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Nov-21-2012 12:34printcomments

Loving, 45 Years Later

So much for post-racial America. So much for Supreme Court rulings. So much for a nation where people are allowed to mind their own business.

Mildred and Richard Loving, circa 1967
Mildred and Richard Loving, circa 1967

(WASHINGTON DC) - I keep hearing that we live in a “post-racial society.” I’m not sure what that would look like, but I do know that race has not left the building, and the 1967 Supreme Court ruling striking down the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia did not end the struggle of interracial couples for acceptance, tolerance and a quiet, normal life.

Certainly it was a step forward, just as so many court decisions and legislative actions have been over the past 60 years, and it allowed Richard and Mildred Loving to be married, but people in this benighted society continue to find ways to confound that which offends their sensibilities. If it’s not gay marriage (the cause du jour), it falls back, once again, to interracial marriage – or even just interracial domestic arrangements. Not everywhere, of course. There are places where no one pays such arrangements a second look anymore. But some people and some places continue to find ways to confound the simplest of human needs and desires. For two people to live together in domestic tranquility.

In November 2010 G. Kenley Goins relocated from Florida in order to take a job with Costco in Wilsonville, Oregon. Shortly after the move he met Tamara Mayes and her daughter Ainsley (6-1/2 years old at the time). Kenley and Tamara spoke later and he learned she had filed for divorce and would be moving from where she lived with her soon-to-be ex-husband. (Goins is black, Mayes white). Kenley and Tamara began to see each other and in due time fell in love. Later in 2011 they decided they should move in together since her divorce was then almost a year in and at 41 years of age they both knew what we wanted out of this relationship. Kenley moved in with Tamara on July 1, 2011 and shortly after, on July 5, as part of the divorce proceedings, Kenley was deposed by Tamara’s husband’s attorney, Lillian Bier.

During the deposition Mr. Goins was asked about his family and his jobs, which, he says, “I found intrusive because my girlfriend filed for divorce months before I’d met her.” He was also asked about being a drug dealer and enforcer, which, he says, “I found insulting, since there was no basis for this line of questioning. I have never been involved in any aspect of the drug trade. I was forced to answer, however, because to refuse would have resulted in contempt of court.”

Later in July Tamara and Kenley met with Billie Belle, custody evaluator. Goins recounts that “This woman also threatened me and said I’d better ‘be clean because I’ll [Ms. Belle] find out.’ I was also asked a series of questions about my family and myself. I told Ms. Belle ‘This divorce isn’t about me; I have nothing to do with why my girlfriend is divorcing her husband.’”

According to Goins, on July 29 Tamara tried to call her daughter after an overnight with her father and he wouldn’t pick up the phone. The daughter, the couple learned later, was being removed from Tamara’s custody, on the basis of testimony by Billie Bell, who had met with daughter AInsley on July 28th for the first time ever, at just a few weeks past Ainsley’s seventh birthday. Ms. Belle alleged that Ainsley has stated that Mr. Goins, had beaten her while her mother watched. Goins says “This never took place. Ainsley had never been removed from her mother’s care, and only after her mother began dating and living with an African American man were allegations of abuse ever levied. Billie Bell stated in her notes that Tamara and I had made Ainsley call me ‘stepfather,’ which is also untrue. She does call me ‘Big Daddy,’ something she began doing on her own, and which we found funny, endearing and innocuous.” (It would be appropriate to mention, at this point, that Mr. Goins is a large, tall, possibly physically intimidating man, by sheer virtue of his stature. I have many times in my life heard white people refer to such men as “scary,” “intimidating,” “burly,” etc.).

According to Goins, “No one from DHS ever came to our home nor were the police called.”

On July 29 Tamara was summoned to court and Goins was told he would have to move out. (NOTE: He has no criminal record or anything else to suggest he has ever abused a child, and at this point DHS has yet to investigate Tamara or Goins or photograph or interview Ainsley Mayes).

In august 2011 Goins was summoned to court thinking this judge would look at things objectively. He was wrong. Judge Tripp asked him to enter into a no-contact order. He agreed and complied. Judge Tripp never once looked at any of the circumstances or the racial dynamic of this case. Judge Tripp never mandated an investigation nor did she ask to see Ainsely, ever, which in itself is disturbing. Oregon has a long history of racial prejudice, and this case suggests it still goes on.

November 2011 Goins was asked to come to court because he and Tamara sought to take Ainsley out of state to visit his family. Goins says “I was harassed by Lillian Bier, asked questions about where I was staying, and about money I’d allegedly given to Tamara. I had recently herniated two discs in my back at work and was in a lot of pain and so responded angrily: ‘This case isn’t about what I am being asked; it is about that white man not wanting his daughter raised by a black man!’ At that point I was excused from the witness chair and then Tamara was threatened by Judge Tripp who said to Tamara ‘It’s Mr. Goins or your daughter.’ I was astonished by this remark and felt I had been set up.”

In October of 2011 Tamara and Kenley both underwent psychological evaluations conducted by a woman named Kathy Gwinn, out of Boise Idaho. Why someone from Portland wasn’t available will soon be illustrated.

In June 2011 a supposed friend of Tamara’s filled a notebook full of salacious comments. Tamara was accused of being a bad mother, a serial internet predator, etc. Weeks went by. Tom Elliot, Tamara’s attorney, asked for the results with negative pushback from Ms. Gwinn and Billie Belle. When the results were finally released, Tamara was judged to be unstable but her husband was found to be completely normal, with the insinuation that Tamara was causing his depression. Goins’ evaluation was termed “angry” by Billie Bell, (who is not a licensed psychologist). Goins’ evaluation did say, however, that he was well within normal range. “Because I spoke my mind once in court, Tamara and I were both treated with prejudice.”

In April of 2012, Judge Tripp not only used a notebook from Glenda Hughes (a person who has been hospitalized for depression and suicide attempts) against Tamara – in a no fault state – and used the clear prejudice of a non-psychologist in testimony by Billie Bell to take a child from her mother.

June 2012: Judge Tripp has used a no contact order to keep Goins, a black man, out of his home and from pursuing happiness and a normal romantic relationship. It is his contention that Judge Tripp has violated his civil rights and has allowed an over-zealous custody evaluator to attack and persecute an interracial couple. Your reporter would concur, given the facts. Judge Tripp seems to have overstepped her bounds using a no-contact order to interfere in a relationship between two consenting adults. I believe she should be censured for this and a mother’s right to custody of her child restored because Tamara, without investigation or conviction of allegations has been stripped of her rights and so has G.Kenley Goins. “A lie was told,” says Goins, “and a seven year old was used to try to destroy a mother’s good name, a good mother and her future husband. We very much want our rights restored.”

Let Mr. Goins tell the story from here:

“Ainsley has been in therapy since October 2011 and continues to be seen. Tamara, Ainsley, and I should, in my judgment, be allowed to go on with our lives without censure or restriction and without having to prove ourselves innocent of actions we not only never committed, but for which there is no evidence of any sort. Common sense and good judgment has not prevailed in this case, but injustice and fairly obvious racial motivation for the various lines of questioning, and suspicions on the part of the state based solely on race and racial stereotypes to deny two people a normal relationship. A family has been disrupted over this for no apparent reason.

“Whatever can be done to right these wrongs will be greatly appreciated.”

Since the original telling to me of this story by Mr. Goins, an Oregon state legislator has called for a formal investigation into the proceedings which led to this state of affairs. So far, nothing more has moved.

It is my belief, given the rather random nature of the interference by social services and the Oregon legal system, that Mr. Goins and Ms. Mayes are being subjected to a latter day run around of the Supreme Court decision that freed the Lovings of Virginia from an antiquated law, and I strongly suspect there have been committed numerous violations of the civil rights of Mr. Goins, Ms. Mayes and Ainsley Mayes.

So much for post-racial America. So much for Supreme Court rulings. So much for a nation where people are allowed to mind their own business.

Business as usual.

Article by AJ Calhoun

First published here:

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