Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
OKLAHOMA CITY Supporters of Standing Our Ground for Veronica Brown took their message to the Oklahoma governor's mansion on Saturday during the state's annual "Septemberfest" celebration.
Septemberfest is a day the Oklahoma governor's mansion grounds are open for the general public to come to enjoy entertainment and even meet the OK Governor.
Penny Moore Nye, of Oklahoma, quickly points out she is not an American Indian, but supports Cherokee father, Dusten Brown, in his custody battle to raise his daughter, Veronica.
Nye organized what she called "StandurFest" and showed up at the governor's mansion with flyers in hand so she and her fellow supporters could hand them out. She wanted to deliver her message to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin personally.
“This is not about American Indian. It is about the humankind. A father should be able to raise his own daughter,”
After posting her intention to rally at the governor's mansion online, people from various points of the globe sent messages via email and Facebook in support of the supporters. Marma Rogers, Cherokee, of Jay, Oklahoma copied the messages onto small pieces of paper and put them on "spirit sticks" since the supporters could not be physically present. She wanted their messages to be at the governor's mansion in spirit.
“Security saw us and one came up to me to say he did not want any trouble and said 'this is not the place for this.' He said he realized this is a very emotionally-charged case,”
Nye told the Native News Network Sunday evening.
“And, we don't want any trouble.”
“I told him, I would not want it any other way. We were not there to cause trouble,”
"But we did not leave. I watched the governor as she people were all around her. She had security and families around her. She shook people's hands. I watched her walk to one of end of the mansion and I followed behind."
With the governor's security contingency watching her and talking into their collar microphones, Nye found a time to approach her.
“I reached for her hand and gave her a flyer. I put my other hand on top of hers. 'No daddy should ever have to fight for four years to take care of his own baby,'”
“I told her; 'You would not want to fight four years to fight to take care of your own baby.' We were looking at each other eye to eye and I could see her eyes get moist,”
“Now she deserves an acting award of some kind if she was faking it, but I really believe she was sincere,”
In all, there were some 10 supporters of Veronica Brown who went to the governor's mansion.
Penny Moore Nye hopes their efforts and her encounter with Governor Fallin will make a difference.
posted September 9, 2013 10:30 am edt