FIJ Quarterly - Summer 2022 Edition

With respect to repairing the harms of the family policing system, we view reparations broadly to include direct monetary payments, individual, family, and community resources, in-kind support, and sustainable funds 24 to alleviate the conditions of poverty and disadvantage that have been used to keep Black families under government control for centuries. The Black Family in Modern Slavery: Reflections on Liberty, Joyce: The first thing we want to do with clarity is ending what I call the “straining system” that is designed to prevent Black people from reaching higher levels. Systems use “pipelines” to retard Black liberation: there’s the school- to-foster care-to-prison pipeline, the womb- to-foster care pipeline, the foster care-to- termination of parental rights pipeline, etc. So, the first thing we need to do to begin to prevent further harm to Black families is to END PIPELINES. This straining process plucks us out of the community and puts us under an unrelenting amount of surveillance. These systems are interrelated. It’s not just CPS; they don’t work alone. But CPS plays a crucial and integral role in destroying the fundamental and foundational relationship between parents, their children, sibling relationships, and extended family. And by extension, the Black community as a whole. CPS partners with all community resources to create a web of surveillance that threatens families’ well-being, often leaving them afraid to utilize services that are necessary for their survival, putting the community in a catch-22 of being fearful, rightfully so, of “services” that are supposedly there for their well-being and fearful of the people who deliver the services. Systems use PEOPLE to do the dirty work. So, when I talk about the straining of people into systems, the providers with the degrees who are seen as the experts are the white people who are making choices and decisions about Autonomy, and Family Values

our community, while city workers that look like the community are hired to carry out their choices and decisions. This tactic is easily visible when you look at the make-up of the workforce of any system. White people are at the top in decision-making positions, and Black and Brown people are doing the “field” work. Slavery at its most fundamental expression. For Black families, the “child protection/“child welfare” system”—and all oppressive systems— is Slavery by another name. Fire means something different when you’ve been burnt. They changed the name, but the mechanisms of surveillance, punishment, oversight, control, prosecution, judgment, false narratives, etc., are all the same techniques and tactics used in Slavery. It’s the same thing. This is the ROOT cause. Using these techniques against targeted communities shakes the core of the individual, the family unit, and the community at large, preventing opportunities for full human relationships and individual growth and development. That’s what Slavery has done, and that’s what systems continue to do. Angela: Exactly! That is such a critical aspect of how family policing regulates and controls Black families. Miriam Mack talks about how family regulation agents exercise expansive control over families: “[P]arents are subject to intense supervision by family regulation system agents who give parents compulsory “service plans” in order to have their family reunified. Often, these service plans consist of a written list of behavior modification services, including parenting classes, anger management ______________ 24 For example, State House legislation would create reparations fund for Black Michigan residents , March 7, 2022, legislation-would-create-reparations-fund-for-black- michigan-residents-29499339, California reparations decision sparks debate over who should qualify , April 4, 2022, mar/30/california-reparations-slavery-eligibility; Will Feur, Massachusetts town creates fund to pay reparations to black residents , June 25, 2021, https:// reparations-fund-for-black-residents/; Lauren Shows, Reparations fund to address past injustice , July 9, 2021, to-address-past-injustice ;

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