How I really feel about Toys R Us closing…
I don’t care.
Now that that’s out of the way, I must say that the beloved giraffe is my spirit animal. Being a tall girl, it seems I sprouted out of nowhere into a being too big for my environment. It wasn’t long until "Giraffe" became my middle name - or my first name, depending on which classmate you asked. The idea of Geoffrey and the giraffes in zoos resonated with me: we were tall in this together.
Until Geoffrey had to leave.
I grew up in a black and Latino community where children were forced to grow up fast and adapt to the real world. Toys R Us was the toy store located in the corner of the city that had the potential to provide a sense of joy and innocence for kids who could not afford it. But that’s the thing: we couldn't afford it. Toys were the last things on our mind in comparison to paying the bills and putting dinner on the table.
The neighborhood Toys R Us closed in 2008 and was replaced with a mattress store. “Where did all the toys go?” I wondered. To my surprise Toys R Us was still a thriving business - just not for the kids without means. Many surrounding neighborhoods with a similar demographic and economic circumstances had their Toys taken away, too.
As of late, the Toys R Us franchise has come to a close indefinitely and it seems as though the world is up in arms. This has to be because it this is an issue that is not only affecting the poor. All children are losing Toys R Us.
The heroin epidemic comes to mind. I know, far from toys, right? However, heroin is something many Americans love to play with. When people color were struggling with drug addiction, it was “off with their heads” as far as the war on drugs was concerned. As current studies show the growing numbers of white Americans using drugs, there is a new approach to this issue. The word "rehab" stands in the place of "prison." When black and brown people deal with drugs, it is a crime. When white people deal with drugs, it is an illness.
When white kids lose their toys it’s absurd. When black and brown kids lose their toys, it goes unheard.