Monday, August 12, 2013

Preserving cultural identity in the face of institutionalized white supremacy: Another Home-going -- Pt. 1b -- The "taking" rolls on with nary a peep from the MSM

Veronica Brown, 3, sees father off to mandatory National Guard training from Tulsa 
International Airport on July 22, 2013.  (Courtesy Cherokee Nation)

"We must remember that the purpose of an adop­tion is to provide a home for a child, not a child for a home."
Justice Sonia Sotomayor

This case has been going on now for a little over four years with little to no coverage from the mainstream media (though local South Carolina media has wasted no time in fashioning their own "single stories").  But, since they play such an important role in oiling the wheels of institutionalized white supremacy by, more often than not, only telling the stories of the "hunters" -- I'm not surprised.

As I look at that photo, I can't help but get a creepy, "Groundhog Day" feeling (but with the child-trafficking, Capobiancos and birth mother needing to learn Phil's lessons).  Because yes, it was Dusten Brown's last deployment (to Iraq that time) -- in service to a country which continues to fail him miserably -- that set this spiteful, baby-selling case into motion.  Here, in his own words, he explains himself most eloquently:
"In December 2008, I got down on one knee and proposed to the love of my life. She accepted with joy. It seemed like one week we were planning a big, outside wedding and celebrating ecstatically the news of our pregnancy, and the next I was receiving a phone call from Christy saying she didn't know how she was going to pay her bills and she was stressed. I told her I had money saved and not to worry and asked her what she needed. I remember specifically that it shocked me when she told me no, that she had "a plan." Still, I knew that my military benefits would provide the medical and financial support she needed, so I did everything I could to push the wedding date up.

Always in the back of my mind I was concerned about going to Iraq. I knew there was a possibility that I might not come home. I pushed for marriage because I needed to know they would be OK if something happened to me. She said no. She told me to stop calling her and stop texting her.

But I called. I texted. I begged. I pleaded. I drove four hours and knocked at my ex-fiancée's door, praying she would answer. I had offered financial support, military benefits, everything I had. When I was told no, I foolishly tried to go along with whatever she asked me to, hoping she would see how willing I was to do whatever it took.

When I did finally hear from her, she started texting me, asking me to sign my parental rights over to her. Every day for a month and a half I got a text asking me that same question. It was a horrible feeling, watching myself being shut off from the woman and daughter I loved so much. I knew I didn't have a chance to fight her for custody because I was about to leave for Iraq for a year. So after weeks of texts, I said I would sign my rights over, thinking I was agreeing for her to have full custody and she would let me see my daughter."
(all emphasis mine)
And as he reported for his annual training this July, preparations were already in motion to rip his, biological daughter out of his arms and his life, in order to give her -- not to her birth mother, but to a society identified, white South Carolina couple who, for all intents and purposes, have paid somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 for her.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse for this man and his child, I read this and knew I was wrong:
Reinforcing the court's order last week for Charleston County Family Court to expedite the adoption of Veronica, the justices, split 3-2 as they were last week, praised James Island adoptive parents Matt and Melanie Capobianco for their "commendable" consideration of the child's best interests over the course of the case.
Sombody please tell me, how this same S.C. Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Toal, writing for the majority said...
"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)
...could turn right around and now say this:
As determined by the USSC, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) has no applications to Birth Father. Our erroneous decision was premised on the applicability of ICWA to the Birth Father. As a result, the Birth Father’s right, if any, are determine by the law of the state of South Carolina. While this Court was in error concerning the applicability of the ICWA, we have consistently held that under state law, the Birth Father’s parental rights (because of his irrefutable lack of support, interest and involvement in the life of Baby Girl) would be terminated."
That unsubstantiated statement in the parenthesis at the end, flies in the face of the facts -- not only did Mr. Brown try to marry this woman and was deploying to Iraq, he began fighting for his daughter four months after she was born.  I think they think it justifies their having been bullied into reversing their original ruling.  There was a time when white folk at least tried to disguise their hypocrisy.  They just don't even care to anymore. {smdh}

After having followed this case and reading whatever I could about it (to include the many twisted comments from white folk who feel entitled to other people's children for money), a chilling realization washed over me -- while Dusten Brown is the very public target of these baby-selling machinations in general, the specific target is the Indian Child Welfare Act. 

At what other conclusion can a sane, critically thinking person arrive?  Tell me, how does Ms. Maldonado go from the afore-mentioned litany of, "I don't know how I'm going to pay my bills" -- to this?! -- Baby Veronica's Birth Mother Files Suit, Claims ICWA Unconstitutional:
On Thursday, the day after the South Carolina Supreme Court denied an appeal filed by Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation to consider a “best interest determination” hearing, Veronica's birth mother filed yet another suit in South Carolina federal court claiming that placement preferences for Indian families violates equal protection provisions because the law uses “race” as a factor in custodial placement. (all emphasis mine)

What?!  Here's a brief snapshot of who Ms. Madonado and her attorney are.  When you're done reading, tell me who you think is really behind this frivolous lawsuit.

Before the top of my head blows off -- here's an interview with  Bill Means, co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM).  Maybe it'll again make clear, why this lawsuit from Ms. Maldonado and her "attorney" is seven ways from stupid (do read this insightful piece in its entirety):
This has been a long struggle since the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed back, I believe, in 1978. And since that time it has … the original intent was that, before an Indian child could be adopted to non-Indian community, that the relatives, on or off the reservation, would be contacted in order to give a priority of raising the child, and keeping the child in the culture of his origin, in the culture of his family, of his people. The reason they passed this was that we had a tremendous trafficking of Indian children, which, in a way, still goes on today. It’s … very much needed to expose that the Christian Church is probably most responsible for adoption of Indian children off the reservation. And this [law] set up a process where the tribe had to be involved...

...But, to give you an example, back in the early history of A.I.M. in the Seventies, the Christian churches, here in the state of Minnesota and South Dakota, were averaging 30 Indian children a month being adopted out to non-Indian families. And after a lot of research was done in a book called My Brother’s Keeper: The Indian in White Americaa lot of studies that were done by other Indian organizations throughout the country showed these horrendous statistics that brought about the Indian Child Welfare Act where churches were engaged almost every single day in adopting Indian children because there was a very, shall we say, stereotypical image that Indian children were neither black nor white, therefore, they were most desirable. As well as getting the Indian child off the reservation, as if that automatically meant that they would have a better life. And so it took years of protests, of statistics, of studies to get the Indian Child Welfare Act passed in 1978. So this is a very, very, shall I say, heavy set back. (emphasis mine)
As I said earlier, Mr. Means -- the ICWA, not Dusten Brown was always the target.  In this case, as in the recent Voting Rights Act Case -- the "Supremes" have spoken saying -- "Times have changed."  I say, tell that foolishness to all the folk who will be on the short end of these rulings.

Why do I care so much about this case?  I mean it's not like the Cherokee Nation "had nothin' but love" for us Black folk.  Do I know that they had Black slaves?  Yes.  Do I realize that only two years ago, they expelled the descendants of those same Black slaves from The Nation, despite the fact that Article 9, of the Treaty of 1866 with the Cherokee Nation bestowed upon them the rights of native Cherokees.  That would be another Yes.  And we can talk about that anytime you wish.

I care about this case, this child, because what's happening here is sick, and patently wrong.  For me, it's not an either I stand up for my people, or I stand up for this child -- it's a stand up for both, and recognize that, from the founding of this country up until today, the boot on both our necks, has been and continues to be worn, by those of a decidedly alabaster hue.

White folk's constructed idea of race and its accordant hierarchy of human life, made both the Voting Rights Act and the Indian Child Welfare Act necessary in the first damned place.  And let's be clear, the decisions this year, gutting important provisions of both, represent a concerted, institutionalized assault by the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy on "Others" in this country to whom they have been most inhumane.

And their inhumanity will continue unabated for two reasons -- because they think they still have a right to use said inhumanity as they see fit and, because we, "Others" won't band together in any way to stop them.  I bet if we'd all change our stance to Malcolm's, "By Any Means Necessary," the politricksters would be out all over the country urging for calm and, despite the fact that the mainstream media all but turned a blind eye to the "taking" going on in South Carolina -- they'd be scrambling to report what we "savages" were up to.

Continued: Preserving cultural identity in the face of institutionalized white supremacy: Another Home-going -- Pt. 1c -- A jackbooted, "Mission Accomplished"

- Atty: Girl will be devastated if taken from Okla. biological father, adopted by SC couple
Did the S.C. Supreme Court get it right on Baby Veronica?
- Veronica, Lowcountry child

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...