Saturday, April 13, 2013

Preserving cultural identity in the face of institutionalized white supremacy: Another Home-going -- Pt. 1

There is that great proverb—that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
— Chinua Achebe, “The Art of Fiction,” 1994

(Photo:  Charleston City Paper)
Tucked amid those high-profile cases the Supremes chose to hear this year, is the little-talked-about (at least nationally), Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl wherein, the preservation of cultural identity is pitted against the often tried and true -- "best interest of the child" argument.

Steeped in the easily recognizable machinations of childless white folk who've set their sights on the children of the "Other" (don't act like this is an odd occurrence, it's what prompted the Indian Child Welfare Act in the first damned place!) -- the alleged adoptive parents' display of money+things+privilege must = power seems to me, little more than institutionalized white supremacy writ large.

Now Family, before you go asking yourselves, "What the hay-ell does this have to do with us?!" I beg your indulgence all the way to the end of the post, mkay?  Before then though, let's take a look at how this case of, "No!  You cannot have this man's child!" -- was able to even land in the U.S. Supreme Court.

At issue for the Court:
  1. Whether a non-custodial parent can invoke the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-63, to block an adoption voluntarily and lawfully initiated by a non-Indian parent under state law; and
  2. Whether ICWA defines “parent” in 25 U.S.C. § 1903(9) to include an unwed biological father who has not complied with state law rules to attain legal status as a parent.
Just let those "implications" marinate for a minute. Having recently returned from home (yet again, Amenta!), I can tell you that there, as Elder Achebe noted above, "the history of the hunt" is definitely "glorifying the hunters" when it comes to "Baby Girl."

~#~#~

How it got this far

Perusing a hometown paper online the first week of 2013, I came across this: U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear 'Baby Veronica' case.  And yes, like the series of yet-to-be-published pieces about home with which I've been struggling across my recent visits, this also sat as a draft -- until I realized that the April 15 hearing date was upon us.

Several things struck me as I read the short piece (especially the first, double comment!).  I had to go and read the linked, mainstream media version of the original "specifics" of the case, as reported by The Charleston City Paper here.  Please, do read the entire thing -- I doubt you'll be able to ignore the "glorification of the hunter" throughout.  Particularly interesting to me, were these observations.
By now most people around here know something about Veronica. They see the purple Save Veronica signs and bumper stickers in business windows and parking lots. Her swath of curly dark hair has become almost iconic. But what most local residents don't understand is how this happened.

Four months after Matt and Melanie Capobianco brought Veronica home, an attorney called them to let them know that Dusten Brown had filed for paternity and custody. A few more months passed, and the Cherokee Nation joined the case, claiming a violation of the Indian Child Welfare Act. That law, passed in 1978 to keep tribes together, also deems the Capobiancos' unwavering drive to care for Veronica less significant than her biological tie to the Cherokee Nation. The Indian Child Welfare Act mandates that a child with Native American heritage grow up with blood relatives or, if that option is unavailable, with a member of his or her tribe. Social workers can place the child with adoptive or foster families from outside the tribe, but only after exhausting those possibilities. The cases that arise from this law prove as divisive as abortion or gay marriage. Some people take this law personally.

By, "most local residents," the writer must mean, "white folk who can't get their way," because quiet as it's kept, there are more Native Americans in the Carolinas than she'd like to admit, many of whom know full well how their culture has been turned upside-down by the presence of white folk on their lands (the main reason why "Occupy" anything causes a quiet riot deep in my gut). Equally -- because South Carolina once had a Black Majority due, in particular, to the volume of West African slaves brought into the colony because of their African and gendered knowledge of growing rice, as well as, to do the back-breaking work that made white planters rich -- there are many Blacks who not only understand why this happened, but are rooting for Dusten Brown.  So, no shit, Allyson, some people -- who are not white -- take this law personally (as a matter of fact, there's a Black father further down-post who, I'm sure, wishes there was an ICWA for him!).

Her concentration on the faux adoptive parents' "unwavering drive" versus the inane-sounding, "keep tribes together," is indicative of the "white gaze."  To frame this story as such, reeks of the white privilege permeating the whole affair.  And to equate the divisiveness of the cases arising from the ICWA with "abortion or gay marriage" is hyperbole at its best -- Baby Girl belongs with her damned Daddy who wants her!  Somebody please show my ignorant behind where the similarity is!
A court filing on behalf of the Capobiancos said Brown agreed to give up his rights to Veronica to his estranged ex-fiancée, so long as he could give up any child support obligation along with it. Brown's attorney, Shannon Jones, instead argued that her client expected Veronica's biological mother to raise their daughter and signed away his rights to her alone.
Now this is truly interesting to me.  As you will read in the opinion below, Dusten was active-duty military, preparing to deploy to Iraq, when he agreed "to give up his rights to Veronica to his estranged ex-fiancée."  Sounds really ominous right?  It is, but it's not -- here's why.  My husband and I were once, both on active-duty in the Navy (different languages, same specialty) and we both had to sign over our parental rights to (in our case) my mother, in the event that he would be assigned sea-duty and I would be assigned to an unaccompanied OUTCONUS (outside the continental U.S.) tour of duty.  This actually happened upon my re-enlistment, but I decided to get out instead because of the way my babies often reacted when Dad came back from other sea-duty tours  -- they didn't know who the hayell he was!  Their getting reacquainted was always a process, one I didn't want to have happen to me.  Now, might Dusten not have thought that was what he was signing?

Intrigued by the article though (mainly because in situations like these, there's always two sides to every story and then the damned truth), I googled some "Other" versions of the story.  This one was particularly interesting (especially the comments!):  Biological Father Regains Custody of Two-Year-Old Cherokee Daughter in Adoption Battle.

And further, because I prefer facts, versus an emotion-laden, media-biased opinion (which the City Paper's piece, along with CNN and others I've seen and read -- are), I decided to look up the actual, South Carolina Supreme Court opinion.  I wanted to know the legal reasons why the alleged adoptive parents' case was denied in the lower court in the first place -- and I'm glad I did:
CHIEF JUSTICE TOAL: This case involves a contest over the private adoption of a child born in Oklahoma to unwed parents, one of whom is a member of the Cherokee Nation. After a four day hearing in September 2011, the family court issued a final order on November 25, 2011, denying the adoption and requiring the adoptive parents to transfer the child to her biological father. The transfer of custody took place in Charleston, South Carolina, on December 31, 2011, and the child now resides with her biological father and his parents in Oklahoma. We affirm the decision of the family court denying the adoption and awarding custody to the biological father. (emphasis mine)
Now I'm no lawyer, but I see no ambiguity here.  The child was never legally adopted!  However, given what James Island has increasingly become, I'm certain that fact was merely an annoyance for the money+things+privilege must = power folk (kinda like no-see-ums instead of gnats, because you see, no-see-ums bite -- but still, they can be handled).

This child is living with her Daddy and extended family! And they're trying their damndest to get in between that with their, "Woe is me" displays? Lawd ha' mercy, doesn't the sense of entitlement just drip -- even as they spew that whole "best interest of the child" bullshit?

And to think, all of this trauma, being inflicted on the child and her Daddy, is being aided and abetted by the faux adoptive Mom -- who has a Masters degree and a PhD in developmental psychology and develops therapy programs for children with behavior problems and their families!  And people wonder why I'm wary of alphabet-holding, "mental health experts." {smdh}

Some additional points to ponder from the opinion:
  • Mother testified that she knew "from the beginning" that Father was a registered member of the Cherokee Nation, and that she deemed this information "important" throughout the adoption process. Further, she testified she knew that if the Cherokee Nation were alerted to Baby Girl's status as an Indian child, "some things were going to come into effect, but [she] wasn't for [sic] sure what." 
  • Mother reported Father's Indian heritage on the Nightlight Agency's adoption form and testified she made Father's Indian heritage known to Appellants and every agency involved in the adoption. However, it appears that there were some efforts to conceal his Indian status. In fact, the pre-placement form reflects Mother's reluctance to share this information:
    "Initially the birth mother did not wish to identify the father, said she wanted to keep things low-key as possible for the [Appellants], because he's registered in the Cherokee tribe. It was determined that naming him would be detrimental to the adoption.” 
  • Appellants hired an attorney to represent Mother's interests during the adoption. Mother told her attorney that Father had Cherokee Indian heritage. Based on this information, Mother's attorney wrote a letter, dated August 21, 2009, to the Child Welfare Division of the Cherokee Nation to inquire about Father's status as an enrolled Cherokee Indian. The letter stated that Father was "1/8 Cherokee, supposedly enrolled," but misspelled Father's first name as "Dustin" instead of "Dusten" and misrepresented his birthdate. (my bold, their italic -- emphasis here) 
  • Because of these inaccuracies, the Cherokee Nation responded with a letter stating that the tribe could not verify Father's membership in the tribal records, but that "[a]ny incorrect or omitted family documentation could invalidate this determination." Mother testified she told her attorney that the letter was incorrect and that Father was an enrolled member, but that she did not know his correct birthdate. Adoptive Mother testified that, because they hired an attorney to specifically inquire about the baby's Cherokee Indian status, "when she was born, we were under the impression that she was not Cherokee." Any information Appellants had about Father came from Mother. (emphasis mine)
Based just on the afore-going, it's obvious that -- from the Mother, to the agency handling the "adoption," to the attorney involved, to the adoptive parents -- this case is riddled with fraud and financial coercion at best, and institutionalized white supremacy at the very least (All together now, can we say, "You lie!" to the faux, adoptive parents and their lawyers?).  Also, it seems if push comes to shove, the adoptive parents are positioned to hurl the birth-mother under the damned bus, walking away, not only unscathed, but painted as "victims" of a lying, conniving birth mother.  But for the Cherokee Nations' written caveat, this Dad never stood a chance!

Here we have a single (now married, according to The Atlantic piece), Cherokee Nation father (non-custodial parent) trying to block the adopting out of his own biological child to white folk, after her non-Indian mother (with some pre- and post-financial assistance from the white folk), voluntarily, but it seems to me, unlawfully, gave her up for adoption -- without telling the father.
(Photo courtesy of The Atlantic)

Secondly, we have the faux, adoptive parents, relying on the language of the ICWA, to determine that Dusten Brown is not Veronica's parent (institutionalized white supremacy notwithstanding, he did file for paternity four months after her birth when he found out what the birth mother had done.  I don't see how they have a leg on which to stand there, especially if his deployment is raised but -- you never know about those "hunters,"right?).
    From "Wounded Knee" (where Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Thomas Morgan stated in October 1889 -- a year before that massacre):
    The Indians must conform to "the white man’s ways," peaceably if they will, forcibly if they must. They must adjust themselves to their environment, and conform their mode of living substantially to our civilization. This civilization may not be the best possible, but it is the best the Indians can get. They cannot escape it, and must either conform to it or be crushed by it. The tribal relations should be broken up, socialism destroyed, and the family and the autonomy of the individual substituted.” (emphasis mine)
    To the Changeling's, revisionist-history-nominated-for-an-Oscar, faux, "Great Emancipator," homeboy, Abe Lincoln, who said in his, Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes:
    "...If we deal with those who are not free at the beginning, and whose intellects are clouded by Slavery, we have very poor materials to start with.  If intelligent colored men, such as are before me, would move in this matter, much might be accomplished. It is exceedingly important that we have men at the beginning capable of thinking as white men, and not those who have been systematically oppressed." (emphasis mine)
    White supremacy has continuously demanded that all of us, "Others," totally forget who we are, and assimilate into what they demand we become -- a carefully cultivated, "rainbow" version of THEM.  

    Thanks, but no thanks -- I'll pass.

    I cannot, and will not, speak to my Brown sister's motivations, nor actions (especially given the "gaze" under which she's been portrayed). But what I do know is true, is that Veronica is in her father’s household where she needs to be.  To the Capobiancos, I say -- go adopt a little white girl. There are plenty of them waiting for loving families, and, you won't have to deal with the ICWA!

    ~#~#~#~

    Okay Family here's where we come in (and please -- stop listening to what the MSM and the Changeling have to say about Black fathers!):


    The father of a baby girl who is nearly 2 years old now, and did not even know she existed until last year is battling her adoptive parents for custody. Army Staff Sergeant Terry Achane's wife put her child up for adoption while he was away on duty and did not tell him about it until six months after he returned home. A Utah judge has ruled the adoptive parents must hand the child over to him within 60 days. But the couple, Jared and Kristi Frei, is filing an appeal, hoping to keep their daughter. (emphasis mine)
    So, sister-girl decided this adoption on her own, though she didn't create this life on her own. And now, the white family wants to fight to keep "their" daughter. {smdh} Even more disturbing for us, is a trend my young sister, Ankh posted at the advent of the new year, entitled, "First One of the Year."   Raising interracial children in a home with two parents who love them, carries its own set of "preserving cultural identity" difficulties, however, I find this set of circumstances more than chilling for the "accidental children" of the trysts described therein. I, unabashedly found great pride in the "Idle No More" movement going on during the Baby Veronica case because -- in nearly every picture at the link, "Protect Our Children" is the prominent consideration, as it is with all the briefs filed by other tribes in support of the case at the initial link.  These "lions" definitely have their own historians, Elder Achebe, and because of that, I have high hopes that this child's, "history of the hunt" will glorify them all. My fervent hope, is that Black folk, with all our historians, can begin to cogently relate "the history of the hunt" in which we've long been involved, glorifying (for a change), the rights of African-descended children to know who they are, rather than who the "hunters" demand they become.

    Continued: Preserving cultural identity in the face of institutionalized white supremacy: Another Home-going -- Pt. 1a -- Cultural assaults on "The Other" continues

    Related:
    - Slave descendants seek equal rights from Cherokee Nation
    - First Nations, White Privilege, & the Red Struggle
    - P.L. 95--608, Approved November 8, 1978 (92 Stat. 3069) Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
    - The Indian Child Welfare Act, The need for a separate law
    - Supreme Court To Hear Arguments on Indian Child Welfare Act
    - High court to tackle Native American adoption dispute
    - Indian family protection law central to emotional custody battle
    Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl: Information and Resources
    - Save Wounded Knee

    6 comments:

    Amenta said...

    LOL Deb, I know your home coming post is coming. Interesting post here. I have some questions to pose. Is white supremacy in the law in this case or is white supremacy being expressed in the hubris of the so called white, so called adoptive parents?

    Is there a crack in the law the so called white, so called adoptive parents attempting to exploit?

    It appears there has been enough twisting and turning (attorney, check the word sound similarity here) to bring this case to the supreme court. I will love to see what opinion they render.

    Peace!

    Deb said...

    Hey Amenta! I swear it's coming! Just trying to quiet some of the very many mixed emotions involved (and there are many).

    "Is white supremacy in the law in this case or is white supremacy being expressed in the hubris of the so called white, so called adoptive parents?"

    I added a couple more related pieces to include both the segment of the law that applies, as well as an explanation as to why it was necessary in the first damned place.

    In answer to your questions, I'd simply say both (but that's just me).

    First, because of old Thomas Morgan's vey outspoken opinion as Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1889 -- sorry I just don't believe that kind of putrid shit changes, even IF they make a law to supposedly combat just that.

    Secondly, because the introductory language of the law, as written, reeks of "white savior" mentality, i.e. "The Congress shall have Power * * *To regulate Commerce * * *with Indian tribes” and, through this and other constitutional authority, Congress has plenary power over Indian affairs; (2) that Congress, through statutes, treaties, and the general course of dealing with Indian tribes, has assumed the responsibility for the protection and preservation of Indian tribes and their resources;..United States has a direct interest, as trustee,..."

    While Native Americans are offered certain protections via the law, there's no question who's doing the offering and under what conditions they are offered -- THAT is white supremacy to me, given all they took from them. However, what Native Americans have realized (and what we rarely, if ever, seem to), is they can use that same "language of supremacy" -- against the supremacists! And they have!

    As for the adoptive parents, yes, it's also expressed through their hubris -- that's why they're at the Supreme Court! How dare this man come and get "their child!" {smmfh}

    "Is there a crack in the law the so called white, so called adoptive parents attempting to exploit?"

    Yep, they're relying mainly on the 2nd issue (cuz I don't think they have a leg to stand on, on the 1st one) -- Sec. 4. (9) of the law which says: “parent” means any biological parent or parents of an Indian child or any Indian person who has lawfully adopted an Indian child, including adoptions under tribal law or custom. It does not include the unwed father where paternity has not been acknowledged or established

    But, if you read the SC. Supreme Court opinion, you'll see how they "worked" the biological mother (or she worked them!), with no regard for the ICWA - paying for shit, getting her an attorney, cutting the cord, at birth!, taking the child back to SC right then, all while knowing the guy couldn't acknowledge/establish what he didn't know! But when he found out -- he filed for paternity, won, and went and got his child. And I say to him -- Bravo!

    They purposely misled the Cherokee Nation by providing incorrect information on the father, so they denied he was a member. They tried to make it look like they were following the law, but even the court said there was a shit-load of deception going on -- that's why the adoption was denied!

    "It appears there has been enough twisting and turning (attorney, check the word sound similarity here) to bring this case to the supreme court."

    No shit! I don't know when the opinion'll be rendered, but I sure do want to read it too!

    Carolyn said...

    Hey Deb,not as active in the blogosphere of late. Lots going on in my life. I must say that visiting your blog always gets the juices going and the mind rev up again. I wasn't familiar with this case but similar ones in the past. I, too, would like to read the opinion once it's available.

    In my experience; there was always this undercurrent that marginalized groups and people of color should always been receptive and grateful when white couples of means choose to adopt their offspring for whatever reason.

    There appears to be a reemergence of adopting little black baby boys, however, in some cases; the white families forget that they will eventually be young black men. All the demons from the past start to emerge--friends of the family begin to distance themselves for if they can't find a nice negro girl to go to the prom with him..they won't accommodate by offering Buffy as a date. Reality sets in and I've witness during the black adoption projects of late 80's; some traumatic outcomes. National Association of Black Social Workers were viewed as villains for not supporting trans-racial adoptions.

    This is a thought provoking article and I had just finished viewing the Native American Poet & author; Sherman Alexie on Bill Moyers who addressed some of these issues.
    http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-living-outside-tribal-lines

    Peace and Take care.....

    Deb said...

    Hey Sis., good to see you!

    "Lots going on in my life. I must say that visiting your blog always gets the juices going and the mind rev up again."

    I know what you mean, same here. I am, however, happy I could be of some assistance! :-D

    "In my experience; there was always this undercurrent that marginalized groups and people of color should always been receptive and grateful when white couples of means choose to adopt their offspring for whatever reason."

    Yep, that whole "White Savior" thing over and over again (like after the earthquake in Haiti). But I did read somewhere that Russia has a put a halt to Americans adoption Russian children -- guess they're thinkin' their culture needs some preserving as well.

    "National Association of Black Social Workers were viewed as villains for not supporting trans-racial adoptions."

    I remember that. What I know now, that I didn't understand then is, even in interracial marriages where there's one Black parent, there's also a "reality" that sets in. From living in the Cubano-rich Keys, where the youngest was dating a little, white girl, to here in "the Belly of the Beast" -- I've found some similarly disturbing "realities" as well. The youngest was dating a Latina here, whose family is Puerto Rican. When she told her Mom she was taking him to meet her "Abuelo," Mom said, "Don't tell him he's Black, tell him he's Mexican!" I'm so damned tired of this shit! And no, they are no longer dating.

    Not sure yet how I feel about Sherman Alexie's presentation, but I know enough about me to know that I have a few, "uncomfortable misgivings," like his, "I'm a white American", because of his "racially ambiguous" ethnic appearance -- No Sherman, you are not (but I dolike his, "feeling like a spy in the house of ethnicity" line) . I can certainly identify with his "destructive feeling" of being an "alien in the land of your birth" because a lot of your culture has been destroyed (as I'm sure a lot of Black folk, particularly of my generation, do). But I disagree with him that, unlike Native Americans, "other minorities have a lot of economic power" (I'm a casino fanatic, so I beg to differ). Equally though, I think Blacks COULD have a lot of economic power, but don't -- cause we can't just, shut off the damned TV and all the advertising that goes with it, telling us we need the next, newest big thing -- we don't). His deference to the Jewish Holocaust, with no such deference to the African Holocaust doesn't sit well with me (comparing the Cleveland Indians bobble-head, to the Sambo bobble-head doesn't count). I guess it's because, even though I'm inter-racially married, I don't, nor do I want to -- "live in the in-between" or, "have the ability to hold two different ideas" at this stage in my life. Too much water under the bridge for me to bifurcate the consequences of such an existence -- though I tried to do just that, when I was young.

    So many white folk, particularly in SC, would prefer to see the ICWA disposed of by this Supreme Court's ruling -- so they can do what they've been doing all along to cause the necessity of the Act in the first place (and people talk about Black self-loathing!) . Me, I think it would be a travesty of monumental proportions if that were to happen. But, we do live in a country where white supremacy still reigns, so one can only hope.

    Carolyn said...

    Sis, I trust you are well and I must say your statement: "His deference to the Jewish Holocaust, with no such deference to the African Holocaust doesn't sit well with me (comparing the Cleveland Indians bobble-head, to the Sambo bobble-head doesn't count)" rings true.

    Yes I had those same concerns and remember a spirited debate years ago with this sister who was Seminole and African about the minimization of the African Holocaust with this 'progressive' Jewish woman supporting the sister regarding how Jews have suffered more than people of African descent and Indians for that matter. There was no comparison in their eyes. Oh it got ugly after awhile.

    Later, I'm reading one of Audre Lorde's books. I think it was "Zami" and she spoke of a hostile confrontation and severing of ties with one of her Jewish friends regarding the above. She was so surprised at her friend's dismissive attitude re: the value of millions of lives whom were destroyed, tortured and introduced to the most inhumane system of slavery the world has ever recorded. So little worth attached to horror of the slave trade, the aftermath and some of residual "crap" many of us are still experiencing today.

    I also realize that some Indian tribes had slaves and after the emancipation many were reluctant to follow suit and took their time freeing the ones they had. I also know that there are many Indians who are prejudiced towards blacks and there are exceptions of course; but it's rather shaky. There are similarities and at one time, there were some "Harvard" educated Indian Chiefs who were on Phil Donahue show long ago addressing the need for both groups to unite against the common enemy. I'm recalling so bear with me. One Chief had quoted a black human rights leader citing "that they put the Indians on the reservation and Black folks on the plantation and then went about building this nation". Nothing came out of that though. Hmmm....

    Well, I won't wear out my welcome but white supremacy has a peculiar and sinister effect on many groups of 'people of color' and I truly believe as long as they can keep us fighting over the crumbs; they'll remain in power.

    Deb said...

    Hey Sis Carolyn! I'm well and I hope you are too. Just back home from yet another damned funeral (hence the latest radio-silence).

    I'm gonna start from the end of your comment and work backwards -- cuz I need to:

    "Well, I won't wear out my welcome but white supremacy has a peculiar and sinister effect on many groups of 'people of color' and I truly believe as long as they can keep us fighting over the crumbs; they'll remain in power."

    Never, ever feel you're "wearing out your welcome," Sis -- because I so appreciate the dialogue with someone who actually "gets it." And you are so right about that "peculiar and sinister effect." It's pervasive, infectious, and damaging -- still. Like you, I believe the aim is to keep us "Others" fighting over the crumbs so they can stay in power. My concern and confusion is -- when the hell is it going to end?! When are we "Others" going to wake the hell up??!!

    "...with this sister who was Seminole and African about the minimization of the African Holocaust with this 'progressive' Jewish woman supporting the sister regarding how Jews have suffered more than people of African descent and Indians for that matter. There was no comparison in their eyes. Oh it got ugly after awhile."

    Well I'm not surprised about the Jewish woman -- AT ALL. But the sister to whom you referred, obviously had no idea of the history her very existence represented! Joseph Opala researched and wrote at length about the Seminole and African-descended, Gullah people (my people!) of SC and GA: http://www.yale.edu/glc/gullah/07.htm

    It SHOULD have gotten ugly Sis, it really should have...

    And like Sis. Lorde, I've had the experience of severing a relationship with an older Jewish woman whom I once called "friend" over similar, but different circumstances (long, long story). And you are so right about "the aftermath and some of residual "crap" many of us are still experiencing today" -- because it's real, and we are. There's evidence of that everywhere around us.

    Again, you are correct, there are Indian tribes who were complicit in our enslavement and are prejudiced towards us (as a matter of fact, the Cherokee Nation about which I wrote here, immediately comes to mind -- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/17/cherokee-nation-black-freedmen). I see it as a definitive part of the divide and conquer machinations of white folk due to their fear of all people of color, as you noted above, "uniting against the common enemy" and making their asses pay for all the horrors they've visited upon us all. Not surprised nothing came out of that though. But one can surely hope!

    Trying to catch up on my writing here and hope to be posting something today, after which I will resume the series I began with this post because I've so, so much to say. Take care and stay tuned!

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