Hon. Barack Obama May 11, 2011
President and Commander-in-Chief
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20500 Re: Human Rights Violations in America
Dear Mr. President:
The capture of Osama bin Laden stands among the greatest achievements of your administration. Today our nation learned of an upcoming speech in which you will seek to build upon this success. As I understand it, you will now promote democracy by revolution in Arab countries.
As a civil rights advocate who practiced law in New York for more than 23 years, I am asking you to reconsider this course of action. I invite you to focus instead upon a side of America you have evidently overlooked. It is one that our soldiers will face if and when they return home.
Good fathers are being systematically removed from their children in domestic relations courts around our country through discriminatory laws which support a multi-billion dollar government industry. It is a form of oppression where innocent children become the hard victims.
It works simply like this: declare the state to be the parent of the people, pass laws which promote controversy among families, and lawyers will take over to promote government jobs which our taxpayers cannot afford. I call it the state’s “Custodial Institution of Childrearing”.
This institution has taken over more than half of America’s parenting population through “custody” and “support” regulations which infringe upon all manner of family privacy. Parents are influenced to fight over their offspring in public forums reminiscent of the Roman Coliseum.
It is certainly not a new concept. In Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler observed that if the state can make the people believe it is acting in the best interests of children, they will “happily” give up their rights. Your secretary of state once declared that “it takes a village” to raise our children.
This kind of socialist philosophy has not only been proven a world failure, but it goes against everything embodied within the American Constitution. Our Supreme Court has repeatedly declared the parenting right to be “the oldest liberty interest” protected under our laws.
In that vein, your victory speech caught my attention. You stated that we were a nation committed to “equal rights” and that we could accomplish anything we set our mind to. I could not reconcile this with the severe prejudice against fathers which is so accepted here.
The Census Bureau continues to report that roughly 85% of all parents paying “child support” are men. Women obtain custody in 80-90% of contested cases. Yet men are not so incompetent to engage in “shared parenting” any more than they are to share in the defense of our country.
This all brought me back to a day in 2008. I was one of your earliest supporters. Senator Clinton had dominated the primaries in upstate New York and you declared on Father’s Day that we needed to get men to step up to the plate, all the while ignoring what our states had done to them.
It was then that I knew that the problem of fatherless children would grow exponentially and, of course, it did. Separated parents are now the mainstream in America, and fathers are remanded to a lower class of person through antiquated laws which maintain a separate but unequal doctrine.
Under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, the states draw revenues based on the number and magnitude of “child support” orders mass produced in an institution hypocritically called Family Court. If you can get more parents to fight, you can make more money, simple as that.
It is a scheme which exploits a rule of nature. Good parents will sacrifice everything to maintain their offspring whereas bad parents generally avoid responsibilities. In the custodial system, all separated parents are lumped together and forced to prove their fitness to the state without cause.
This “winner takes all” contest enables one parent to “tax and destroy” the other for reasons unrelated to the child. Formula driven welfare checks euphemistically known as “child support” are based not upon a child’s needs but upon a victor’s highly contentious “way of life”.
This formula has communist overtones with waste, decadence and child disincentives which can lead to lawless behavior. Outcast fathers, constantly on the defensive, are paying for the process which seizes their children through diverted “child support”. Even Hitler was not this creative.
Inevitably these American citizens face a debtor’s prison when they cannot balance tax, credit and support obligations in hard times. It is far from a hero’s welcome for our returning soldiers as the courts routinely find that they can earn more than they are capable with their “war skills”.
In New York, our judiciary sued the other branches of government in its own courts for pay raises. Of course this was a violation of powers, but the obsession over money is finding its way in childrearing decisions contrary to a neutral design under our state constitutions as well.
Police, fire and emergency crews, such as those responders on 9-11, face the same treatment as our war veterans do under these abusive laws. In my small home town, a police investigator took his life and that of his ex spouse, leaving his children without parents after “child support” court.
Not long after that, a woman took a knife to her husband’s throat, a father shot his boy in front of police during a domestic standoff, and a purple heart soldier attempted suicide rather than continue a prison sentence on a support debt. That’s a lot of needless carnage for a civil society.
Related reports are showing a greater loss of life on the domestic front among veterans than in these foreign wars. If you’ve read this far, please view “Purple Heart’s Final Beat” at Second Class Citizen.Org for a brief but vivid memorial to Major Lance Waldorf, an Iraqi war veteran.
You might wonder how a once prominent lawyer, office holder and candidate for congress could survive a one man battle against his profession. After 23 unblemished years, a group of lawyers and judges combined to suspend my practice, a small sacrifice compared to those in mind here.
This retaliation began on the same day as arguments were being made in court similar to those found here. Last I checked, Mr. President, the judicial branch was still a part of our American form of government subject to the same First Amendment rules that you and the rest of us are.
Such rules are invaluable to a free society. This letter illustrates how government is losing the forest for the trees on issues ranging from the economy to doctors’ care. Our talents, health and productivity are being lost to a litigious system focused on the ever elusive child’s best interests.
You have proven that we have come a long way since the Dred Scott decision. Here we find a white civil rights advocate petitioning a black president for equal rights. Yet it is much more than that. A father is asking another father to help preserve future generations of Americans.
On Father’s Day Friday, June 17th, I plan to file a writ in the Supreme Court challenging the suppression of my liberties by New York’s court system. My ordeal may be compared to that of Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng, reunited with his children only after giving up his civil rights.
I hope to be joined at that time by victims and families of these oppressive laws to deliver this letter personally to you at the White House. Until then, I am asking supporters nationwide to consider publishing it in the media, internet and public venues. Thank you for your time.
Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
National League of Fathers, Inc.
Parenting Rights Institute
1518 Genesee Street
Utica, New York 13502