Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Angry Divisiveness: Where Does It End?

In the past week I have experienced those who prefer to spend their time writing comments on my blog or on Facebook telling me that the petition for National Adoptee Rights day is a "waste of time" or comments regarding an educational program I am doing at my church on May 31 in Princeton asking:  "what's the point of educating anyone"?

The ignorance in these comments is self-evident. The time these people chose to put into this negativity instead of working to educate or create positive change is mind-boggling!  If all of the collected time and energy spent among adoption activists arguing with one another were spent instead fighting against the adoption industry, public ignorance and mythology, and those who work to keep adoptee records sealed....we might actually accomplish something!  It never ceases to amaze me that so many prefer to spend so much time and energy being negative and knocking down the efforts of others...because...if it's not THEIR way, it's wrong!

Isn't that the very attitude that is the basis of all religiously inspired wars throughout history and current terrorism?  The attitude that there is just ONE RIGHT WAY and all other approaches are "evil."

The Serious Danger of Political Divisiveness

Often political rebel-rousers stir the pot with inflammatory name-calling without the realization that among their constituents are are people on the edge who will take their rhetoric as a battle cry for violence.  We've seen this numerous times. It was thought to be the case with the shootings of Congresswoman Gifford and killing of others in Arizona.  The adoption community has at least its fair share, if not more, of unbalanced, angry people. We need to exercise caution when we stir populations up with hate-filled language. 

The anger within the adoption community has escalated to threats of violence.  

An adoptee on Facebook has called for shooting someone he specifically names - not even for her politics - but rather "for being a birthmom / slut."  He apparently would like to shoot us all, but names one in particular he would begin with because of her local adoption political connections. (And, oddly, not me!)

This was preceded by a posting of the shooting at Kent State this month 41 years ago with comments about "sell-outs" who should be shot...a connection which is lost on me, since the Kent students were shot by National Guardsman.  If anything, that incident stands as a stark example of the inability of people to allow to dissenting points of view....and the extremities of a police state in an allegedly "free" speech nation.. So whatever point was attempted with posting that video was lost on me, as I said. 

This month is also the anniversary of another very sad event: the burning of the Freedom Riders bus filled with Blacks and caucasians in an effort to desegregate positions of Interstate highways.   The people of Alabama tried to burn these people alive for their efforts.

And we are certainly all aware of the killings of gay people and gay rights activists. Otherwise normal, everyday, non-violent citizens stirred to commit MURDER! It happens. It happened to Martin Luther King, Jr and other civil rights activists as it did Harvey Milk. Will an act of physical violence to the adoption rights movement make its name in history?  Is that the kind of notoriety we want, not to mention the blood on anyone's hands for inciting such hysteria?

A threat to shoot a named individual and/or all "birthmother /sluts" is very scary, highly incendiary, and a a crime: terroristic threat. What's next? Where does it end? Where does it end, folks?  I am not providing a link to these comments so as not to give any additional power to them. Know that I have saved screen shots.

We've had our jailed martyr for the cause of access. We do not need or want a dead one!

Will we curb the anger and stop the petty arguing, or will we continue until some real damage is done?  I hope some serious thought will go into the divisive rhetoric before people hit the keyboards on blogs and facebook where it is so much easier to spew anger.

I have been told there are things I have "no right" to do or say because I am not adopted. This, despite the fact that i have worked longer and harder for adoptee rights than most adoptees.  I am also straight, but nor narrow and a supporters of gay rights. I am White, but have walked shoulder to shoulder with Blacks in the 1960's and continued to fight to end discrimination since. 

As a mother who relinquished my voice is important to countering the lies that we were promised anonymity.  When doling out credit for the passage of Oregon's Measure 58, the effects of the full page ad taken pout and paid for by birthmothers cannot be underestimated!

Let's a get a grip, folks. Let's get back to basics and remember we are all on the same team with the same goal, albeit different strategies to get there. Let's chill out the anger and divisiveness and spend a little less time knocking one another's efforts.


Robin said...

This divisiveness happens in all reform movements. Our opponents like nothing more than to see us waste our energy fighting amongst ourselves rather than using our energy to change the issues at hand.

maryanne said...

Don't you see that you are part of the problem as much as those you disagree with? You have devoted countless posts to complaining about BN, Marley, others with whom you do not agree and urge that we all "work together", but on your agenda, and possibly under your leadership. You endlessly criticize and attack others just as you bemoan their tactics, then use the same ones back. No, you are not the voice of reason and peace, no matter how you characterize yourself.

Why not do as NJCARE people have done and just work on promoting your beliefs, legislation and agenda and ignore those who don't like it or do not agree? That would show a lot more class.

Mirah Riben said...

My "agenda" is equal access and an end to falsified BCs, coercion, exploitation...all as outlined in my books and articles...
I am "leading" nothing that unique ...nothing I thought you and BN etc weren't working towards...

I do at least as much positive (i.e. writing two books, numerous articles, speaking publicly, etc., etc.) as I do trying to right wrongs that others do.

So to answer your question, No.

It is only because I - and others who have worked long and hard - are attacked that I occasionally spend time responding.

Mirah Riben said...

In the past 30 days I have written about:

Chinese babies; A legislative victory; 119 year sentence for adopter abuse; Why giving up a baby would be wrong; The life and death of Ashley Smith; Infertility...

Year after year I write FAR less than 5% of my blogs about the constant complainers or the in-fighting that hold us all back as a movement.

I give awards every year for outstanding efforts toward Family Preservation. I announce events and review films.

And that's just on my blog. I speak at places from my church to conferences, to Russian-American television, legsilators...always working to EDUCATE!

And YOU, Mary Anne Cohen have been banned from commenting here because you ONLY comment in the negative and NEVER, EVER have anything to add to a constructive blog post.

So, please, lecture me about CLASS and agendas. etc. Please continue. You have so much to offer...and have accomplished so much good toward adoption reform, and get along so well with others.... Please lecture me... Don't let being banned stop you from coming here to spread your venom. It's so very helpful!

Anonymous said...

I hope that the authorities have been notified of that person who made the threats against the mother/slut and that she has been notified as well. It is one thing to not post a link, but another thing to keep information to yourself that may keep someone safe.

Mirah Riben said...

Yes, absolutely. All notofications and precautions have been taken. All who needed to be aware are. Thank you for your conern and for being aware of the seriousness.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a link to this Facebook post? Most people who are involved in adoption reform are "friends" via Facebook, and I have not seen any posts by an adoptee making violent threats, nor have I heard of anyone doing so. If this has happened, the adoption community needs to know who this person is. This is extremely disturbing.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree Mirah. Btw, could you pls. offer a link of the facebook threat? That is very disconcerting and a number of us would like to see it for ourselves.


Mirah Riben said...

Joy - Only through private email. See contact info.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see a link also. I can't figure out how to contact you on this page.

Mirah Riben said...

Odd, sorry you've had trouble contacting me, I am so accessible!

MRiben@AdvocatePublications.com also on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Thank you the info. It's no surprise that this thug is an avid Bastard Nation lover. They are no longer relevant in the adoption reform community, and have resorted to desperate measures.

I'm glad this has been reported.

Mirah Riben said...

I think the problem is that BN's VITRIOLIC hyperbolic rhetoric sets off some of those on the outer limits....as Sarah Palin's comments set off the nutter who shot people in AZ. We need to use care because many in the adoption community are damaged and it doesn't take much to set them off. From BN's inception, there has always been an element of mother-haters from the top down in that org.

This is just another problem with the name-calling in addition to the waste of time and fueling our enemies. There is no good that comes from it and possibly some major bad...but then you have other BN followers who prefer to come here and accuse ME of being part of the problem instead of facing their role and working to end it. Talk about skewed priorities!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree, I had to LOL at the Maryanne Cohen lecturing you about being contentious. That is entertaining.

Also, does the anon, who posted the pdf about Carp know what 'legal counsel' refers to and did she read the totally unclarifying pdf she linked, it is not a transcript.

Mirah Riben said...

OOOPS... Did anon's comment with the Wayne Xarp link get deleted accidentally?? Here it is again:

"He (Wayne Carp) testified against open records in Ontario."

To clarify, E Wayne Carp was a legal consultant in the case of D. Marie Marchand v. Ontario:

Lorraine Dusky said...

Mirah: could you tell us where the Wayne Carp refer is in the case cited above?

Carp has done a good thing with his histories of the movement, but people without direct involvement ought to keep their noses out of whether birth first mothers ought to be afforded privacy. I do not understand how they do not "get it" that this is such a usurpation of the rights of a whole class of people to "benefit" another. It may go back to the idea of fathers being outed in paternity suits.

lorraine from firstmotherforum

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget