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.