Why It Matters To You, Right Here, Right Now:
“Of all the behaviors that stand in direct conflict with my work, one of the most egregious is bullying… Women, Black people, indigenous people, people with disabilities, trans people, immigrants, Muslims, poor people, sick people—the list goes on. I will not stop speaking out while this is happening. We can’t believe that the playground is safe just because the bully is picking on someone else. We all know that the playground isn’t safe for any of us until it’s safe for all of us.”Brene Brown, Ph.D., Internationally Recognized Shame Researcher
I stood in absolute shock the first time Judge Timothy Pogue denied me any contact with my children at Christmas
Why did he rule so harshly, you might ask? My only perceived flaw, my only reason for being denied any visitation with the children I love so dearly who adore their Daddy… is because I’m brown and practice one of the world’s oldest and most respected religions. Yes, I’m a Muslim. In the State of South Carolina, that definitely seems to be problematic, given it’s centuries old foundation of systemic racism.
[Related Post]: Non-Uppity Blacks Welcome to Roam SC, per Lindsey Graham
According to Judge Timothy Pogue of the Charleston Family Court, this was enough to keep me from visiting with my children around Christmas, or even the Persian New Year, unless it was divided up into miserly little afternoons or evenings. Stunned by his decision to prevent me from seeing my children at Christmas, officially stating that:
“Father is an Iranian Muslim and does not recognize Christmas.”Judge Timothy H. Pogue
He later defended his decision, contradicting himself utterly, by saying:
“After fully considering the Motion and Return, the Court remains satisfied with the legal correctness and the essential justice of its Order. Further the Court emphatically denies that its Order was in anyway based upon ethnic and/or religious prejudice.“Judge Timothy H. Pogue
What else could it possibly be except “ethnic and/or religious prejudice?” He cited my ethnicity and religion specifically as the only reasons he was denying me time with my children over Christmas!
You Can See For Yourself
My big invitation here is for you to consider my experience and evidence, my story, and to share it if you believe that Black Lives Matter too. Because they do.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”Desmond Tutu, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984
Please scroll down to the comments below and share your point of view on this shocking situation, especially for my children. And again, thanks so much for your enthusiastic support! I don’t know how I could have made through all this without the love and support of my family and friends. This is the first step in our creating community around Helping Every Loving Parent (HELP) to spend time with their children. Every story is important.