Number 16 in a series. Please note that this is not the new, improved, longer and angrier rant that was predicted (threatened?) in an earlier post. It’s just a garden-variety hate-filled post, with a vitriol level hovering around five or so. Newcomers to the blog: As always, we appreciate it if you read Racism 101, We Heard It Before and the rest of the blog before pressing that tempting ‘submit comment’ button.
Reason 16: Assuming your experiences encompass all experience everywhere. Because you were raised white with privilege, you assume that how you lived was natural, normative, regular and right. And you were regularly validated and supported in your viewpoints. You surround yourself with people just like yourself, and you assume that’s the world in its entirety.
I think this is a dangerous assumption for any parent, but especially for an adoptive parent. For a white adoptive parent to a child of color, this sort of worldview is abusive to your child and ignorant of his or her lived reality.
If you were raised by your first parents, you do not know what it is like for a person who was adopted into another family. If you are white, you do not know what it is like to be a person of color. (Also, I do not want to hear any of you dismissively say, “I get it! I get it! I’m one of those who gets it!” Because if you have to say it, the opposite is true.)
So for white adoptive parents who believe that Miley Cyrus’ actions are no big deal because “everybody” has made the “slant-eye” gesture at some time:
NO. We have not.
It is not “normal” to make a racist gesture at other people. And “everybody” does not do this. But what does that say about the “everybody” you’ve been hanging out with?
And this is not just a “goofy kid thing.” I’m tired of hearing this rationalization. It is racism. Children need to be taught that racism is wrong. We (hopefully) don’t allow our children to hit other children. Racism similarly should not be tolerated.
Additionally, this is not “innocuous.” It is not “in good fun.” Because for this gesture to be considered fun, you have to be accepting of the racism that it perpetuates. It’s probably helpful to be the perpetrator rather than the victim. Because while I know some people find “fun” in hurting others, it isn’t “fun” for those who are hurt.
I am really tired of making this same statement over and over again, but I think it is necessary:
Your life experience is not the totality of all life experience. Your opinion is not everybody else’s opinion.
So you don’t think the racism du jour is of any consequence. You don’t think it is real racism. You believe that it is just political correctness gone crazy.
Remember this when your child comes home crying. Remember this when somebody ching-chongs your kid and then beats the crap out of them just for fun. Remember this when an adult male tells your little Asian daughter that he’d like to fuck her and love her long time.
And remember to tell your child that he or she shouldn’t play the victim and should not give bullies the power over them and to just let it roll off his or her back.
Because racism was never a big deal to you and you never bothered to speak out against it.
And one day you wake up and your children no longer speak to you. Because they are hypersensitive and have chips on their shoulders and are just angry ungrateful adoptees.
So even though race never mattered to you and you were colorblind, all of a sudden you’ve become the enemy. You’re whitey. You’re the man. And it’s because your children have become reverse racists. They see racism in everything.
But it can’t be in you, can it? You tell your white friends, and they nod along.