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Burning Spear News

Don't lose Patience: Demand Arizona DCS return Patience McGhee!

Jun 3, 2021
Yejide Orunmila, President of the African National Women's Organization (ANWO)


Patience McGhee with her family

 

Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) illegitimately removed five-year-old Patience McGhee from the home of her loving parents, Aniya Butler and Peter McGhee. This removal was set in motion when mother, Aniya, refused to collaborate with Stonedale Property Management’s agenda to exclude a family friend from coming onto the property. What followed was a series of coercion and manipulation tactics along with false allegations of child neglect in order to force the eviction of Aniya and Peter from the property.

This attack on Aniya resulted in the State-sponsored kidnapping of her daughter and with Aniya being pushed into homelessness from the loss of housing and the exclusion of her Section 8 voucher.

Aniya is a working class African (black) woman who depended on Section 8 subsidized housing to provide safe and secure housing for her family.

Over the last year, Aniya and Peter have been in constant battle with Arizona DCS, challenging it to prove the case against them and calling for the return of their daughter. Aniya has chosen to represent herself in court because the court-appointed lawyer did not work on behalf of the family. Aniya has also refused to sign any of DCS’s documents, which force parents to admit guilt. The burden of proof does not rest on Aniya; it rests on the State.

In response to the allegations, Aniya has written an affidavit which was sent to the court, the property management company and the Arizona DCS asserting her protest against the State-sponsored kidnapping of her daughter Patience and demanding her return. None of these agencies have responded to Aniya's sworn statement.

Arizona DCS can’t prove the false allegations of neglect against Aniya, and she will continue to fight them tooth and nail.

Meanwhile, Patience—who has turned six since her kidnapping—is becoming more depressed. During parental visits, Patience asks questions about why she can’t be with her mother and father.

Patience appears to be in an unsafe foster environment based on DCS reports. She still, however, remains in that foster home. These are red flags that speak to the illegitimacy of DCS or any state-run Child Protection Service (CPS) agency to decide what is in the best interests of black children.

#ArrestCPS Campaign: We Charge Genocide

The African National Women’s Organization (ANWO) has been advocating for black mothers and children who have fallen victim to the CPS system for the past four years through our #ArrestCPS campaign. We unite with the Africans Charge Genocide Campaign, led by our sister organization, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), that outlines the ways in which African people are victims of ongoing genocide.

Our position is that black people are domestically colonized within the borders of the U.S., and as such, Child Protective Service agencies, just like the criminal justice system and the education system, commit genocide against African people every day.

We believe that the unmothering of black women is as American as apple pie. Since Africa was first attacked by Europe, the kidnapping and transfer of African children and the shredding of African families has been an ongoing experience that impacts African people in the U.S. and beyond.

Just like the sale of African bodies laid the economic foundation for the world-wide system of capitalist-colonialism, the ongoing kidnapping of African bodies maintains it.

Genocide is defined in the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in Article II:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

The proof is in the numbers. Black children represent 12 percent of the U.S. child population but they are 23 percent of all children in foster care. This is an overrepresentation of black children when compared to their population size. Unlike white, Indigenous and Asian children whose representation in the foster care system is below or on par with their population size.

In any case, whether there is an overrepresentation or underrepresentation, we recognize that the CPS system is an illegitimate tool in the resolution of familial issues, especially as it relates to colonized Indigenous and African people.

What we are clear on is that black mothers are being targeted and criminalized, children are traumatized and entire families are torn apart. The mothers who are fighting the State-sponsored kidnapping of their children are being isolated by the CPS agencies through threats and intimidation.

ANWO’s #ArrestCPS campaign is here to tell the real stories of families and fight for the return of all of our children because:

  • Black children are disproportionately represented in the foster care system in the United States and other imperialist countries.
  • Most children are removed based on cultural biases associated with living at or below the poverty line.
  • Black parents ARE fighting in courts for years to regain custody, but continue to face barriers from the courts, as their children age out.
  • When the State kidnaps black children, the black family is irreparably damaged.
  • Foster care is a business.
  • With little to no evidence, black parents are criminalized and isolated.

The goal of our work is to expose the parasitic nature of the foster care system and the devastating role it plays in the lives of black families.

Demands:

  1. Arizona DCS emancipate Patience McGhee and return her to her parents, Aniya Butler and Peter Mc-Ghee.
  2. Reparations from Arizona DCS to Patience McGhee, Aniya Butler and Peter McGhee in the amount of $10K each, to reconcile trauma caused by the 15 months in which Patience McGhee has been held hostage by the State.
  3. Moratorium on the removal of black children from their homes. We want to see children returned to their homes and resources allocated by the State to go directly to the families, ensuring successful reunification.
  4. The creation of an African Community Control of Child Welfare Agency, where the African community is organized to address and resolve the familial contradictions that have arisen as a result of colonial domination.
  5. The right to self-determination, autonomy and the liberation and unification of Africa and African people on the continent of Africa and those who have been forcibly dispersed around the world.

We call on the public to unite with this petition at https://www.change.
org/ArrestCPSTucson and demand that Patience McGhee be returned immediately.

We don’t want to lose Patience to the system.

We are also calling on our community to join ANWO’s growing team to combat the ongoing attacks on African families. Contact us at [email protected] with your interest.

#DontLosePatience
#ArrestCPS

 

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