April 30th, 2009
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This past weekend, I read this Newsweek article, about a black family who adopted a white girl, Katie. Briefly, the girl had been in 12 different foster homes before finding her new family. The article focuses on how much negativity the family has experienced from people both white and black. White people are wary of a black man following a white girl. Black people think they’re traitors for adopting outside of their race.

The article briefly discussed the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) and the fact that Katie’s adoptive mother considers white people adopting black children “cultural genocide”.

What I found most fascinating – sometimes in a car wreck kind of way – were the comments to this article.

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Many people wrote in that family transcends race, and the point is that this little girl is loved. People wrote about how we should stop looking at race entirely. After all, we have a black President.

A few people wrote that, yes, they would stare, which made them reevaluate their attitudes on race. Some remarked that, yes, they would ask if the child were OK, because the situation is outside the norm. A few said that it’s better that the questions are asked, than that other people ignore a potentially dangerous situation. A few even noted that a man holding the hand of any child is suspect due to our increased paranoia.

Some people wrote that white families who adopt black children don’t get treated as poorly as the family in the article does. Several white adoptive and biological parents wrote in to say, au contraire – we do get the stares.

Really, most of the comments were very nice, if a little thick on nominating the family for sainthood. Most posters went out of their way to note that “nobody else wanted” Katie. However, some people did use appropriate adoption language. They also admonished Newsweek for publishing Katie’s biological mother’s profession.

On to the race-baiting:

  • Americans are backwards for caring about race.
  • We only see the black men on COPS, so it’s no wonder people worry about a black man following a white girl.
  • Why do Americans adopt from other countries when there are white kids right here in foster care?
  • Why didn’t a white family step up to adopt Katie?
  • The most racist remarks come from black people.
  • The press doesn’t want racism to die.
  • Whites always get what they want.
  • Black men are impregnating white (and black) women at alarming rates.
  • The media encourages black men to promote the image of themselves as violent “gangstas”.
  • Black people are afraid to let white people adopt black children.
  • Black people are obsessed with race. No, white people are. No, black people. No, white people…

There are the truly bizarre comments:

  • “How come nobody questions Woody Allan he married his adopted daughter? … Oh yeah he’s white.”
  • “If I am walking with my daughter and some guy comes up and try to ask her if she is ok, I would immediately consider him a pervert and break his jaw before I call the cops.”
  • “Honestly, I think we are all insane.”
  • “Back in the days of slavery, the black housekeepers normally raised ALL of the children since the white parents were too into their parties and social status than raising their children.”
  • “It is my contention that Blacks don’t want to see Balck kids raised by Whites, because someone will undoubtedly make a study that clearly shows those adopted children raised by even poor whites will perform much better scholastically.”
  • “It seems as though this women has taken a white child as a pet, perhaps for attention, or worse, for revenge.”
  • “People tend to forget that adbuctions, mistreatments, sexual abuse, just crazy stuff happens more on the white side than black side.”
  • “If it wasn’t for the white people making the blacks slaves, none of you would even be here. So you should thank every white person you see for being here and not in Africa, where you belong. ”

Only a few debated adoption policy. Overwhelmingly, people wrote that a child should go with parents who love her, regardless of race. But a few disagreed:

I still think that each child should be placed with their own nationality, race, religion, and/or culture at all efforts that can be spared. It is very important that we do not loose [sic] who we are. We have lost so much culture from African, Celtic, Scottish, French, Italian, Brazilian, Spaniards, Indians of all nations and the list goes on, because we do not keep true to our ancestors. We loose so much because we are so set on acceptance that we think it means we have to give up who we are and be who others are to prove we accept them.

Finally, there were the insane racist types. The first four bullets below were written by one poster. Perhaps these people were just “trolls” – posting what they knew would anger others. However, it’s important to note that there are people in the world who think this way.

  • “That child looks ridiculous sitting there in those photos with those black people. Get rid of that child. Take her back to the orphanage, and NEVER make the mistake of having a white child in your midst again. There are plenty of our own children who can use your help.”
  • “White people should adopt kids their own race and leave our African-American children alone.”
  • “If I were this brother, I would turn that child back in to the agency, and get one of our own children. Black people should NEVER consider having a white child anywhere around them. Look at what they are doing to their own children! Raping them with foreign object, stuffing their bodies in suitcases and throwing them into rivers, shooting them in masses and more. No black child is safe in the hands of a white person.
  • “You can take ‘Miss Katie’ back to that orphanage and let her be. ALL of your problems would be solved then. No proud, African-American family needs a pasty white girl in their home. Let these white people deal with their own mess, and keep them out of yours.”
  • “The adopting of a white child by black people is wrong. This little white girl will be raised to be black and will probally [sic] marry a black man and be beaten and raped. It is sick and should not be allowed. Now that we have a black president, black people think they can do whatever they choose. ”
  • “It is obvious to me that neither of these black people are fit to be adopting. By their statements they show how bigoted they are. The mother is a member of a BLACK social workers organization, and does NOT APPROVE of whites adopting black kids. So the best way to get whitey back?? go adopt a little white girl. They simply went out and got themselves a pet, to amuse themselves and garner attention. The father mentioned how he didn’t realize how much they talked about white people at dinner and other gatherings. That touches on the biggest reason for black bigotry and how it is handed down to the next generation. Talking trash about whitey while the kids listen and learn. Anybody still wonder why blacks hate so much? This couple is looking for attention, sympathy, and hopefully some kind of “civil rights” lawsuit. this is just another example of racist black people crying victim. ”
  • “Black women have been raising white children since they were held in captivity. It’s the black male that some people have a problem with. That’s why they remian the target of this racist socety. Some white men continue to fear and hate the black male and they won’t stop until they wipe him out. They hate to see the black man as a good father, because they know the lenghts they have went to in order destroy the black family. ”
  • “[W]hites still cling to the myth of the unstable, angry, violent black man, strung out on crack, committing crimes for drug money. White America is still breaking up black families, we just do it quietly now – in DA’s offices and judge’s chambers instead of out in the open at the slave auction. ”
  • “Child Protective services always find a reason these days to take the children of African Americans away and adopt them out to Whites and Hispanics. … It is clear to me, that Whites have found a new way to infiltrate the Black races, thereby diminishing the race and further weakening it. This is why so many Whtes have our children and so few of us have theirs. And I know the States are providing benefits to those who adopt these children. It used to be if you adopt a child, it was yours and you were responsible for their support. Now I hear that families adopting these children are getting checks monthly, plus lump sum amounts.”

I leave you with the following thoughts:

  • “Racism is so 19th century.”
  • “in the year 2009, you’d think that people could just open their eyes without seeing color. ”
  • “When will people realize that deciding who someone else should adopt is as ridiculous as deciding who someone else should marry?”

Photo Credit.

6 Responses to “Black and White vs. White and Black”

  1. Mandy W says:

    Wow! I have yet to read the article, but the comments alone are enough to get me going. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. hotspice58 says:

    wow!!! So much hatred on both ends of
    the spectrum. BTW, I used to think
    that kids ought to be with their own
    race. Not anymore. As long as a family
    can love a child unconditionally, it
    doesn’t matter who the child is raised
    with. When people argue for AA kids
    to be raised in AA families, first
    thing I ask is: when are you adopting?
    It’s amazing who spouts off and then
    does absolutely nothing!!

  3. mommyofgirls says:

    As outraged as I am reading some of the comments in that article, I am so glad to hear there is another family like mine. I am an African American mother that happily welcomed two Caucasian girls into my home as foster children. As time passed, I found myself loving the girls more and more, so when I was asked by their caseworker if I would adopt them, I had discussions with my bio daughter, my mother and my extended family. They had all fallen in love with the girls too, and like me, couldn’t imagine them anywhere but with us. Three years ago in March, my girls permanently became a part of our family. With the exception of dealing with RAD, ODD, Anxiety, low IQ and Mood Disorder with the older girl (the younger one was 3 months old when she came to us and is completely bonded, on target and amazingly a duplicate of my bio daughter), the entire family couldn’t be happier and healthier. It is my dream that someday, people will just see people and not judge because of skin color.

  4. mnavarra says:

    We are a transracial family. We have 3 bio girls and 3 adopted boys. It is truly a beautiful situation. I love my children and am proud of each of them. We get some stares, but most people are very nice and supportive.
    I am glad that the family opened their hearts to this little girl. Maybe having her will change the mom’s opinion on white parents adopting black children.

  5. jesstos says:

    Go to youtube and watch the short film “binta and the great idea.” Make sure it is the whole film, which should be about 20 minutes long. I don’t want to spoil it for you by telling you too much about it or how it relates, but it is an interesting film made in Senegal, West Africa. I absolutely adored it.

  6. [...] Black and White vs. White and Black (April 30, 2009): about a Newsweek article that profiled a white girl adopted by a black family. [...]

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