Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Friday, July 4, 2008

So, What About Jesse Helms?

It being Fourth of July and everything, I figured I'd write something about freedom and then I looked at the computer and noticed that Jesse Helms had died. He was 86. You can read more about it in the Raleigh News and Disturber story. I know that a lot of people had qualms with Senator Helms, a.k.a. Senator No, but I admire the way that he stood up for what he believed, seemingly regardless of what other people said or thought. That kind of integrity, whether or not I agree with what he said, is sorely needed in today's world:

Helms became known as “Senator No” for his constant battles against everything from increased government spending to civil rights legislation to communism to the National Endowment for the Arts. Helms was even willing to wage war against fellow Republicans if he felt they were straying from the conservative agenda, particularly in the area of foreign policy.

I wouldn't exactly call him a Ron Paul, but I can't help but like somebody who's against funding the National Endowment for the Arts. Even when I was a graduate student in poetry and all my liberal poetry friends prayed for government money so that they could write poems against, well, the government, I was never one to want the government to fund anything. My solution to the problem was to find a job so that I could support my poetry writing; I did find this job, by the way.

Nonetheless, I am disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that Helms and his wife fell prey to the adoption industry, falling for the rhetoric of the same agency that took me from my mom and gave me to strangers. Turns out, they adopted a nine-year-old boy who wanted "a mom and dad." The child, of course, already had a mom and dad, as we all do. That child, who became a male adoptee of the Helms family, had been brainwashed by the adoption industry, who'd told him that he didn't have a mother and father, a bold-faced lie, and who'd told him to look pretty so that maybe someone could would want to be his mother and father. The little guy who'd been lied to said that he wanted "a mom and dad" in a newspaper article, the Helms family saw the article, and called Greensboro. There's nothing wrong with taking in someone else's child, but you're not ever going to be that child's parents, no matter what legal documents or adoption propagandists say. Knowing how this particular adoption agency lied to my own mom, and to the people who adopted me, I can't help but wonder how they lied to the parents of the adoptee that Jesse Helms and his wife raised. As with Bill Friday, President of the UNC system, Jesse Helms probably thanked the evil Children's Home Society (CHS) of North Carolina profusely by paying them lots of money over the years. Today, CHS has a $4 million budget. Do you think that with this kind of budget, recruitment of mothers to give their children away is going to end anytime soon?

Nonetheless, Jesse's adoptee was nine years old and probably remembered his real parents. Somehow that's not as bad as infants who are taken near birth, as I was, and given a new identity and told all their lives that the strangers who took them are their "parents." Still, I was disappointed to hear about this whole adoption thing with Jesse Helms and even more disappointed that almost every article mentions this adoptee as Helms' "son," which he is not. Once again, it's not that the Helms family took this boy in that bothers me; I admire that part. It's that they pretended that he didn't have parents and that they were his parents--that's the part that I have problems with regarding adoption.

May the unrest that Senator Helms experienced during his life now cease and may his soul rest in peace.


Robin said...

Having grown up close to the NC border, having several gay friends and knowing Helm's attitude towards single mothers, I cannot mourn his passing. Instead, I breathe a sigh of relief that one more intolerant, judgmental foe of the collective social conscience is gone. I don't think he was to be admired for the strength of his stances. That wasn't anything but pure arrogance and hate-mongering. We'll have to agree to disagree on Helms.

Molly said...

Good morning!

According to wikipedia, for whatever it might be worth, Charles Helms was an orphan with CP, so while he once had a mom and a dad, they were no longer able to care for him. Doesn't sound like he was torn from his family or anything in this case.