What factors do you think you would need to determine the best interests of a child in a custody hearing? Stable living situation – check – good nutrition – check – proper medical care – check – correct race – ?? Was that on your list? Would the race of the parents, or the culture they came from be the most important thing? Unlike Nazis or inbred hyper show-dogs, trying to insure purity of the race is not consistent with sound or Constitutional practices. It is exactly what is being done right now, and the latest victim is a 6 year old girl who was stolen from her family because of her race. Here’s the kicker: it’s not even her real race.
For humans in the United States of America, the universal standard is that courts will act in the best interests of the child. While exactly what is in the best interests of the child can be debated, ripping a 6 year old foster child from her loving home – the only home she knows because she has a drop of Choctaw blood – can’t be for her good. Under the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, that is what is required by law.
Since the U.S. government seems completely incapable of doing right by Native Americans, the Act was passed to address past wrongs, where children were placed outside of Indian families to purposefully deny them their heritage. Instead of simply stopping the offensive acts and acting in the best interests of children however, the government decided to “help” some more.
“When you, our white fellow-countrymen, have attempted to do anything for us, it has generally been to deprive us of some right, power or privilege which you yourself would die before you would submit to have taken from you.” That’s Frederick Douglass who argued persuasively for government to leave blacks alone after the Civil War. No “helping.” Unfortunately that’s not what we and the federal government did to blacks or Indians.
Instead, “Congress… stated that the interests of tribal stability were as important as that of the best interests of the child. One of the factors in this judgment was that, because of the differences in culture, what was in the best interest of a non-Indian child were not necessarily what was in the best interest of an Indian child, especially due to extended families and tribal relationships.”
Lexi Page will surely build tribal stability. She is 1/64th Choctaw. You read that right. Just like Hitler or Bull Connor, the federal law follows the one drop rule where she is somehow an Indian. She spent more than five years with her foster parents who have tried to adopt her. But that one drop…. I guess sometimes you just have to burn down the village to save it. If you have the stomach for it, you can watch as Lexi is stolen from her family to provide stability for the Choctaw tribe.