family policing system. CPS Abolitionist Latagia Copeland-Tyronce asserts that reparations, “Are a way for governments to right past and present wrongs to an aggrieved group and as such the American child welfare system must be included both in the debate and in any monetary decisions and/or outcomes; it has been an oppressive system for that long and has caused that much harm.” 4 Black families experience the current family policing system within the historical context of chattel slavery and its barbaric family- destroying practices. 5 Constitutional family scholar Peggy Cooper Davis notes that, “Slave Power . . . supported itself by annulment of marital, parental, and paternal rights” and that Black families “were denied, in law and often in fact, the right to create and maintain ties of affection and responsibility to spouses, to children, to parents, or to extended kin . . . they “could not marry; they had no legal ties to their parents; and they had no legal tie to the children born of their bodies.” 6 Those who “struggled for abolition and reconstruction regarded denial of family liberty as a vice of slavery that inverted concepts of human ______________ 4 Latagia Copeland-Tyronce, Child Welfare Is the One White Supremacist Institution that Is Left Out of the Reparations Conversation and It Shouldn’t Be! , MEDIUM:TAGI’S WORLD(Nov. 4, 2019), https://medium. com/latagia-copeland-tyronces-tagi-s-world/child- welfare-is-the-one-white-supremacist-institution- that-is-left-out-of-the-reparations-7bc66761d75e [https://perma.cc/N8EN-VFZ5]. 5 E.g., Dorothy Roberts, Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families—and How Abolition Can Build A Safer World (2022); Dorothy Roberts, Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (2002); Laura Briggs, Taking Children: A History of American Terror (2020); see also, Shereen White et al, Fighting Institutional Racism at the Front End of Child Welfare Systems: A Call to Action to End the Unjust, Unnecessary, and Disproportionate Removal of Black Children From Their Families , Children’s Rights (2021); Kathi L. H. Harp and Amanda A. Bunting, The Racialized Nature of Child Welfare Policies and the Social Control of Black Bodies , 27 Social Politics 258 (2020) (“State and social control of black reproduction in the United States has a history that can be traced back to slavery. Despite the abolition of slavery in the United States, state intervention in the lives of black women and their families persists in less overt forms today. Specifically, black women and their children (born and unborn) are disproportionately affected by the child welfare system (“CWS”) and also affected by punitive CWS policies.”) 6 Peggy Cooper Davis, Neglected Stories: The Constitution and Family Values, p. 4.
Angela Olivia Burton
FIJ Quarterly | Summer 2022 | 37
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