For the Little Ones
When a little baby cries,
who was there to comfort the child?
What if that baby dies,
who will give them justice?
In the ground they now lie,
who will remember them?
Their spirits now fly
back home, back to the Creator.
Ben Carnes, (c) 2011
Recently, a Logan County jury found foster mother, Amy Holder, guilty of felony child abuse. The jury recommended only a $5,000 fine in the bludgeon death of two-year-old Cheyenne & Arapaho member, Naomi Whitecrow. http://www.newson6.com/story/15608546/edmond-woman-convicted-of-child-abuse-in-death-of-foster-child
The sentence sparked an outrage, not just in the Native communities, but also by many parents and people throughout the world. In the social network, Facebook, Glenda Deer set up an event notification asking people to come to the Logan County Courthouse on Nov. 7th in Guthrie, OK, at Amy Holders 3PM sentencing in support of a stiffer sentence and support for “little Naomi”. She wrote,
“$5,000 for killing a Indian child in 2011?!… Our Indian kids are priceless….there is NO amount of $ that can be set on ANY child…I SAY PACK THE COURTROOM NOVEMBER (7th)…!!! LET GUTHERIE FEEL THE PRESENCE OF INDIAN PEOPLE! There is no JUSTICE for indian people…it really is “JUST US” https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=123236737781181
Rosemary Stephens, Editor-in-Chief for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal Tribune, who followed and attended the trial, initiated a letter writing campaign with the support of the Cheyenne & Arapaho. http://www.c-a-tribes.org/letter-to-the-judge
Ms. Stephens has also organized a “Campaign Justice for Naomi Rally” at the state capitol building on the South Plaza in Oklahoma City for Nov. 2nd (11AM – 3PM)
The story of little Naomi reached far into Portugal where Jonathon Eveleigh was moved into creating an online petition to the Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin, and to Thomas E. Perez of the US Justice Dept: Civil Rights Division. You can sign this petition here, which is currently at 579 signatures: http://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-naomi-whitecrow#
When I first heard about this case, I began researching and found an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation report which recommended the filing of charges against the foster mother, Holder. Little Naomi was placed in her care on September 12, 2008 and she was dead on January 20, 2009. Holder was not charged until a year later, after an a pathologist determined Little Naomi died from blunt force trauma to the head, abdomen, and extremities. http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/griffin/NEWS9/PDF/1001/amyholder.PDF
The report reveals conflicting evidence with convicted child abuser, Amy Holders claims that little Naomi had “severe problems”. The report shows that the previous foster parents said Naomi was a happy child, and the DHS case worker found nothing to substantiate Holders claims. In an article written by Stephens, she reports that an anonymous juror revealed that some of the jury wanted Holder to receive 25 years imprisonment, while others felt she wasn’t the only one to blame, and “… the deliberation got heated”. (see story entitled “Jury finds foster mother guilty, no jail time “)
At the Nov. 2nd rally, another mother will be speaking, Yolonda Blue Horse, Lakota, whose daughter was killed by a babysitter in Texas, struggled in court for a long time to see that justice was delivered. She sent this message:
“… Please say a prayer for Naomi White Crow and her family. My biggest hope is that this child did not die in vain. We hope some changes or perhaps a murder charge can be brought to light. At this rally, I will also share my part of my daughter’s story. I will share what I have learned….and that is, if this woman gets off again, she is only being given, yet another opportunity, to hurt or kill another child. The same situation as the monster who killed my daughter. ” Yolonda
Along with Yolanda and other invited speakers, I will be speaking at this rally as a representative of Eagle Council, a confederation of the Indigenous peoples of Indian Territory, (aka Oklahoma). We hope that our voices and prayers will touch the hearts and minds of many.
I want to see many of you there, and if it is to far to travel, please forward this to your own network. Yakoke!
by Ben Carnes