By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
The chatter of the former president and his friends is that we have a “deep state” that needs to be dismantled, a swamp that needs to be drained. What it feels like people are not grasping is that what they want to do is put a new “deep state” in place, one that will significantly clamp down on and take away rights of many American citizens.
The new “deep state” would be one where women don’t have control or a say over what they can do with their bodies, where perhaps the voting age would be raised to 21 to keep young people from casting votes for people of whom the rulers (and they would be rulers) of the deep state would not approve. Perhaps in the new deep state there would no longer be valid elections, just exercises that remind us of how we used to vote, but nothing that would change or tilt the new power structure.
But there is a sad and tragic truth to the charge of there being a deep state. It is a system that is not the friend of the majority of American citizens, and certainly is not the friend of Black people in general and Black women in particular. The system in which we live is deeply racist and sexist; the “rule of law” is a euphemism for keeping certain people under control, and the economic structure is designed to keep too many people on the bottom rung of society.
That same system claims to be protectors of children, but a recent report showed that the so-called child welfare system is anything but fair to Black families and Black mothers in particular.
A young Black mother took her eyes off her child for a few minutes while they were at a park, and when she looked around, she couldn’t find him. Frantic, she called for him and he was close enough to hear her and come back. It is a scenario that frequently happens.
But it happened that someone saw her looking for her child and called Child Protective Services, and this young mother’s life was turned upside down. She was accused of being negligent, her child was put in foster care, she was forced to take child raising classes and to pay for her child being in foster care – and ultimately, lost her parental rights, CBS News reported.
This happens more than we hear about, and according to reports, it happens more to Black families who also happen to be poor. The young mother referenced was criticized for not being able, for example, to make a required class because she could not take time off from work. That did not matter to “the system.” This American system – the same system that seems unconcerned that the wife of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice seemingly had a role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the same system that is for some reason allowing a twice-impeached president who has a slew of charges – some criminal – pending against him to declare his bid for re-election, is the system that comes down hard on the poor, the destitute, and young Black mothers and families trying to make a way out of no way.
To be fair, these types of attacks on innocent mothers and families happen to White people as well. The podcast Do No Harm ran a series featuring two mothers – one White, one Black, who were accosted by “the system” because of accidents their children had, according to NBC News. What is evident is that when “the system” gets a bone – even when it is clear that they are on the wrong path – they do not let it go and the result is the ruination of families.
It is wrong, immoral, and unethical. Yes, child welfare agencies have a responsibility to protect all children, but when it is clear that they have made a wrong decision, there ought to be a code of ethics and behavior that they follow that will allow innocent parents to be taken off the hook.
“The system” is not our friend. There will always be a need to check it – because it will not ever check itself.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. She is available for speaking. And she is an award-winning author for her latest book, “With Liberty and Justice for Some: The Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America,” available through all booksellers. Contact her at email@example.com.