Friday, February 26, 2010

Grown In My Heart: Adoption Carnival VI

Adoption Carnival VI: the Racism Rainbow

This weeks adoption carnival is on the subject of racism and how it has affected our lives or how we will handle it when the time comes.

There have been several sad post recently on adopted children and their run-ins with racism. When I read these post I get physically sick. I really feel like I am going to vomit. It upsets me that much.

We have had little incidents that don't require much more than a listening ear, an acknowledgment of hurt and an assurance of the wrong-doing. So far no really big incidents where I felt or my daughter felt it needed to be kicked-up a notch and handled with adult intervention. Most of the time empowering the child has worked.

Racism is here.

It is ugly.

It's not going anywhere.

But you know what? I've found there is an even BIGGER problem than the racism.

Gasp! How could I say that???

Well, I've tried my best to better educate myself on racism. It's a hard, hard road. I've battled white guilt that was crippling. I've stuck my head in the sand when it got too tough. But I keep plugging away and watching for the little things in life that are not right and do my best to identify and work on the problems I see -- within myself and others.

And I've run into more brick walls than I can even begin to tell you about.

Racism is bad.

DENIAL of racism is much worse.

I've run into so many denials of racism. People that REFUSE to look at it objectively or even hear it....because they don't live it. And if they don't live it, it must not exist.

And part of that is the people that will try to point out that many people have been made fun of. Maybe its too many freckles, crooked teeth or some other difference that gets them made fun of.

Like that is racism.

No folks...that is not racism. That is being made fun of. It is being singled out. It is not racism or anywhere near on the same level. But then, since they've never lived on wrong side of the color line....they don't get that.

And how do you educate those that REFUSE to see?

I don't know.

I try and its like beating my head against a brick wall. All I get is bloody.

But I keep trying.

And part of that is because of my own son.

The one raised in diverse areas (military) and with a Chinese sister.

The one that made a not nice remark when a car pulled up beside us with the booming music.

When I pointed out that he just made a racist remark....well, he unloaded on me.

About how racism is a lie. How him and his friends had never seen this racism "they" tried to claim. How it is nothing more than reverse-racism on "their" part. Blah, blah, blah.

My son.

That I raised.

In diverse areas. Raised by parents that are not racist.

But see - he was still raised in a middle class bubble. What we believe and talked about was not enough. He had never been treated or treated someone as "racist" so its all a lie.

And I really don't know what to do to change things.

It wasn't too difficult with my son....but impossible with the adults I've run into with the same attitude. Educated, reasonable people. Except on this subject.

And I admit it. I have no idea how to change things.

And without that type of can't go away.

So, I continue with damage control at home, to the best of my ability.

And I know racism is here to stay. Because those that could help make a difference and step up to help fight this. They don't even see it.

How sad it that?


  1. Keep pounding your head. Eventually you will get through. You have made some headway in my thick head. Granted, I recognized my need to learn, but not before I recognized your genuine concern. :)

  2. My sister and I have had almost this exact conversation. For us it was not so much denial, but oblivion. Because we, and the people we associate with, do not practice racial stereotyping, (or plain old ugliness) then it must not still be a problem. Not knowing that it still exists is the same as denying it.
    As I've told you before, our whole family is trying to be more aware, in preparation. I want to be ready to protect my daughter, from whatever the world throws our way - and I'm learning that you really can't be prepared.