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Up next on DMC’s “adoptee rights” agenda: “Kidnapping”

While there is obviously MUCH to be written about many of the personalities who will be appearing at the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute’s (EBD’s) event at the Hard Rock cafe in Times Square tomorrow, as Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is being featured so prominently, it is perhaps important to take a moment to listen to what he actually has had to say in promoting the event in New York.

I had originally intended to write a post deconstructing the lyrics and music video DMC and Zara Phillips created, as despite co-opting the language of “adoptee rights” the song itself, which will be so featured in the event, is to it’s very core about adoption search, desire for reunion, and emotional yearning, all of which are firmly in the interpersonal realm, not the political realm.

The state cannot “give adopted people their mommies”.

It can only restore access to the document that contains accurate historical information about one’s birth.

Anytime the state deviates from that, be it through the creation of “reunion registries” or the imposition of “confidential intermediaries” to control (and possibly even veto) a reunion process, it has left the realm of adoptee rights and entered into the realm of building new structures distinct to the adopted class and our families. It fails to restore equal treatment under law to non-adopted people and abandons its fundamental obligation to adopted people: to hold in trust our documents created at a time when we were too young to act in our own interests and then restore them to us as we grow older.

As my partner, Mike Doughney explained yesterday in a post about the EBD event , it will feature:

The “world premier” [sic] of the two-year-old music video featuring McDaniels and Phillips that’s all about openness™ but that fails to convey the basic fact that opening birth certificates is a matter between adopted individuals and the state, not between them and their parents

(After reading this post, I strongly urge readers to read across to the link or the next post down on my front page, as Mike’s post offers a full deconstruction of the core of the EBD event.)

Due to time constraints and the way this material far outweighed my intended post though, I’ve superseded that analysis in favour of bringing this material to the foreground.

As part of the marketing effort for the Hard Rock event, McDaniels and Phillips made a recent appearance on NY1. Throughout the appearance, “adoptee rights” language cribbed from the authentic adoptee rights movement is completely interwoven with any number of often emotional nonsequitors irrelevant to the political issue at hand, that of the restoration of adoptees’ access to their state impounded original birth certificates.

McDaniels put his adoptee rights political inexperience up on display, wanting to take the issue up with President Obama despite the fact that restored original birth certificate access is very clearly a matter left firmly within the purview of the individual states.

But overwrought emotionalism and political naivete aside,  as the interview progressed something fell out of McDaniels’ mouth that even I never could have predicted:

“Me and Zara said we gonna get adoptees together and start kidnapping the parents of politicians that write the stupid law so they could feel it.”

Both Zara Phillips and the host ignored the stunning statement and simply continued on with the rest of the interview.

Let’s be clear, no genuine adoptee rights movement activist endorses the insane notion of kidnapping politicians parents.

We don’t utilize kidnapping as a tactic, period.

When McDaniels erupts forth with a diarrhea of the mouth moment like this he does not speak for us.

He is not our spokesperson, and should not be embraced by anyone serious about the cause of adoptees’ rights.

Now if an adoption industry created institute, such as the EBD wants to showcase him as one of their token adoptee voices, that is their business, but as for myself at least, I reject McDaniels and his espoused tactics as any part of the movement for the restoration of our human rights that I consider myself a part of.

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