Spoiler alert: If you are of Asian descent and you do not want to find out what white people think about your opinion, don’t read on. Oh, unless you already know. In which case, nevermind.
As we (and I use the word “we” to refer to my people, of course, since those are the only people who exist in the entire universe) all know, white people are both the Arbiters of Real Racism™ and the Ultimate Arbiters of Racism™ (there is a subtle distinction between the two; bonus points for those of you who can compare and contrast). So it’s not much of a surprise to find mostly white adoptive parents definitively deciding “Racist or not?” Where does the Asian voice fit in? One poster described our position thusly:
OK, that is exactly what I am talking about— you could really provide a service to this community by adding your two cents on these things and saying flat-out “Look guys, I’m Asian & trust me, this is not a big deal…” then you could go on to explain why it isn’t. Then I (a white 37 year old mom from an small town in the SE U.S. that does have some diversity, but not a huge amount & no significant Asian community, though we do have Chinese friends & I am am perfectly capable of traveling to the next closest good sized city as needed & where there is a larger Asian American community— just so you know who you are talking to. I also have two kids who have American first names & Chinese middle names, btw, who were adopted from China, both around the age of one year) would hear your voice to balance out the voice of the person who is telling me it is a big deal. If the person telling me it is a big deal is an Asian American I might give their voice a little more merit based on the fact they are in the U.S. & therefore might be more attuned to the racial attitudes here, but if it is another white mom like me I would be more inclined to listen you over them since you are Asian.
Goodness! Allow me a minute to catch my breath!
Always good for people of color to participate, not as equals, but to provide a service. Because not only are we often thought of as only service employees, but we should also generously, patiently and kindly help white people work through their racism. Except, oops! They don’t want us to tell them they’re racist. They want us to tell them this is not a big deal.
Because they’ve got Asian friends and Asian kids and they could even seek out some Asians if they wanted to because they don’t live that far away from them. They’ll just pop into the nearby Chinese restaurant and ask, “Racist or not?” Also, did they mention that their kids even have Chinese middle names? So progressive, so totally non-racist, make sure you note those credentials. Just so you know who you are talking to.
So my two cents? Look guys, spend a lot of time always telling your kids of color how you know everything about racism and you’ll cause them to turn all that hate internally. Because the only response you ever really want is that it is no big deal. And if you think your kids don’t know that, you’re fooling yourselves.
So go ahead. Continue to tell us that racism is no big deal. White people do this all the time. Why should you be any different?