Sunday, July 04, 2010

Un-writing Re-written History

"The Revolution" on the History Channel was a very good, and mostly honest, telling of the war for Independence. The commander-in-chief of the continental army, George Washington, lost his last, remaining child during the last battle of the war, leaving him and his wife childless. The history books just say that the Washingtons lost their children to death. This made the man and his life more real for me, seeing it portrayed as the real human drama it was.

Ben Franklin was a womanizer of the first degree and had an illegitimate son, but no one doubted his abilities with diplomacy. He is the one who got the French to pull our fat out of the fire by playing on their hatred of the British. Meanwhile, he bedded many a willing Mademoiselle (and Madame) for his country. Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner, agonized over the wording of the Declaration of Independence. A wealthy land-owner, his financial interests were at stake as much as his ideology.

These were imperfect people, not the noble, Christian forefathers of the mythological version we were taught as schoolchildren. They wrestled over every sentence in the Declaration of Independence. Each person brought their own personal interest to the table and they were well aware that, according to the laws of Great Britain, they were committing High Treason.

This was not a unanimous decision by all the people. Many colonists still considered themselves loyal subjects of King George. Not all of these men were "churched." They were a mixture of "free-thinkers" and Theists. And their actions embroiled the colonies in a 6-year, bloody struggle in which the colonial soldiers were often unpaid, without shoes and coats in the winter, and their morale often was extremely low. Washington dealt with, at least, two mutinies in his camp that are documented in the television series. He had to deal with officers who lounged in heated comfort while the foot soldiers suffered freezing temperatures, illness and even death from the elements.

The Continental Congress and the drafting of the Constitution was even more contentious and hard-won than the Declaration of Independence. Many representatives threatened to walk out. They had to work out a way to get around slavery or the south would be lost as part of the Union. Women were not invited. The representatives were exhausted and drained when the Constitution was finally signed and published.

The Revolution was not simply a war for freedom, in the beginning, but a war to oppose oppressive financial burdens placed on the colonists by a greedy king and Parliament. It was about the economy as was the Civil War. All war seems to be, when you get down to it, all about power, acquisition of lands and riches or protecting power, land and riches and very little about ideology. Those things are often side-effects.

With both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, it was the side-issues of personal freedom and emancipation of the slaves that became the historical standards rather than the real issues. We do pretty up our history, don't we? Just as the history of the beginnings of the nation was re-written to instill a sense of nobility to all that went on, so is the history of the BSE being revised or denied for reasons of gain, power or ego.
 
This is not something that happened two centuries ago, but something that this writer and her contemporaries lived. The image that the industry, adopters, agencies, and others have painted of the noble, heroic mother who made a "choice" is a whitewashing job of the highest degree. But people still seem to prefer to believe this mythology over the truth, just like the "America, Love It or Leave It" contingent clings to the mythology of our national genesis. The true human story, bloody, painful and heart-breaking gets lost in the re-telling.
 
If you want the truth about our national history, then talk to a dedicated historian who goes for the facts. If you want the truth about the Era of Mass Surrenders to adoption, talk to the mothers who lived it.
 
If you can stand the truth, we can tell it.

3 comments:

Sandy Young said...

Unfortunately, we cannot even get the EMS mothers together...lol. There are so many Divas that wish that their not-typical experience was typical by denying there was a typical that they are the ones who seem to be the most active at re-writing the history of the EMS. Rather like the deformers in adoption reform, who settle for crumbs, so do many of the mothers of the EMS work to change the facts and deny the typical.

Anonymous said...

Robin,

Although, we as mother's from the BSE have tried to get our stories told to media, to our grown adult children both lost and found, and to our sister's who are younger and being used by the adoption machine, we are
still fighting the fight to expose the truth.

We as mother's of that era were silenced to not speak about it. Coerced into an inhumane place to appease an adopter. Used and abused by those who could use us for out babies. I will no longer go back to that place. Never...ever.

Problem is the truth is NEVER pretty, it is the underbelly of the ugliness in adoption. Those who don't want to hear truth just want to ignore the pain, suffering and injustice brought by forced surrender. Those who have lost babies after us, have lost their babies in a different form, by careful marketing to the mother. WE were forced to surrender because they picked us off like prey for the predators needs, the adopters.

These are the facts, the truth, and acknowledging the truth sets one free. I have and I am glad to say my mother is finally acknowledging her part in the loss of my son.

Gale

Anonymous said...

Kitta here:

adoption is a gov't program, and it continues to be so. Our gov't does not listen to natural mothers or the few fathers who testify, because the gov't is still promoting adoption.

Even adopted people who testify to their own pain...are not heard.

I have testified in gov't legislative committees, for over 15 years. The response from the gov't is always the same:

"the gov't is interested in seeing the numbers of adoptions go UP. The gov't wants more children to be adopted."

The gov't sees adoption as a money-saver...I do not think this is true. I think that overall..adoption causes harm and instability which costs much more than family preservation ever could.