Saturday, May 31, 2008
Family Preservation Is Necessary In Detroit by Akindele Akinyemi
Once again, we have Carol Weaver being attacked by her opponents as an "elitist" and a person who is "out of touch" with families for her bid for state representative in District 7 in Detroit.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
In fact, Carol Weaver is running for state representative because she supports family issues and will take those issues to the people long before she is elected.
Carol is not just fighting for educational issues she is fighting for family issues as well. While I have checked other candidates platforms in her race not one talk about issues of family preservation. I have been saying for years that if you want to restructure a tax base in Detroit you have to bring families together under on roof, working together as one and understanding the importance of financial literacy. The number one reason of divorce are finances that are connected by the lack of communication.
But on a higher level Carol supports the Family Preservation and Reconciliation Act of 2008. This is a bill that was introduced in Congress recently that protect the fundamental right of a parent to the care and custody of a child and to direct the upbringing of a child, and for other purposes.
This right has been acknowledged for centuries by the common law, and by the
tradition of western civilization, which recognizes that parents have the responsibility
to love, nurture, train, and protect their children as well as the role of parents in the raising and rearing of their children is of inestimable value and deserving of both praise and protection by all levels of government.
Presently, some decisions of Federal and State courts have treated the right of parents not as
a fundamental right but as a non-fundamental right, resulting in an improper standard
of judicial review being applied to government conduct that adversely affects parental
rights and prerogatives.
Why do we need family preservation and why do we need to send Carol Weaver to Lansing to fight this critical issue? Because Detroit is a city that has a lack of family due to various issues that affect the household.
The family is the most basic and essential unit in any society. Strong families are the foundation of strong communities, and strong communities are the core structure of a better Detroit. If we believe that a better world is possible, then we must begin by supporting and strengthening families.
I hear candidates talk about jobs, welfare, education (saving the failing school syndrome), and health care (no real plan for health care just sound bites) but NO ONE talks about family preservation. I have yet to hear ONE lawmaker on ANY level of government in Detroit talk about this openly. I have never heard ANY candidate at a candidate forum talk about it openly. We need to talk family preservation because it is non-existent in our city.
Carol Weaver's vision is that through the grassroots education and organizing of men and women who are mothers and fathers, and the agitation and subsequent involvement of the community that surrounds them, we will be able to effect change within families and the communities approach to issues which impact on family preservation. Ultimately the child welfare system will be forced to change the way in which it deals with poorer communities. The desired effect is system reform, and ultimately the abolition of the child welfare system, as we know it. She envision a network of supports created by and for the people, which honors and values the whole family and sees it as the base for strong communities.
We have to remember how our community decimated in the first place. You had Black men being removed to fight in Vietnam and losing their lives making their wives widows. You had heroin in the streets (I watched a documentary on the Conservative Vice Lords in Chicago, IL and how heroin destroyed the social justice programs they were creating in Chicago). While awareness was being heightened about child maltreatment, the supply of babies available for adoption dwindled in the 1970's as single parenthood became more accessible, birth control and pregnancy termination more readily available. At the same time women in the neighborhood began delaying childbirth longer and longer for education and career, creating increased infertility.
Terminating parental rights most often results in the removal of children, often older children, sibling groups and children of substance abusers. They came to be known as "hard to place" because the growing infertile population sought to replicate a more natural family forming process and thus infants were more highly sough, but less available.
I have tried to find any Democratic lawmaker from Detroit who have INTRODUCED legislation on family preservation (not co-sponsored). I could not find one. Nor I could find a candidate who is running for state representative in District 7 is talking about family preservation.
Family preservation is about ensuring that mothers and fathers in crisis receive objective family-centered option counseling and all the resources, referrals, and support needed to remain as an intact family and are protected from fraud, coercion and exploitation for the purpose of separating them from their child. Children are not commodities, and no profit may be made by any individuals or agencies involved in necessary custodial placements for children in need.
Instead of abortions and foster care lets talk adoptions. Instead of the friends of courts screwing up families (even when both parties are AT PEACE) let's fight to reform our family courts to make them fair. We need lawmakers who are going to help out with the process.
Carol Weaver is not just our educational and economic development candidate in this race but she is also our family preservation candidate. Please support her as we move Detroit forward.