So much news this week, it’s hard to know where to start. But let’s begin with some important new research:
In our view, those who call the police on Black people for “looking out of place” are motivated by the same thing that people who anticipate a child abuse pandemic due to a lack of white eyes on poor Black and brown children: racism.
White America is slowly beginning to understand the fear that Black people experience when confronted by the police. We know that this same fear exists for many Black and brown people about child welfare authorities, especially in low-income neighborhoods.
● And in Illinois, Attorneys at the Shriver Center on Policy Law write in the Chicago Sun-Times about why Gov. J.B. Pritzker should expand his ambitious agenda for reforming juvenile justice to reform the system that does so much to fuel the failed juvenile justice system – the failed child welfare system. They write:
As in the juvenile legal system, Black families are disproportionately entangled in the foster system. The often racialized and biased assessments of what constitutes “good” or “bad” parenting explain why approximately 53% of Black children nationwide will experience an investigation for abuse or neglect by age 18, and why Black parents in Illinois are over-represented in these investigations.
It also explains why Black people statewide are 14% of the population while Black children make up 44% of the foster population. In Cook County, Black people are 24% of the population while Black children represent over 70% of the foster population.
● The failings described in Prof. Fong’s study ultimately lead to the biggest failing of all: The anishment of parents from a child’s life – at least for the duration of her or his childhood. That process has been accelerated by a vicious, racist federal law, the so-called Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Like the infamous crime law and welfare law passed at about the same time, ASFA was animated by hatred of poor people – in particular poor women of color.