I’m sorry we didn’t protect you enough. We live in a country where a lot of basic needs for citizens are not considered, let alone that of special needs. I hope you can forgive us, but if you can’t, I understand. As a people we have long been desensitized to cruel and inhumane treatment, but it didn’t start there. You see Jasmine, our country’s social depravity started when we turned a blind eye to ‘simple offenses’. It started the moment we began to ‘give a bly’ to those that thought they were bigger than the law or the process. It started the first time a child was kidnapped and it became only a “9 day wonder” with no real call for justice. We didn’t care, because it didn’t happen us.
I’m writing this because for the first time in a long time, a story like this rests heavily on my mind. Jasmine when I first learned about you missing, my heart instantly broke. I thought back to the countless stories I’ve heard about that mostly involved children and women going missing (often times turning up dead) and I can’t recall any of them weighing me down this heavily. It is that kind of desensitization I referred to and I recognize that I am also a part of the problem.
It’s been 9 days since you were first reported missing and your father is distraught. I watched an interview with him and felt his pain deep within my soul. Jasmine, your dad loves you to the end of the earth and back…but I bet you already knew that. You see Jasmine, your dad trusted in a system that promised to take care of the disenfranchised and most vulnerable among us, yet he still made sure to do all that he could to protect you and help you to fulfill your absolute potential. This was not his fault.
We have already began to fear the worst. Our experience tells us that this has only one outcome, but I’m still holding on to the faintest hope. My wish is that you will one day be able to read this and know that we are sorry that we failed you as a country and as a people, that you deserved a lot better than you have endured throughout your whole life.
I also hope that this serves as a wake-up-call for our government and/or private sector and signals a call to action in collaborating and implementing much needed measures and infrastructure that will help special needs people function like normal members of our society.
To her captors, if you are reading this; for once, let’s not take this promising young woman’s life. Whatever has been done already, just please let her go. What you don’t know is that Jasmine was studying International Relations, for a second I want you to stop and think about the impact her future has on the world, our country and even you and your family. She’s worth more to this ungrateful world than you can even begin to fathom. Don’t let these words fall on deaf ears, please, just let her go.
Written By: Jason McPherson