Adoption, Prison, Slavery: Oscars 2015

By Lara: I didn’t watch every minute of Sunday’s Oscars since it’s veered off from being a dignified award show to a show of egos of the Hollyweird. Last night’s shining moment was the song GLORY.

After Glory, Selma actor in tears

READ VOX

After receiving the Oscar for Best Song for “Glory” from Selma, John Legend gave an impassioned speech calling out the present-day state of affairs for African Americans. One line stood out: “We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than there were under slavery in 1850.”

The totals: 1.68 million black men are under correctional control in the US, not counting jails. That’s over three times as many black men as were enslaved in 1850.

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 LINK

In the News

 Uncomfortable Silences: Anti-Slavery, Colonialism and Imperialism

Joel Quirk | University of Witwatersrand | For Historians Against Slavery

Take up the White Man’s burden,
Send forth the best ye breed
Go bind your sons to exile,
to serve your captives’ need; To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child.

Rudyard Kipling, 1899

In a major address to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2003, President George W Bush described the fight against contemporary slavery and human trafficking in the following terms:

We must show new energy in fighting back an old evil. Nearly two centuries after the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and more than a century after slavery was officially ended in its last strongholds, the trade in human beings for any purpose must not be allowed to thrive in our time.

Few people noticed it at the time, but this statement contained a basic historical error. It has not been “more than a century” since slavery officially ended. While legal slavery in the Americas ended in the nineteenth century, in many parts of the globe legal abolition took place during the first half of the twentieth century. In the case of sub-Saharan Africa, which is my main focus here, slavery remained legal in Sudan until 1900, Kenya until 1907, Sierra Leone until 1928 and Ethiopia until 1942. This more recent history is important, because it leads to a series of uncomfortable and difficult questions about the motivations behind—and practical effects of—the anti-slavery cause, with the elephant in the room being the close relationship between anti-slavery, imperialism, and European colonialism.

Read more: http://www.historiansagainstslavery.org/main/2015/02/uncomfortable-silences-anti-slavery-colonialism-and-imperialism/

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130530-buckminster-fullerBy Lara/Trace

I’m still rethinking the model of adoption!  Years ago doing research for my memoir, I spoke with a friend in Austria who told me about SOS VILLAGES. I had never heard of this or such a concept. It’s so good it has spread to the US. READ HERE

We know that in Indian Country, taking children and placing them in adoptive homes was to assimilate them, erase them from tribal rolls, an act of genocide motivated by greed and for the taking of more land. We can’t change the past in North America. It has already taken place. We are the survivors, the adoptees, left to cure ourselves but also to see to it that this doesn’t happen to more children.

In 2015, I will say this: the adoption industry is like a very large building that employs thousands (if not millions) of people — real people who collect a paycheck. They are lawyers, judges and social workers.  History shows us that children needed more than an orphange and thus began the system we have today – tiers of bureaucracy, unregulated agencies rife with corruption and kickbacks, the trafficking of children internationally to meet the supply and demand here in the US and even the black-marketing of babies. Read about one evil baby trafficker here.

We have to invent something better here in the US. We can’t change what exists. We have to replace it and make the old adoption system obsolete!

If ONE TRIBE could make this happen and do this SOS VILLAGE concept in 2015, the word would spread and children would be saved. Children would not lose their tribe, culture or language. Isn’t that the purpose and the reason for adoption – saving children’s lives?

If someone wants my help to create this new reality in Indian Country, email me.

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READ THIS: The New Abolition: Ending Adoption in Our Time | Daniel Ibn Zayd | August 18th, 2012

I invoke this term fully aware of its weight as concerns the movement to abolish slavery, and to clarify this usage I define adoption as follows:

Adoption is, in and of itself, a violence based in inequality. It is candy-coated, marketed, and packaged to seemingly concern families and children, but it is an economically and politically incentivized crime. It stems culturally and historically from the “peculiar institution” of Anglo-Saxon indentured servitude and not family creation. It is not universal and is not considered valid by most communal cultures. It is a treating of symptoms and not of disease. It is a negation of families and an annihilation of communities not imbued with any notion of humanity due to the adoptive culture’s inscribed bias concerning race, class, and human relevancy.

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SOS Children’s Villages – In the SOS model, children do not “age out” of care. Instead, they enter transitional programs that help young adults find housing, academic programs, and employment opportunities. Between eighty-five and one hundred percent of SOS children graduate from high school, as compared to fifty percent of foster children in other types of care. See more at: http://www.sos-usa.org/about-sos/in-the-usa#sthash.CNVeR2IV.dpuf

****Aboriginal adoptees sue Ottawa for loss of culture, emotional trauma

“As an Indian, you have a spirit. That spirit has to come back home. “It’s not about the money. It’s about these kids that are dead out there.” SOURCE

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