They know what’s best, after all.
White adoptive parents must realize, he says, “that love is not enough.” Tamu Smith wonders who will teach those children “how to be a black adult.” Black children face issues that white parents have never faced, such as racism. The parents must bring the local black community into the child’s life as both mentors and family friends, they agree. For Haitian children, that should mean enlisting Utah’s Haitian community.
Percentage of black people in Utah: One. *singing* One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do … Of course, maybe that person is your Very Best Friend.
Percentage of black people in Provo, Utah: Less than one percent. Maybe you better contact the salon owner and see if she will be your Best Friend Forever.
Because otherwise how will your black kids know that they need to put their hands on the steering wheel when they get stopped by the police? It’s one of those subtle things they need to learn about:
Racism in Utah may be covert, says Suzanne Stott, executive director of the adoption agency Families for Children and the adoptive mother of 11. Expectations in school may be lower for black children, for example.
Or it might just be overt. Like when my cousin and I were walking down the street in the middle of Salt Lake City. People (that’s persons plural) made it quite clear what they thought of my people.
Of course Suzanne Stott knows that because she has black kids:
He’s gone to pick up first dates and had fathers turn him away. A gas-station attendant in Sandy recently blocked him from filling his car’s tank. Cops have pulled him over, store clerks have followed him and strangers have unleashed countless slurs.
Yet he’d rather be called the n-word. Uh huh. He’s been listening well.
Some experts say that race pales beside traumas like earthquakes, abuse, death and abandonment.
Race pales! Ha ha! Get it?! Yes, in the Hierarchy of Oppression, it is worse to be dead than black. Just so you know.
Who the hell are these experts anyway? And if some experts say this, what do the others say?
Experts say the best source of information and support is other families who have adopted children with similar backgrounds.
Ohhh … I see. Seems like we’re forgetting some group here. I just can’t figure out who it might be. There must be somebody who is better equipped to advise about race and adoption than white adoptive parents. Or maybe not. Silly me.
Because once you get one of those kids, of course you know better than to make them like you. Instead, you should make yourself like them:
White parents with black children have to feel pride in the black culture themselves and know “all kinds of history of African-American people who have done well,” Shannon says. The mindset is “We are an ethnic family,” not “I have adopted an ethnic child.”
Because white people have no ethnicity. So when white people adopt children of color, they become a family of color!
Also, don’t forget to buy that black doll for your kids. Very important. Get a white one while you’re at it. (Besides, it’s so much fun to shop.) That way you can say you have an ethnic doll family. Make sure the baby doll is black and the adult doll is white.
Black dolls are also so much nicer than black people. From an adoption site (no, not linking):
Now, I don’t have a problem with my kiddo rocking a white dolly. But about 3/4 of the baby dolls currently in use at our house are brown. Here’s why. We happen to live in a fairly ‘white’ area of the US. I can’t encourage a massive influx of Black people into our community, as much as I would like to. But I can provide my girls with appealing dolls who look similar to them.
Massive influx. Gives me reflux. Of course I’d love to have black people in my community! But I just “happened” to find myself in an all-white area. Oh well. And the dolls are so much fun to shop for!
Finally, don’t allow biased remarks, but address them politely: “I am sure you didn’t mean to say whatever.” The Transracial Adoption Network says that teaches a child to confront it without fighting, which could be dangerous. Plus, being gracious gives others a chance to overcome bias/ignorance.
Are the folks over at the “Transracial Adoption Network” experts? And who are they, if google cannot ferret them out?
But yes, by all means be polite. And gracious. And make sure to teach your kids to be polite and gracious so that their ulcers can eat them up inside and they learn they are not allowed to be angry about racism. Because it doesn’t bother other members of their ethnic family, yanno.
All together now: Kumbaya! Kumbaya!
So close, and yet so far.