by Lisa ‘Tiny’ Gray-Garcia, Poor Magazine
The violent Separation Nation didn’t begin with this generation
with these babies
or their incarceration
The Separation Nation began with the theft of Turtle Island
and the humans who lived here and thrived on it
It continues today with the confusion of age grade separated schools,
Special Edukkkation and racist classist Child Separation SErvices
predators on poor parents and parents of color
With people being encouraged to leave their peoples, languages, spirit
and cultures of who made them
with disabled children drugged against their human nature
with indigenous children ripped, violated, stolen and abused from their families and nations
African children stolen from their mamas
so politricksters and wealth-hoarders could hoard and amp up their profit-making machinations
With mamas on hell-fare being considered unfit and cut from their babies
because of poverty and the profit of the charity industrial system
the savior complex and the lie of best interests of the child
for the system that gives monies to foster care and state-run homes
rather than poor mamas, poor families just trying to live and thrive
with little to be alive
Please stay focused family on what matters now,
how this time of the hatchet man for the aristocracy
con-fusing us all
stay focused on the false borders
the false evictions
the buying and selling of our misery, bodies, Mama Earth
and all our generations
“Please don’t take my baby,” Cosmo cried to the CPS anti-social worker.
– Excerpt from 1998 CourtWatch article by Dee Garcia, POOR Magazine, Volume 4, “MOTHERS”
As we grieve, show up, demand and scream for the freedom of these incarcerated babies, please don’t get confused by the blur of this present genocidal history. Take a refresher course with me through the violent herstories that built this stolen land – and continue to assist in the realization and manifestation of the most important aspects of what I call the Separation Nation.
From the beginning, under the lie of discovery – colonizers “finding” something that was never lost, aka indigenous land and peoples on Turtle Island and beyond – the message, the narrative and the story has and will always be, “Everything you do, have done and continue to do to raise your children, care for Mama Earth and honor your spirit and ancestors is sick, broken, aberrant and evil and therefore we have not just the right, but the mandate to take, exploit, steal and kill your children, your land and your bodies.
The cult of rehabilitation, of fixing, saving, teaching and changing “for the better” for the “best interests of the child” for the white-ness, for the “success” model has always been the way. And lest you think that all changed in modern day reality, think again.
Now the only difference is people think they have “choices” and yet, most of society in the U.S. have all been brainwashed, and what is happening to migrant babies is just an extension of the lie of CPS, police, colleges 8,000 miles away from your parents, the cult of angst, perpetrated by media and everybody and the idea that if you leave, separate, destroy and most importantly forget everything and everyone who made you, loved you and cared for you, you will be better, stronger, smarter and, most importantly, more successful, within the definition of wealth-hoarding, land-stealing success amerikkklan style.
We believe this without question. It is why we sink thousands of dollars into institutional schools thousands of miles away from us to “send our children away to college.” It is why people support and fund the foster care system to care for poor children instead of helping parents raise their own children with well-funded and free child care, cash aid, food aid etc.
It is why elder ghettos are a multi-million-dollar industry. It is why we go to other countries with weaponry and bombs to “help” – read “save” – the people under attack. It is why we believe that the buying and selling of Mama Earth makes us safe and the calling in of armed guards to deal with emotional, physical and violent situations make us “safe.”
We are all caught in this illusion and only when it becomes so violently obvious, like now, just like the Japanese internment camps and Nazis, the genocidal “boarding schools” for indigenous children and the enslavement of people can we really see its full agenda in play. Actually this current incarceration is a logical progression of everything the settler colonizers stole this land with.
And so I ask people to please stay focused, to buckle down – to understand and overstand that migrante warriors, like POOR Magazine’s own Ingrid Deleon and Gloria Esteva from Voces de inmigrantes en resistencia, have been writing and reporting on the separation and criminalizing and terrorizing of migrant families that has been going on for years behind the concept of these colonizer borders.
That the myth of the orphan and the ripping of children from their mamas’ arms happened in the genocide called the Vietnam War by white anti-social workers and wealthy global south Stanford University educated social workers (see “Daughter of Danang” for reference, one of Mama Dee’s required readings at POOR Magazine’s PeopleSkool). It is why us welfareQUEENs at POOR Magazine reported and supported on the transubstantive error (as Black psychology teaches us) of Daniel Moynihan going into Black single mother headed households and pathologizing every family, deeming them “unfit” and broken, and therefore criminalizing their lives and forever locking in the already racist, classist U.S. hell-fare system.
It is why the first lie giant saviors like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey perpetrate on the children of the (African) continent is that we “need to open schools” for the poor children of Africa.
It is why thousands of children were stolen in Haiti after the earthquake to feed the ever hungry “schools” of the euro-saviors.
It is why the first thing the kkkolonizers aka missionaries did in the Philippines (and so many other island nations) was to build colleges to educate the indigenous consciousness out of the people they “found” in the Philippines. Colleges that remain there today and feed the aristocracy with more and more brainwashed, colonized peoples of color.
It is how the beautiful Black children could be run off a cliff a few months back by white foster family who were considered “better” than their own biological family.
It is why my own mixed race, unprotected Mama Dee was almost killed in a rich white woman’s foster home that was deemed by the state to be “safer” for her than her indigent, single mama.
It is why my mama pulled me out of institutional schools rather than lose me to CPS, who deemed my mama unfit because she was disabled and unhoused.
Yes, we all must fight for the release of these babies – and recognize this is NOTHING new. And as we fight, remember to not get lost behind this defensive struggle against this current evil.
To make the connections and fight for support for poor families and food stamps – just ended in New Orleans!? – and transform these multiple, criminalizing scarcity models out of the deserving versus undeserving poor into actual supportive models. To look, as we do at POOR Magazine’s PeopleSkool, at the ways we as colonized people support and enable this system, our own separation and this 21st century colonization, even when we think we don’t.
To help build actual reparations and decolonial models of self-determination for poor and indigenous people by redistribution of your privilege and access – like Sogorea Te Land Trust and Homefulness – your inherited wealth or stolen land, and most of all to fight, live and work for the abolition and decolonization of all these colonized borders.
To read the work of Voces de inmigrantes en Resistencia, click here. To find out more about the next session of PeopleSkool, click here. Tiny – or Lisa Gray-Garcia – is co-founder with her Mama Dee of POOR Magazine and its many projects and author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America,” published by City Lights. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit POOR at www.poormagazine.org.