No matter what page you turn to in the news these days, there’s always another confusing heartbreaking story. As a black woman living in America, it’s sometimes hard to remain smiling and optimistic in a country that shows us zero empathy. We have to be ‘strong’ whether we want to or not and ‘strong’ is a label that rightfully precedes us but isn’t always wanted.
Last week “American Idol” star Syesha Mercado had her 10-day old baby unfairly taken away from her as she sobbed uncontrollably and it was all caught on camera. In the video, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is seen seizing Mercado’s baby daughter as she cries out. This is the second child that authorities have “forcefully and legally kidnapped” from the couple in the past five months.
Deputies and several backup cars surrounded Mercado, 34, her newborn baby and her husband Tyron Deener, 36 to conduct a surprise roadside welfare check. Four female Child Protective Service workers can be seen surrounding their SUV while one demanded they need to take the baby. They stated since she already had a child in the state’s custody and failed to let them know when she gave birth to her new baby girl they had authority to take the baby for a welfare check. Her first child was taken at just 1-year-old almost 7-months ago now. Medical professionals alleged that Mercado refused to give that child a B-12 shot. Despite videos showing a healthy and happy breastfed baby boy, they reported the baby was ‘malnourished, underweight and very unhealthy and could die without treatment’.
Mercado stated she never refused the shot and told doctors she wanted to wait for her husband to arrive. The holistic plant-based family strictly breast-fed and went to the hospital for help transitioning as they prepare for a new child. They confirmed her child was taken as a result of her allegedly turning down a B-12 intramuscular shot, as recommended by hospital doctors.
“I am a pregnant, breastfeeding mama who went to the hospital with the intention to get my [son], Amen’Ra, some fluids while transitioning from extended breastfeeding to being bottle-fed..On March 11 … Amen’Ra was forcefully and legally kidnapped from us by CPS, who claim we refused a B-12 shot that was a matter of life and death, which is an absolute lie. We never refused a B-12 shot, and at no point was he on the verge of death..Our [son] has since been placed with a white foster family without interviewing qualified relatives or friends of our family for placement while they investigate. We are given limited information and presently only have weekly zoom visitation for an hour with … no court order stating these visitation limitations.”
Police then took custody of the 10-day old infant to bring her to a hospital for a physical, due to prior allegations of malnutrition concerning the couple’s son.
During the ongoing battle, the couple asked CPS to communicate through their lawyer which they failed to do.“My baby is healthy and happy,” a desperate Mercado is heard pleading to them on the roadside.. “All you had to do was call the attorney. We have all the paperwork….My baby is healthy and happy, all you had to do was call the attorney. We have all the paperwork.” As the baby begins to scream with hunger, her husband can be seen asking if his wife can feed the baby before they take her. The four woman said they would not allow Mercado to travel to the hospital with the child as they watched Mercado plead through her cries, the women showed zero emotion.
“Do you not feel anything? You guys, I’m human. This is my baby. My baby is days old — and you’re taking my baby away from me,” a crying Mercado is seen on video as four female child protective services caseworkers stand their ground.
Mercado and Deener posted the incident on Instagram with the caption, “THEY TOOK OUR BABY AGAIN!.” The hour-long video shows multiple police vehicles flashing lights while two male deputies in defense stance–hands near their weapon to serve the couple with a court order to turn over their baby.
Mercado holds the key to her city, did a bullying campaign in that town and finished in the top three during the seventh season of American Idol.
As a 41-year-old mother raising an Afro-Latina daughter it frightens me to know what I have to prepare her for in this world. Unfortunately kindness, empathy and understanding is becoming rare amongst strangers and far between. Most people today are rightfully distracted with their own mere existence and troubles but where has humanity gone? Everything is broken down by race relations but is it really a battle between good vs evil? Here we see a beautiful intelligent family judged based off obvious stereotypes. This mother’s pain is a sound we are all too familiar with. It’s the same sounds we heard 600 years ago and not much has changed. #BringRaHome