Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Preserving cultural identity in the face of institutionalized white supremacy: Another Home-going -- Pt. 1, Final -- State-sanctioned child-trafficking, "When animals attack"

What finally happened to Veronica Brown and her father, Dusten is pretty much what always happens when animals of the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy variety attack in full force.

White folk know, and all those wanna-be-white folk have learned that, more often than not, that whole, "skin you're in" construct (with a little white Jesus thrown in for good measure), crazily cements their white-savior "cred" both here and abroad in a major way (Hell, even Mitt's Fam's in on the save-the-savages bonanza!).  This peddling a deity (who looks like them) to other supposedly "lesser" folk, is to their distinct and seemingly infinite advantage, Family.  Why?  Because it makes them extremely powerful among those to whom they've sold him!

After ripping his heart right out of his chest, buying his child from a woman who didn't want her (or him), the wanton vultures they've always been -- just waited, hoveringintent on picking his carcass clean.  And true to form, they did:
Both those pieces shook me to my very core for some time. Any illusion I might have had that this country and its inhabitants gave two shits about the "best interests of the child" were forever shattered.  But more importantly than anything, I felt that familiar "quiet riot" rumbling deep in my gut that always get, when something patently wrong and hateful happens (and trust me Family, I've been feeling it on the regular here lately) -- and it did.

As I tried to make sense of the fact, that the very government that Dusten Brown had sworn to "serve and protect," was complicit in the taking of his flesh and blood, handing her over to their fellow white supremacists who, in their hubris and literature, claim to want to "protect Native American children and families,(but are really bent on wiping their culture out of existence by way of that old "Manifest Destiny" bullshit) -- it just did not compute.

The M.O. is as repetitively disgusting as it is old hat --  take whatever, or whomever you want, to fill some hole in what passes for your soul; use your money, influence and white supremacist ties to keep that jackboot firmly grounded on the necks of those you see as inferior and just to make the point clear, hang the threat of incarceration and the loss of all your livelihood over your head.  I tell you, white supremacy, like cotton -- remains the fabric of all our lives.

We can admit it or not, Family -- all of us, Others continue to live the many "-isms" the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy (WSCP) has craftily and consistently devised to divide and destroy us.  IAdoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, we've seen in great relief -- how the supreme law of the land, not only sanctioned, facilitated and masterfully perpetuated the selling of a more than capable father's flesh and blood for the benefit of a barren, white woman and her social-climbing husband, we've seen how ineffective the supposed, "America is a nation of laws" is -- for us.  In case you missed it, this is the WSCP in full effect.

My beautiful, young sister, Ms. Hill, absolutely nails what happened to Dusten Brown in all those courts (the ones we all think are there to protect us):

When, the, Son of Perdition is Commander-in-Chief, the standard is thief...

Marinate on that line right there, while I touch on a few points from the first link:
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon confirmed this morning that Matt and Melanie Capobianco have left Oklahoma with 4-year-old Veronica under the watch of his deputies and a State Law Enforcement Division agent.

Cannon would not say where the James Island couple is or when they plan to return to South Carolina with their adoptive daughter, though he said he doesn’t expect them to come home today. Two deputies and a SLED agent will remain with them “for some period of time” to ensure they have a safe and smooth journey, he said.

Cannon said he doesn’t want to get into details about their travel plans because there is a great deal of emotion and frustration still surrounding the case.

“They are at an agreed-upon location where they are safe and comfortable,” he said. (emphasis mine)
First of all, Gov. Haley, how many South Carolinians okayed the use of their tax dollars to send these jackboots to Oklahoma in service to these two, PRIVATE citizens?  Two deputies AND a SLED agent at their disposal -- for however long??  And those of you who are not white supremacists raised no hell at all?!:
Cannon said he dispatched his law enforcement team to Oklahoma Monday because he had been monitoring the case and saw a possibility that a custody transfer might occur. He said he had been in contact with the Capobiancos’ attorneys as well.

Cannon said the decision by Veronica’s biological father, Dusten Brown, to hand her over to the Capobiancos does not mean that a pending criminal charge against him for custodial interference will just disappear. The custody battle and that charge “are two separate issues,” he said.

Cannon said his compliance with Monday’s exchange and plans for “some continued interaction between the Caponbiancos and Dusten Brown” could well be factors the courts will weigh in the case, but the matter still must run its course through the legal system.

“There is a warrant, he has been arrested and that has to be resolved,” he said. “There is every intention that that process continue to its conclusion, whatever that conclusion may be.”
Okay, whoever believes Cannon didn't know beforehand that the Capobiancos had already won custody of Veronica, raise your hands.  His lies are as ludicrous as the thought that no one recognized his veiled, "Keep being a good boy, Dusten and maybe we'll take that into consideration."
Dusten Brown held back tears Monday night as he packed bags for 4-year-old Veronica.

Oklahoma’s top court had cleared the way earlier in the day for the curly-haired girl to head back to South Carolina, where she spent the first 27 months of her life.

Veronica left the Tahlequah home where she had been staying recently. She said goodbye to Brown and her biological grandparents.

“He told her she was going to stay with Matt and Melanie (Capobianco) and they would be nice to her,” said Shannon Jones of Charleston, the birth father’s attorney. “He told her he loved her.”

After she walked away, Brown released the emotion he held in. He cried...

Emotional fight

Emotions have boiled on both sides of the legal battle since South Carolina courts gave custody to Brown in 2011. Veronica became a battle cry for American Indians intent on preserving their culture, while adoption advocates warned that an outcome not in the Capobiancos’ favor could discourage families from adoption...

...A South Carolina judge finalized the adoption in July and brushed aside all challenges, such as a request for an inquiry into Veronica’s best interests.

But Brown refused to relinquish his daughter.

Charleston prosecutors and deputies, as well as the state’s governor, wanted him arrested and extradited. He was jailed twice in Oklahoma, but the Charleston authorities’ attempts to reel him in never were successful. His lawyers have asked for a hearing to question the legality of the arrest warrant.

On Monday, Jones urged authorities to stop pursuing criminal action against her client. Jail time, Jones said, would greatly damage the Capobiancos’ future relationship with Veronica.

Surprise move

Courts in Oklahoma eventually approved the adoption decree, and in mid-August, one judge there ordered mediation that would give the Capobiancos and Brown a chance to iron out future visitation.
Over the coming weeks, the Capobiancos visited Veronica.

In photographs released Monday, Matt Capobianco clutches Veronica as she sits in his lap. Wearing a sparkly tiara, Melanie Capobianco tosses Veronica in her arms in another picture.

“(The) visits show that Veronica remembers them and loves them,” Lori Alvino McGill, the couple’s Washington attorney, said Monday.

Veronica celebrated her fourth birthday Sept. 15 with a Disney princess-themed bounce house, balloons and a table loaded with gifts. The Cherokee Nation presented her with a traditional dress...

...Later in the day, the move by Oklahoma’s top justices allowed authorities to enforce an Aug. 30 order from the Nowata County District Court demanding the Capobiancos get custody. The order is a version of one from a South Carolina judge.

The stay had been in place as the two sides talked about a settlement.

Five justices concurred with the opinion. Two dissented. One concurred in part and dissented in part. One did not vote.

The justices who disagreed with the move called for a hearing to determine whether a custody change is best for Veronica. Some said that finalizing an adoption without the proceeding was a violation of due process, making the South Carolina decree invalid.

The handover

Two deputies from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and an agent from the State Law Enforcement Division had arrived in Oklahoma earlier in the day, anticipating a significant development.

But even with the high court’s order, the Cherokee Nation expressed defiance against enforcement.

The tribe’s attorney general, Todd Hembree, said the state court’s order needed to be domesticated in tribal court to allow its enforcement on the land and the people it has jurisdiction over.

An order in tribal court, though, conflicted with Monday’s measure, Hembree said.  A tribal judge already has given custody of Veronica to Brown’s family.

“We are a sovereign nation with a valid and historic court system, Hembree said. “I took an oath ... to uphold the laws and constitution of the Cherokee Nation and the United States. Nowhere in that oath is it required that I defend the laws of South Carolina.”

But it was Chrissi Nimmo, an assistant attorney general for the tribe that Veronica has come to know, who helped with the transition Monday night.

Nimmo took Veronica to meet with the Capobiancos and authorities.

Jones, the Charleston attorney, said her client had been given an hour to bid farewell to Veronica.

After the ordeal, Brown’s father suffered a heart condition, Jones said, and was taken to a hospital.

The Capobiancos last said in August that they wanted Brown and the Cherokee culture to play a role in Veronica’s future. It’s unknown whether any recent developments changed their views.

“We vow to hold them to their promise, Jones said, “to let her know her heritage and her people.”

As she rode in a car Monday night with the Capobiancos, Veronica was quiet at first, said Noel Tucker, the couple’s attorney in Oklahoma.

Before long, she was singing to songs on the radio. (all emphasis mine)
Children are truly canvases at four years old, no?  Especially when their beloved Daddy assures them everything will be okay.  Big Ups to Todd Hembree for letting the state of South Carolina know how he felt, however, what we we're left with here is yet another Trail of Tears, Family.


Well, there is some good news on one front. Remember the Black father I talked about in the first part of this series, whose sister-girl, wife gave their daughter up for adoption to a couple in Utah while he was stationed somewhere else?  He got his daughter back!

Familyin whatever way you can,  please -- Let Your Life Be a Friction to Stop the Machine.  It's the only way, as Bro. Amenta said to me once, "...we may be able to awaken and fight the beast directly and not sideways."  That's how young, Brother Terry Achane fought it.  His words here show how deceptively simple it all is:
"I am not a very religious person,’ Mr. Achane has since told the Tribune, ‘but thou shalt not steal'.
Despite all the treacherous, well-worn tactics in which the Fries, this bio-Mom, this crooked adoption agency and this lawyer, along with their bought-and-paid-for media shills engaged (just like the Capobiancos) -- he won, Family!

But there are two major differences between Dusten Brown and Terry Achane -- this:
Judge Darold McDade berated the Adoption Center of Choice’s handling as ‘utterly indefensible.’ Once Mr. Achane contacted the Adoption Center of Choice … to let them know he opposed the adoption and wanted his daughter back, that should have been the end of this case,’ said Mr. McDade.

‘This is a case of human trafficking,’ Mr. Achane’s attorney Mark Wiser told the Tribune. ‘Children are being bought and sold. It is one thing what [adoption agencies] have been doing with unmarried biological fathers.  It is in a new area when they are trying to take a child away from a married father who wants to have his child.’ (all emphasis mine)
And this:

Even though he had the law, his sovereign Nation and his family on his side, Mr. Brown never stood a snowball's chance in hell with all those "low people in high places" amassed by the Capobiancos.  Being judicially and politically connected -- and wealthy -- made all the difference in how Veronica's case turned out, Family (Dr. Phil's nothing but a good ole boy from the Belly of the Beast, given a Hollywood chance by a Black woman who, it seems to me, detests her whole Blackness, more than she pretends to love it).

Though I definitely believe civil and human rights violations have been committed by both South Carolina and Oklahoma as well as The Supremes, I have serious doubts Holder & Co. will even think about looking into this case -- but we've got to try.  We've got to raise enough hell -- out loud -- because these two states continue to traffic Native American children for white, barren wombs.  Please, let's start now by signing this petition demanding a DOJ investigation of the entire case by signing the petition:  State of Oklahoma and U.S. Department of Justice - Eric Holder: Investigate the "adoption" of Veronica Brown


My Dearest Veronica,

Know your Daddy fought for you as hard as any Daddy could!  He went to court for you sweet child, and then he went to jail for you too, more than once. And guess what? He's still fighting -- all so you can know "from whence you came."

Where you are now, they will surround you with folk trying to make you believe your cultural identity does not matter at all, that you're a "fake Indian," like those whose images they've twisted or created for their own purposes -- like mascots.  But do know Little One, like many of us, one of your dear elders understands exactly what that's all really about.  She said I could share it with you here:

by Cecilia Rose LaPointe

My Grandfather,
I've cared about you since I was 4 years old,
Since I can remember,
The funeral was odd,
I wasn't sad for you,
I knew you were hurting,

Decades later,
Stories were told,
In a suburban home of love and healing,
It was painful to hear what you have gone through,
What I fight for everyday is our story,
That I choose a certain way to live because of your story,
Because of our story,
There was too much to see,
Too much healing to be done,
Not enough supports in the dominant culture,
Crying on the curb,
Rubbing tears on our jeans,
We walked out into the great abyss of the streets,

On being a fake Indian,
The stories are what we know in our souls,
No one would deny the pains,
Or sufferings in our family,
The flannel shirts-yellow smoke-bowling-UP energy,
Tired-mining-poverty-poor-rusted truck on blocks-UP energy,
Reservation conglomeration-government homes,

It was our beautiful black hair,
That we took a comb through,
Tears were behind us in the mirror we gazed at,
I was always afraid of my Dad's eyes,
In the rear view mirror,
Pearl Jam said it best,
"forced to endure what i could not forgive,
i seem to look away
wounds in the mirror waved,"
Saw things,
What did you see Grandfather?
How were you held down?
We were afraid of the tears,
No one told us that Indians could cry,
Could feel,
Could grieve,

On being a fake Indian,
Too much of what I remember,
Homogenization tactics,
But I knew something else,
Whether it was the thunder,
My Dad saying,
"its Grandpa LaPointe bowling in heaven..."
I can remember the orange streetlight and rain coming down
Sitting on the front steps,
Thunder and lightning across the sky,

On being a fake Indian,
Sure we exist in mixed skins,
Sure we exist in a mixed blood indentity conundrum,
Where mainstream TV perpetuates "equality" with other minorities,
They've got their tokens,
There are no American Indians on the TV,
We are invisible,
Life ways and identity stereotyped in a racist culture,

On being a fake Indian,
Our story is one that has not been heard,
The rush hour herds,
Daily grind in the name of "progress,"
Forgetting in daily prayers who we are,
Where we live,
The conditions of,
In this oppression,

On being a fake Indian,
No one can tell you what you feel in your heart,
What the family soul feels,
Or what healing we have done and will continue to do,
A beautiful strength,
Against great odds,
This is our choice,
What we have chosen,
What do you choose?


Dear Heart, you are NOT forgotten, trust me:

- The End of American Thanksgivings: A Cause for Universal Rejoicing
Native Americans according to the first Western accounts
- Father of Cherokee girl honored in Oklahoma
- Baby Veronica & Baby Deseray: Don't Let Them Sell Our Babies!
Judicial Impropriety in 'Baby Veronica' case? 
- Cherokee Nation Mourns as Veronica Is Returned to Adoptive Family
- Veronica Brown: The Taking of Native American Children
- Adoptive Parent Entitlement in South Carolina/Cherokee/ICWA Case/Baby Veronica UPDATED


Carolyn Moon said...

I've been following your posts on these injustices and your advocacy for these issues;remains pure and unrelenting.

Just stopped by to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and I trust you'll be with loved ones. I know that you will join me along with many who continue to advocate so we can ALL sit at the table together.

Love that video on George Carlin; he was certainly an advocate for the people.

Take care....

Deb said...

Hey Sis. Carolyn! I thought about you as we drove back from upstate New York back to TX. We slept in TN to break up the ride. How you been?!

Sister, I swear, this thing has caught and held me more than I ever thought it would! The absolute wrongness of it all just breaks my damned heart!

Happy, REAL Thanksgiving to you, my Sister. I'm so-o-o-othankful for: those "Same Grains" about whom India Arie sang and from whom all of us are rendered; for the ability to continue to learn more about US; for having "met" folk like you online, willing to teach and learn and share; for my loved ones who know who I am and that I'm not changing my journey to "get in where I fit in"; for the ability to stand for something rather than falling for anything and for having breath and life to say so.

Yeah, George Carlin pulled no punches and I love that about him. When I grow up, I want to be just like that! :-D

Take care of yourself, Beloved. Hope you and your daughter have a wonderful holiday!

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