There
have been scores of high-ranking government officials involved; and
Elian's father has been flown around the country in government jets to
attend various hearings. And then there are the numerous court cases,
each involving the usual band of court functionaries. When Elian and
his family went to dinner at the home of wealthy Clinton donor Smith
Bagley, he traveled via motorcade, escorted by police and US Marshals.
About 140 federal agents were involved in the elaborate planning,
preparation, and raid that removed Elian from the home of his Miami
relatives in Little Havana. Two helicopters were on stand-by to spirit
Elian away; in case of bad weather a speedboat was waiting in Biscayne
Bay. Want to kidnap Alexis? No problem; there's usually no one
watching her, and she probably wouldn't be missed for a while.
What's our point? We're outraged over the fact that millions of
dollars and countless human hours have been spent debating plight of Elian
Gonzalez, while millions of children in the US and around the world
don't even have the most basic necessities of life. For a small
fraction of the millions spent on the Elian case, hundreds of needy
children could have been fed, clothed, and educated. But we guess that
wouldn't have satiated the great American hunger for made-for-TV drama.
Stay focused on the TV and you'll find out how the Elian drama ends.
Just don't look out the window you may see a kid just like Alexis.
Unlike the kid on TV, you could actually help the one in your
neighborhood. But don't bother just change the channel until you
find another expensive, wasteful drama to watch... Maybe something on ESPN.