Sunday, June 24, 2007

Michael Moore Where Are You?


The adoption industry needs a Michel Moore figure to bring public attention to the corruption and harm being done in the name of child protective services.

Michael Moore, is on tour not just promoting his latest expose documentary Sicko a cinematic indictment of the American health care system. He has also pushed his prescription for reform: a single-payer system, with the government as insurer, that would guarantee access to health care for all Americans and put the private insurance industry out of business.

What a unique idea! Government actually helping the end user instead of big business! If only. Government actually being what it was intended to be - what we were all taught as children it was: of the people, by the people and for the people. But what has become instead of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. United Corporate America. In the almighty dollar we trust.

Guarantee care for everyone and put the private insurance industry out of business! Now here's a man who thinks like me. Put an entire industry out of business.

How about the crooks in the adoption industry that sell babies like used cars....pricing them by gender, age, and skin color? How about putting that multi-billion dollar industry out of business?

Can't be done so why try? Why indeed. Why call attention to any pervasive problems in our country. Let's just all sit back wrapped in the warmth of apathy and not even vote next election! Better yet, let's support those who indulge in unethical practices...let's play in their playgrounds like on Adoption.com...the biggest online gathering of the industry. It's not like we need their services like we need health care. No, let's just partake in it to help them make more money by attracting even more people to their site and their advertisers. After all, we can't fight them so we might as well join them, huh? As always, the NCFA laughs heartily as we fight amongst ourselves and accomplish nothing because the weakest link amongst us wins out. Fear wins out. The need to please others wins out.

When do we stop being victims, licking our wounds of the past? Blacks were enslaved for generations and a small percentage of them are seeking reparations...but that is not the major thrust of their movement today. Today they deal with the worst aspects of racism today: police brutality and profiling. Those are the 21st century problems. They are being mistreated whether they are called Black men or African American in the press hasn't changed their daily lives.

A lesson we can learn, too, from the civil rights movement, was that playing Uncle Tom was not the way to go! Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was the Michael Moore film of the day. Graphically depicting the horrors of slavery, the book was both revered and reviled. For a time, in Kansas, it was a capital offense to own a copy, and the public persona of Uncle Tom, instead of the symbol of a strong, spiritual man, whose disobedience to his master caused his death, Uncle Tom became a metaphor for a submissive, weak black person who wanted to be white.

We need to chose which Uncle Tom we wish to be. The strong empowered one or the submissive "Yes, sir" one, who works for "the man" and helps build his wealth by picking his cotton.

We need to be our own Stowe and Moore. We need to expose the reality of adoption today. We need to expose the pain of imperialistic colonialism and the wanton severing of familial ties....in this case, not for servants or a labor force...but for the desired commodity of a child of one's "own" and for the profiteering of those who make it happen. And in the process, the child is stripped of his identity and connection to blood relatives, and replaced with a name that marks - brands - him as the sole property of his proud new owners. And he is expected to be grateful.

Money is made, people are sold...and the American public accepts these atrocities yet again, because of the good old American belief in apple pie, motherhood and the mantra of entitlement: "If you can afford it, you deserve to have it"...even when that "it" is an human being! And, the converse accepted mainstream notion: "If you're poor it's your fault because you're lazy and we refuse to help you." Ah, America, land of opportunity and equality, freedom and justice for all...who can afford to pay for it.

Michael Moore, we need so many more of you brave souls to pull back the covers and expose the ugly truths.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

""When do we stop being victims, licking our wounds of the past? Blacks were enslaved for generations and a small percentage of them are seeking reparations...but that is not the major thrust of their movement today. Today they deal with the worst aspects of racism today: police brutality and profiling. Those are the 21st century problems. They are being mistreated whether they are called Black men or African American in the press hasn't changed their daily lives.

A lesson we can learn, too, from the civil rights movement""

Mirah...this is where you lose me each and every time. When you allude/say to who??? being victims and 'licking our wounds of the past'?? You say that a 'small percentage of 'them' are seeking reparations' and then you go on to say 'the civil rights movement'. As most of us from the older generation know.. that civil rights movement was jam-packed with black people from all walks of life. They marched, they rioted, they implored, they cried, they sang, they preached, they begged and they fought, for much of what they have today, whether it is only superficial or actual. The Civil Rights Movement was the Black People's Movement to be recognized as full-fledged human beings and citizens of this country, with all protections guaranteed under the US Constitution and more. And I believe they won in many ways. Though racsim and classism will never disappear in a capitalist society.

I can only speak for myself, that of a mother who lost a child to adoption in 1964. And I have yet to see a 'movement' by and for the mothers, many from that era who were stripped of their human and mother rights without legal representation or advocacy, simply because they were white,unmarried and pregnant, no matter the class status of their families. It was purely discrimination. You say to stop licking the wounds of the past, and you speak of civil rights for others. Yet you still fail to speak of or acknowledge that many former young unmarried mothers were stripped of their civil rights while pg and immediately upon the birth of their babies. Maybe you don't care about the discrimination against pg young unmarried women of yesterday, but I do. If those mothers from days of yore, who speak that they were so out of the closet decades ago, who knew how and why we were losing our kids, en masse, had started a true 'movement' long ago, I sincerely doubt that the adoption industry would be anywhere near the size of the beast it is today, with all it's inherent abuses and corruption. That is not to blame any mother from anytime, but I do take exception when any mother from that time, that claims they were out of the closet, doing all sorts of things in regards to adoption, supposedly having much knowledge of what was going on and then today alludes to other mothers as 'victims' and 'licking wounds of the past'. If a true civil rights movement for us mothers had occurred years ago, I sincerely doubt that today we would still have the Open Records Issue and the adoption industry would not have the power it has today.

I do have a bone to pick with our state and federal governments that allowed and orchestrated the wholesale taking of my generation of white, young, pregnant, unmarried mother's newborn babies. It was discrimination, blatant in your face discrimination. And no 'movement' has ever happened to acknowledge the discriminatory practices that were used against us to take our babies away under the guise of supposed 'voluntary' relinquishment. The discriminatory practices used against us as young pregnant unmarried mothers, deserves it's day in the sun, it deserves to be fully unmasked and revealed for the cruel, inhumane, abusive tactics that were used against us and the taking of our babies.

My baby is gone....but I am not nor will I ever get my baby back. The adult child I lost to adoption will not be reinstated to me as my full-fledged daughter, 'as if' her adoption never happened, simply cannot be. I am here and I was discriminated against simply because I was young, white, pregnant and unmarried. That is not me 'licking my wounds', that is me at the age of almost 61 seeking justice, acknowledgement of past abuse and a public apology. I wish the same for any other mother who felt, feels, she was discriminated against, simply because MRS did not grace her last name.

There is more than one front on this adoption mess in America. And yes some 'sins' of the past need to be revealed in plain sight for all to see. And it is not the perceived 'sins' of the mother!

Mirah..I agree with you on every other level, but this is always a really sore sticking point I have with you. None of us are children any more. We are all quite grown up. Please no more lecturing on 'victim' and 'licking past wounds', what we can or cannot do or feel. That simply is not your right. It may be your belief, but not a belief I share with you.

I do not write this for debate or argument, just my own beliefs whenever I hear another mother write the words 'licking wounds of the past'. They are MY wounds, MY scars, the hole in MY heart and they remind me each and every day of what I lost 43 years ago. That of my firstborn baby daughter to adoption.

You have my greatest respect and admiration otherwise in the authoring of your newest book. You are to be commended.

Respectfully,
Chris aka Burfmuggle

Mirah Riben said...

Thank you Chris.

Movements take time to see changes occur. And, the require efforts on more front that one. Within the civl rights movement you has MLK and also The Black Panthers.

There are those within the civil rights movement seeking reparations...however this was not done at the same time there were bigger needs like getting the right to vote and to be educated.

We each need to find our comfort zone and where we chose to put our energies. These are my beliefs and my priorities. Foe me, the past is the past and nothing I do cna change it.

There is a pyschological difference between those who were "aware" since our children were young and those who became aware later in life - often after being found by adult children.

It is quite natural that coming out of the long sleep one is filed with more anger, as opposed to those of us who have been dealing with our feelings over the course of 40 years. I have had opportunities to work with my anger through my writing etc. I have felt some sense of accomplished empowerment and so my ager is not as raw...the past not that suddenly thrown in my face for me to deal with all the myriad of feelings that past rekindles.

And so I am ready to move on and deal with the hear and now and pain of others, not just me and my peers of the BSE. My concern is for those women who are experiencing the same treatment right now today! I cannot turn my back on the bleeding that is currently occuring to concentrate on past wounds that have begun to scar. It's a matter of triage for me.

We are not all on the same page. I am equally ridiculed by -- and will no doubt get angry responses from -- those on the other side that feel I am equally unfair to them by calling the "Uncle Toms."

To many I am too radical and to "anti-adoption" and to others, I am not anti-adoption enough. So be it. I am who I am. And who I am is a person dedicated and committed to Family Preservation...to preventing (current) mothers and babies form continuing to be ripped apart.

We each have to do what we do best.
When I speak of wound licking i do not mean that as a put down of those new to their loss, or new to reunion...because indeed that is necessary when the pain in raw. I don't mean it in terms of any individuals at all. I mean it in terms of the movement. As a movement I feel we need to grow beyond that and deal with the hear and now or we will always be mopping up the tears...generation after generation.

I have just as empathy and compassion for a mother in Russia or South America today who is being exploited for the commodity of her child, as I do for my white middle class sisters of the BSE who were then! If we focus only on the the reasons of shame being used to coerce us we miss the fact that today it is big business.

I hope that you read my book, it clarifies why my focus is what it is.

Kerry said...

Hi Mirah...

A copy of your "Michael Moore, where are you?" was posted on my website. I thought you would like to read the comments made so far.

http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/3786

~Kerry

Mirah Riben said...

Kerry, thanks, I guess. Isn't there some etiquette about asking first before copying someone's blog post?

Anyhow, went there and jumped through the registration and odd password code hoops but saw no comments. Will check back again.

Peace out...

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