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White evangelicals are set to undermine Native American adoption protections: report

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On Thursday, Vox reported on the case of an evangelical family whose lawsuit over an adoption fight could lead to the dismantling of the Indian Child Welfare Act — and ultimately, weaken Native American tribal sovereignty altogether.

“In June 2016, a 10-month-old Navajo and Cherokee boy was placed in the home of a white, evangelical couple in Fort Worth, Texas,” wrote Roxanna Asgarian. “The next year, the Brackeens were temporarily held back in their plans to adopt the boy, when, under the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Navajo tribe located a Native family unrelated to the boy to take him in. So the Brackeens filed a federal lawsuit. ‘He had already been taken from his first home, and now it would happen again? And the only explanation is that we don’t have the right color of skin? How do we explain that to our own children? We’d done nothing but sign up to do good,’ Jennifer Brackeen told the Times.”

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By this point, the tribes have relented and allowed the adoption to go through. But the Brackeens are now pushing for the invalidation of the ICWA altogether — a law that was meant in part to rectify the long and brutal history of the U.S. government separating Native families. A district court has agreed the ICWA is unconstitutional, but the Fifth Circuit partially reversed the decision. The Fifth Circuit is now rehearing the case en banc, and it may ultimately end up before the Supreme Court.

“Sarah Kastelic, the executive director of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, said that ICWA acknowledges important familial and tribal bonds that have long been disregarded, and that Native ways — such as extended families living under the same roof — have often been used to show unfitness in child welfare proceedings,” wrote Asgarian. “‘No matter the picket fences and swimming pools and things, most of the time, kids want to be with their families,’ she said.”

“If overturned, the repeal of ICWA could upend a law in place for more than 40 years,” wrote Asgarian. “And the legal case has much broader implications than just child welfare — it cuts at the heart of tribal sovereignty in this country. The 573 federally recognized tribes could be left open to legal challenges on many fronts if the basis of ICWA is found unconstitutional.”

This would be a disaster for Native children, as the ICWA is widely considered to be the gold standard of child welfare laws, being one of the first such laws that prioritized keeping families together over other considerations like wealth. But the consequences could go much deeper than just child welfare.

The report continued: “‘The core of their argument is that it’s an unfair racial preference and that we should have a colorblind system,’ Chuck Hoskin Jr., the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, told Vox. ‘What that misses is what’s a bedrock of federal Indian law in this country, which is that tribes are sovereign, not distinguished as a race but as a special political designation. That’s a critical underpinning of not just ICWA, but many laws that relate to housing and healthcare and education and employment. For that to be eroded by a successful attack on ICWA — that would have broad implications on all of these.'”

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Trump uses coronavirus briefing to tout pastor who said 9/11 attack was God punishing America

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During a press briefing today to address the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump was asked about certain Christian pastors who plan to defy state lockdown orders and hold Easter church services this Sunday.

"I've had talks with the pastors, and most of the pastors agree ... that they are better off doing what they are doing, which is, distancing," Trump said, adding that the pastors want to "get back to church so badly."

Trump then referred to a notorious pastor who sits on his religious advisory council.

"I'm going to be watching Pastor Robert Jeffress, who's been a great guy," Trump said. "He's a great guy and I'm going to be watching on a laptop."

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2020 Election

Trump slammed for ‘ridiculous’ ad trying to link Biden to the Chinese government

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On Friday, writing for The Washington Post, Greg Sargent tore apart President Donald Trump's "ridiculous" new attack ad trying to claim that Vice President Joe Biden is beholden to Chinese interests.

"The ad clips Biden’s words out of context to misleadingly imply that Biden criticized Trump’s decision to restrict travel from China, when that’s not what Biden did," wrote Sargent. "Second, the ad relies on numerous past quotes from Biden to demonstrate he’s supposedly been soft on China. But those quotes were mostly boilerplate diplomatic language — and Trump has repeatedly praised China in language very close to what Biden has used ... And third, the Asian man that Biden bowed to turns out to be Gary Locke, a former Washington governor and U.S. ambassador to China, an American."

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Trump rambles about ‘genius’ coronavirus during long-winded briefing: ‘The germ has gotten so brilliant’

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The leader of the free world rambled about his "brilliant enemy" during a coronavirus briefing that lasted over two hours.

Allies of the White House had been quoted in the press urging President Donald Trump to keep his remarks short, but that advice has apparently been ignored.

"When critics (and allies) make suggestions to him and they become public - such as the briefings ought to be shorter - POTUS often prefers to do the opposite. We're well past 90 minutes on this briefing," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman noted on Twitter as the briefing wore on.

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