In 2013, a white couple, Matt and Melanie Capobianco, want to go to the home of Cherokee Dusten Brown. They claim his daughter, saying the state of South Carolina gave her to them when they won the child in a court case. They are threatening to use force against him if he doesn't quietly surrender what is rightfully his.
In 1832, Georgia was trying to give away something it had no right to give away - Cherokee land. The Cherokee Nation had not given up their right to the land. They had not surrendered it in any way.
In 2013, South Carolina is trying to give away something it has no right to give away - a Cherokee child. The Cherokee Nation has not given up their right to the child. They have not surrendered her in any way.
In 1832, in Worcester v. Georgia, the US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall said the Cherokee Nation remained a separate, sovereign nation, independent of Georgia. He came down hard on the state of Georgia and said the Cherokee Nation had the right to live free from the state's trespasses.
Georgia ignored that U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Nakey Brown's rights as a Cherokee citizen were ignored by the state of Georgia, not because Georgia didn't realize the Cherokee Nation was a sovereign nation, but instead because the Cherokees had something they (and William Beard) wanted...land...and they were going to do anything they had to do to get it.
In 2013, in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, the Supreme Court held that Veronica Brown was an Indian child and that the Indian Child Welfare Act's adoption placement preferences could come into play. That meant that if the state of South Carolina did not allow her to stay with her father, then Veronica's placement should follow the hierarchy of preferred placement for Indian children.
South Carolina ignored that U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Veronica Brown's rights as a Cherokee citizen are being ignored by the state of South Carolina, not because South Carolina doesn't realize the Cherokee Nation is a sovereign nation, but instead because the Cherokees have something they (and Matt and Melanie Capobianco) want...a child...and they will do anything they have to do to get it.
Two historical events, 181 years apart, but eerily similar. In 1832, white Americans trespassed into the Cherokee Nation; wrongfully dispossessed many Cherokees of everything they owned; and the legal system allowed them to do it. Now in 2013, it would be illegal for them to come into our homes, force us out, and steal our possessions, but as appalling as it is, white Americans can now sneak around; wrongfully dispossess us Cherokees of our children; and the legal system is allowing them to do it.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Those are my thoughts for today.
Thanks for reading.
copyright 2013, Polly's Granddaughter - TCBTweet