This has to be a joke. Or maybe it is a publicity stunt or something. Or maybe I’m seeing things. But all I know is that my stomach hurts when I see shit like this.
http://buyusababy dot blogspot.com — “Buy Us A Baby” (update: I removed this link so they do not get more hits from me)
But – I have to pose a few questions. Let me be clear that I am in NO way defending this site. What I want to point to is the very real economic forces that a site like this reveals. It is well known that adoption is expensive, it is documented that there are racial disparities within the grid of what children are ‘more desirable’. So does a site like this simply ‘put on blast’ the very real ways that adoption, the adoption and foster care industry IS about money?
The comments on the site are overwhelmingly negative, and I agree with most all of them, but what about the people who made the site? They are probably saying to themselves, “well, I want a baby – a baby costs money – I dont have any money – how can I get some money to get a baby?” Again, I dont like the language the direct ‘bottom line discourse that says ‘purchase’, ‘buy’, ‘money’, but does it take away from the reality that on many levels children have become commodities?
This is the deeper question I would ask us to ponder. What about the ways in which the social welfare system is set up, (public or private) depends upon numbers? Not to mention, like most exploitative economic systems, the suffering, trauma and deliberate dismissal of the human condition (birth mothers, children) that is also a major aspect.
So yes, the site, the people, the entire language behind it is f*cked up, but we have to push harder to think about the entire ideology behind it that would allow these folks to think that puttin it out there to begin with is in any way acceptable.
I want to make a small parallel here to my relationship with hiphop. One of the things that we talk about in African diaspora studies are the ways that hiphop music, ideology and visual discourses are directly linked to the circumstances of violence, poverty and continued racist conditions that much of it emerges from. I could, as an academic who has worked through these problems over and over – start saying, “well, at some point, those people need to take responsibility for what they are saying, what they are producing, etc. However, it doesnt change the fact that today the messages continue to be vocalized, the same detailed “news broadcast” that late 1970’s/ early 1980’s gangsta rap out of LA vocalized. Something is still wrong, something still stinks, something violent and oppressive is still continuing to have a very material consequence on large parts of our black communities, and we cant continue to act like the messages being broadcast dont have meaning in a larger context of global violence, disrespect for human life and all about money and profits.
UPDATE 12:53 am: These idiots. Take another look at the site. They have disabled comments and removed what was a huge response of negative comments that was visible to the public! I want to encourage any of you who wrote comments or want to – to continue to send them email to let them know that this is SO hurtful and wrong! Jezuz people. Additionally, here is contact information for PayPal so we can let them know they are brokering babies.
Attn: Legal Department
2211 N 1st Street
San Jose, CA 95131
Attn: Legal Department
2145 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California 95125