Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The dance of life: one step forward and two steps back!

Just when we were all excited about the way Binky Barnes's family expansion was handled on PBS, another video surfaces on YouTube. You don't even what to see what was behind door number two.

Someone thought it was funny to present adoption from China as a shopping trip-pick the one you want, wrap her up and bring her home. The video came complete with images of girls from China in plastic shopping bags. Not only was the video in horrendously bad taste, it was just plain stupid.

Of course, those in the adoption community were shocked and dismayed at the portrayal of adoption, but the damage goes far deeper than families formed by adoption.

While Binky Barnes was likely watched by many people, the video on YouTube had the opportunity to travel worldwide. It is likely that many more people were able to see the YouTube video than watched the Arthur episode.

In 30 seconds-or even from the opening shot, the YouTube video did more damage to adoption than we have seen in a long time. It is frustrating, of course, that just as we think we are making progress, something devastating happens that makes us shake our collective heads in bewilderment. Some people will give up, thinking that they can't do anything about it. Others will become militant and angry, determined to have the world see their 'correct' point of view. Still others, will hunker down, regroup and continue to raise awarness and consciouness that bias-and clearly the YouTube video was biased-is just not acceptable in the 21st Century.

While the target of this YouTube video was adoption and adoption from China in particular, the next target could be ANY group, or anyone who is 'different'. The target of the next attack could be your family, your child, your community.

The 9/11 attacks were caused in part by bias against Americans-that is a very visible reminder of the consequences of bias.

It is our job to stop biases before they escalate-to bullying, to violence or worse.

What course of action will you take in your home today?

With Respect,

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