Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
The news Monday out of Oklahoma that the Oklahoma Supreme Court had lifted the stay that allowed four year old Veronica Brown to remain within the circle of her biological Cherokee father caused quick apprehension throughout Indian country. American Indians feared the inevitable impact of injustice.
One more time, a court in this country ruled against an American Indian.
one more time a court in this country ruled against an American Indian family.
Modern Indian wars are not as blatant as they once were when Indian warriors were chased on spotted horses through the Plains by guys in blue-shirted US Calvary uniforms. No, modern day Indian wars are now camouflaged as legal proceedings with non-Natives in black robes in marble buildings that purportedly seek justice.
There was no justice rendered for Dusten Brown, the Cherokee father, who fought relentlessly to raise his daughter. Dusten Brown, the National Guard soldier, who won medals in Iraq, was not rendered justice by the very governments he fought for in Iraq.
Nor was Veronica rendered justice. The innocent four year old who was cast aside by her natural mother at birth, but loved by her biological father, was not rendered justice by the court system.
Even though Veronica's father sought it , all summer long after the US Supreme Court remanded the "Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl" case back to the South Carolina Supreme Court, the bitter custody battle was not about Veronica's "best interest."
It was all about the non-Native South Carolina adoptive couple winning. They flew to Oklahoma to create a media circus to make the American public feel sorry for them.
As summer turned to autumn, it became apparent the legal proceedings were too concentrated on what was done near the time of Veronica's birth four years ago, instead of Veronica's reality now. There was only consideration about who did what when back then.
Regrettably, Veronica's best interest was not even considered by those in black robes.
As the result of this US Marshals came and took Veronica away from her Cherokee family circle to be turned over to non-Native family who she has not lived with in almost two years.
One more time, the story of a screaming Indian child being taken from her home emerged. By a couple accounts, Veronica screamed "I don't want to go I don't want to go!" as she was taken from the security of her loving father and his wife. The scene was reminiscent of screaming Indian children being taken out their homes to be sent to boarding schools or foster care.
Regardless of how hard, Dusten and his wife, Robin, may have prepared Veronica for that dreaded event that came to fruition on Monday evening, one can only imagine the long-term effects of this young four year old.
American Indians throughout this country should remember this case as they vote in every election. We better find out what politicians, who appoint judges, think about American Indians. Furthermore, American Indian tribal leaders with casino revenue need to STOP giving money to the double-crossing politicians who smile in their face, but stab them in the back.
Politicians don't care about American Indians or our children. Sadly, the Veronica Brown case is the tip of the iceberg of the injustices perpetrated against American Indian children throughout the United States.
In the meantime, American Indians across Indian country will continue to pray for Veronica and her American Indian family circle. We need to continue to seek justice for Veronica Brown and all Native children.
updated 3:27 pm edt; posted September 25, 2013 8:57 am edt