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How easy it is to not see something…

21 Nov

Lately, I’ve haven’t found anything related to adoption to talk about, which is interesting as I find the topic fascinating, the history, laws, stories of then and of now.  I also see adoption and the adoption community as a microcosm of the larger community.  In that context I do have something to talk about…

In the last while, several transracial adoptive families have experienced racial hatred first hand.  People in the adoption community responded as you’d expect they would, shock, horror, anger, but what I didn’t see happening in their responses, was questioning the validity of what they were saying happened, or why it happened.  And, I’m not saying they should have questioned any of it, they shouldn’t have.  What I’m saying though, is they didn’t question it because the parents speaking about their experiences were white to a largely white community.  And based on earlier experience, that same benefit of doubt isn’t extended in adoption conversations about racism, racist attacks to adoptive parents of color parenting same race adoptees.  It just isn’t.  Instead, it’s explained away, down played, brushed off as a one-of.  Perhaps the tone of those conversations will change now too, I hope so.  But until we recognise it, we won’t change.  Not talking about the distinct differences in many of our reactions to the same topic, with only the race of the person speaking about it being different, will result in nothing changing.  We are better than that.

We need to be aware how easy it is to not see what is right in front of us.

One of the families above.  why I consider both Trump and the Alt-Right to be morally dangerous

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11 Comments

Posted by on November 21, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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11 responses to “How easy it is to not see something…

  1. Heather

    November 22, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I feel sick to my stomach. I’ve tried to write more and can’t come up with anything.

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  2. Cindy

    November 27, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Try reading a blog post, ‘Is Adoption on the Cusp of a Political Boost? by Ashley McGuire. The last paragraph is particularly distressing. Only the fluffy win-win shtuff and still… the beat goes on. Ignoring the trauma, the distress, the not so positive aspects related to adoption loss. Let’s just pass the babies around. Whoo-hoo! We might get more babies available, yippee, do dog.

    It shows to go, that folks want to believe the myth, the lie, the fairy-tale, more than the truth. Especially when and if they can gain from it.

    Typing in ‘adoption news’ in a google search is seriously depressing. It’s all geared toward, oh how great it all is… even if there is some “minimal” problems for adoptees and first parents. There is a clear refusal by many to see what the issues are, and a refusal to discuss them. It interferes with the day dream that, -at least something in this world is ‘good’-.

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  3. beth62

    December 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I think I am sort of confused about what you’re trying to say?
    It could have something to do with my avoidance of facebook etc…
    And it’s come to my attention that I don’t know what it is really like to live in a mostly white community. Plus my hide has become so tuff, the horrible things that were said were no suprise to me at all, not so shocking, pretty much run of the mill stuff parents of different race children could and probably should expect to deal with. I really have to wonder how it could be so suprising to so many.

    I’ve personally experienced hateful racist and sexual comments, as well as violent actions, IRL. From black and white people. My kids heard the same crap in middle and high school. When I have reported what was said to me, to black and/or white adults – people were supportive, and angry as hell! I typically was not questioned. Mostly the same for my white daughter, who got to hear the worst of it. But when the guys would report things – quite often they were questioned, the comments were explained away by adults of a few different races. I can think of a couple reasons why/how this happens. People of all colors like to deny or explain racism and sexism because they don’t like it, don’t feel that way, and just want it to stop and go away. As much as we’d all like to dream, this is something that has been around since the beginning, and I can’t see it going away in the near future, if ever. Haters will always hate, what makes a difference is the power and support that the hater has… or is given. Another reason I think is people were honestly trying to support them, but it was in a way like… Sorry this happened, it’s gonna be okay, we are here for ya, what they said or did was not true and you must know that, and these are the reasons why you shouldn’t pay any mind to these hateful idiots or what they have to say. Bandaid support.
    Can’t say I haven’t done it sometimes. I also agreed in anger with the guys that these commenters or assaulters absolutely deserve to die and rot in hell, and then we would begin imagining the plots to make that happen. Can’t really decide which is worse or better!
    I am fairly certain the deserve to rot and die isn’t the best alternative bandaid- but it sure does feel good, for a while anyway :/

    i cant quit thinking… just wait til they start dating. arg it can really get ugly then. not sure what to suggest on how to prepare for all of that. I think I’ve rambled enough 🙂

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    • TAO

      December 2, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Beth, you got it, you were believed and the response was what it should have been, your guys report it and people questioned, explained, downplayed. That was the point I was making when white person speaks of racist incidents to a primarily white audience, they are never questioned. When a Black person speaks of racist incidents to a primarily white audience, they ARE questioned. That was my take-away – and how easy it is to not see this phenomena when it happens, to question why we give the benefit of doubt to people who mirror us racially and push-back when it’s the opposite…

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      • beth62

        December 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        I think I get why so many adopted parents get so angry and avoid or dismiss when negative things are said about adopted parents, adoptees, or adoption, simply because they are adopted parents LOL

        The whole positive and negative, white and black thing, just isn’t as simple as black and white to me.

        The news stations have been driving me nuts with the black vs white madness, they have all inflamed it, it’s just not that simple. It really ticks me off, the fear it causes.

        It sort of feels like the fire and brimstone preacher yelling fear at me for the sins I should repent from lest I burn in misery. 🙂 Um, I have little to repent, I’m pretty boring, so it gets a bit annoying. Would rather hear a sermon on Love and Kindness, any day.

        I think I see much twisting going on too, all around, like this article twists. We know about twisted and tangled don’t we 🙂 Thinking it’s not me that is terribly confused lately, but then it’s all gotten so twisted up, I really have no idea at this point. More than willing to learn and grow, but thinking maybe it’s not me that needs to listen so much. Because much of what I am hearing wouldbe huge steps backwards. I am pretty sure I dont want to shrink!

        I have learned how to severely piss off white people who live in whitetown though, apparently. It’s as simple as saying, “Ya’ll just need more black people there, that would fix everything.” 🙂 Have a few people who will likely never speak to me again, people who have been calling me and all southerners racists for decades simply because we/they are white and live in the south. Happy I don’t have to hear their BS anymore.

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        • TAO

          December 2, 2016 at 5:46 pm

          Agree broad-brush strokes harm everyone…

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      • beth62

        December 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

        I think in general that is usually correct. I have had too many situations when it is not tho. Therefore, confused and annoyed. Maybe it’s the always and nevers that are distracting me. Or the good guy, bad guy thing. Or my environment, I’m just not sure.

        I can tell you that me (white) and my best friend (black) have had the same ugly comments made to us and both got the same supportive and believed responses, including both of the bandaids (upplay or downplay to soothe the sore spot) that are typically handed out.
        With my guys, no one questioned if what was said/done was racist or not, no question, of course it was. Just weren’t always sure what to say to make it better for THEM, easier for them to deal with. I think there isn’t much you can say, yet we still try.

        I can’t tell you how many times both of us have been accused of buying or owning slaves of all colors male and female. We are both farmers…. errr FarmHers:) and dozens of kids have passed thru our collective doors. My friend has gotten so much slave comment crap for adopting her neices, nephews, cousins, etc. Many black people have even said she shouldnt adopt, like me, then it wouldn’t be as slave like. Social services really pressured her to adopt, more than me, much more. And I know it was all about race, and gov’t funds. They did not pressure her to adopt her neice who is mixed, but looks white. They pressured me, the one with a house full of wild boys, not girls and babies like my friend. grrr (ugh, and just for clarification, the pressuring govt workers were black.)
        Both of us have been called race traitors and blockbusters by both black and white.
        Both of us have heard from our friends and family of the same race the same thing for being such good friends… Can’t you find a white/black person to be friends with? Many of the kids have heard the same thing regarding their friends and who they are dating.
        Oh, our kids are black white and brown, and every combination of.

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  4. beth62

    December 4, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Okay, I’m going to shut up now. Preach away TAO! Use all the damn always and nevers ya want to, I encourage it LOL

    Spent my day with some family visitors from a distant and extremely white town yesterday.
    I’d sort of noticed something odd at other visits, but now, holy cow, I had no idea.
    The husband (white) asked his wife (hispanic) and I to go to the quick store and get lottery tickets. So we escape, I pull up to the store and she won’t get out and sends me in there with numbers and money to get the tickets. I don’t buy these things, so that was interesting in itself LOL
    I ask why she won’t go in with me, says she doesn’t want to. It was strange. There was a work van parked right next to us, the side door opens and more than a half dozen shorter than me men pile out and go in the store, nothing out of the ordinary. So I figure this must have startled or even scared her some, I had no idea, figured maybe it was because it was so busy, lots of people.
    Later husband and wife go with me to the nice fancy grocery store, it was crowded, as usual. They were very uncomfortable, it was obvious. I knew they weren’t used to so many people or the traffic in NoVa (northern virginia) I get that, it gets to me frequently LOL So we wander thru the store, I push the buggy down the isle to get some bread, I look back and they are standing at the end of the isle. So I asked, and they said get this kind of bread and we’ll wait right here for you. We go to the cereal isle, find what he wants, go to the nextisle… and they wait again at the end cap. I thought it was strange, but everyone is a little funny sometimes. We go to check out, I ran for one of the lines because I like the cashier very much, so friendly, kind and never squishes my bread. That’s important in a cashier 🙂 We talked friendly like we usually do, the husband got out of line and waited near the front exit. So I carry these odd old people back to my home, and on the way he wanted to stop at another store, which I did, but then he changed his mind, so we continued home. Later that night I was talking with the wife alone, and I asked why she didn’t get out at the store, why they waited at the end of the isle, why her husband left us at the check out alone. Like what? He was afraid I expected him to pay? what?
    I even asked if it was the hispanic dudes falling out of the van like they were in a clown car that scared her? LOL nope.

    She told me, there were black men standing outside the door and inside. She was afraid. And she was serious, I could see her fear.
    She told me her husband wouldn’t walk down the isle because there were black people in the isle, so they stood at the end to watch me to make sure I was safe and okay. At the checkout, she said there is no way he will eat any of that food that the obviuos gay guy touched. And he wouldn’t go in the second store because there were black people there. She said scared and against “supporting” this kind of “gay and black stuff” by shopping anywhere that condones it.

    I suggested they’d better get packed and get out of my house first thing in the morning, before “the blacks” and “the gays” and the “mexicans”, and worst of all “the feminists” come for sunday brunch. To make sure they had a restful sleep I let them know how many black men had slept in the same bed they are sleeping in. And that my arms hugged them and my lips kissed those same black men goodnight when each was sleeping in that bed. So be warned, you will not want to hug or kiss me goodbye, just go.

    I’m hanging pictures back up today!! We painted the whole house a few weeks ago, and I have been very lame about putting it all back together, til now! I had no idea how important family pics are! I likely could have avoided their entire visit at second one. I guess I’d better join facebook so all can see all. I am shocked they didn’t realize I am not anti-other people, and that many of our kids and friends are black. I guess it’s my fault. Never felt the need to mention to them that Melquan, Manuel, Donte, for example, isn’t white when I talked about them. Maybe they couldn’t believe it, I think they are just stupid. I also have a feeling they may have come here to check things out and “talk” with me about how it’s not right to include “people like that”. Set me straight. Cause I don’t know how it is possible that the different race thing got past them, think they were pretending not to know, or unable to accept, I dunno.
    That’s not how we live! My guys get upset when people feel the need to even mention it, there is rarely a real need in our world to mention what color you are. So now I am a little confused about how to proceed really.

    Now I feel sorry for their kids, sort of, apparently they are just as bad. One is a state college professor, the one that won’t speak to me cause I told him they just need more black people to live there 🙂 so I am really confused now. The mom insists she is white, identifies as white and her kids are white. I could not believe she thought and strongly defended this. It’s obvious that she is not white, and her kids are mixed. Having a white husband and living in whitetown your whole life does not make you white.

    Very upset today. I’m certainly writing them off my list of the “trusted and invited”. and putting myself on the clueless list. arg.

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    • TAO

      December 4, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Oh my goodness Beth! It’s hard and not hard to believe there are people like that in this world when you stop and see what’s happening everywhere. It must have been shocking to see it right in front of you…

      Perhaps you could send them a lump of coal for Christmas with a don’t write or keep in touch note? Some will never change and that makes me sad, but now you know, you can’t in-see it.

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  5. beth62

    December 4, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    The more I think about it, they worked hard not to let me see that, hid it from me. Probably bit their tongues off a few times. I imagine they knew I would not want to know them well,or as family if I knew how they really felt. Mz C (black, arrgg now I feel like I have to clarify people’s race, and add some kind of disclaimer before I can say anything – which is BS!) She says I’m just used to current southern racism. Which isn’t so much racism as it is people just being angry at people they have to live with daily LOL that’s diferent. Like you can’t bitch unless you vote, can’t bitch about the messy kitchen unless you are cleaning it, can’t bitch about other people unless you are trying to live with them 🙂
    This was different than the racism I am accustomed to lately. Not new, but very old. If I think back in time, far back, I’ve seen and heard it like that before for sure. I guess I didn’t realize it hasn’t changed so much in other places.

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    • TAO

      December 4, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      No, it hasn’t changed, but some feel they’ve been given explicit permission to be ugly publically. Don’t know which is worse, those who try to hide it or those loud about it.

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