Every August for the last three years, the African National Women’s Organization (ANWO) has held our national day of action in response to the ongoing colonial State-sponsored kidnapping of African children and the criminalization of their parents. The goal is to bring awareness to this fight beyond the stories that pop up every once in a while on social media. The National Day of Action is a reminder that, every day, an attack is launched against our community and our children are taken as a result of it.
CPS you can’t hide!
This year six cities responded with a demonstration or a community event. Those cities were Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis; Tampa, Florida; San Diego and Los Angeles.
The demonstrations in St. Louis and Portland drew the attention of the police when building personnel called them to move our forces off the sidewalk when we began exercising our freedom of speech. This has happened at previous demonstrations so our forces knew that the sidewalk is public space and pushed back either by standing our ground or continuing the demonstration in close proximity.
St. Louis also held a community event, along with D.C. and San Diego, to bring the community into dialogue. The events included speakers such as impacted parents, current or former social workers, former foster children and community advocates.
We charge you with genocide!
In the cities that participated, the percentage of African children in foster care is more than alarming. The data indicates that genocide is being waged against African people on a daily basis. When African children are taken, the family and community around that child is shattered.
In Portland, Indigenous and African children are overrepresented in the Oregon child welfare system despite only being 1.6 percent and 4 percent of the child population, respectively.
In 2022, there were 20,279 children in the custody of the Children Division of Missouri. Nineteen percent of children in Missouri State custody were African children despite only being 12 percent of the child population.
In 2022, 80 percent of all children in the custody of the D.C. family regulation system were black children. In 2021, 54.5 percent of all children in the custody of Maryland CPS were black despite only being 30 percent of the Maryland child population.
A 2021 San Diego Union-Tribune article says, “San Diego County’s African population is 4.4 percent of the county’s general population; however, Black children represent nearly 20 percent of the county’s foster care population, and Latino children represent 51 percent of the county’s foster care population despite being 45 percent of the county’s general population, showing that they are disproportionately placed in the system at alarming rates.”
In Los Angeles County, African children, despite being only 8 percent of the population, made up 24 percent of children in foster care.
Colonialism defines black parents unfit
Colonial data says that Africans are criminals and need to be in jail or that African women’s bodies cannot sustain life which leads to the high rates of infant and maternal death. In every instance we see a trend toward genocidal destruction of African life, under colonialism.
Despite what is thought to be happening in these homes, colonialism created the conditions for the removal of these children and the criminalization of the parents. If mom is on drugs, the CIA trafficked drugs to our community. If there is violence, (64 percent of all child removals were due to neglect, not violence) the brutal oppressive centuries-long colonial war against Africans is the reason. If the home does not have food or if there is no home at all, it’s the fault of the colonizer. And if there is nothing happening in the home, the colonizer will make up a reason to take and keep the children.
Unbelievable? Believe it!
Our #ArrestCPS campaign has seen it all while working in cities across the U.S and a few cities in Europe. This incessant war on our families doesn’t end at the removal, it continues by attacking logic, making you feel crazy.
A parent does what they are told to do, but the children aren’t returned. Parents visit their children and are treated like criminals by the staff, and surveilled the entire time. A parent expresses anger and resentment toward the system and they are told they need a mental health exam. A parent needs resources to find a place to live and they are denied, meanwhile money is given to the foster household. A parent prefers to manage stress and anxiety using cannabis and is told they need to take psychotropic drugs. A parent wants their children to eat organic live vegan foods, they are told they are starving their children and the children are put on cow’s milk.
The family regulation system is a soul-destroying institution that breaks the will of African parents and children. It is a counterinsurgent tool that hardly gets any pushback from the community because they’ve created a narrative that they are saving children. This is not true.
#ArrestCPS for the win!
We are confidently fighting to make a movement out of this campaign. This issue is rooted in the foundation of capitalism: the kidnap and sale of African human beings. It will not stop unless we stop it and the only way to do that is to destroy the colonial mode of production that props up these institutions of genocide.
We must organize in our communities around this campaign, holding forums, tribunals, demonstrations, and conducting outreach to educate and organize our community around this matter.
When CPS comes into the community harassing and threatening African families, our organized efforts must intervene.
ANWO is leading the charge, defining this institution as a function of the colonial State – a tool used to maintain the theft of African resources in the form of our children and functioning families. This is the colonial mode of production at work.
Organize around the #ArrestCPS campaign in your community. Build childcare collectives in your neighborhood, making the responsibility of raising a child that of the village, rather than an individual.
By doing these things, we can successfully challenge CPS and reverse the effects of this genocidal tool!
Join the African National Women’s Organization!