An a’mom commenting on a plug for Scott Simon’s book:
My true story: I was filling out the 2000 census for our “new” family… how much we made, our ages, number of children (1) aged 26 months, ethnicity: Caucasian. Then I had my husband check over the form….. and he said I had filled it out wrong. I was surprised because I’d checked all the answers and knew they were correct. He then told me we were not a “Caucasian” family. I said we were; he said, “No, your daughter is Chinese.”………and I looked at her, and she was. Which I hadn’t noticed. “Oh”, I said. “Oh!”, I said again. Then I got it….she looked Chinese but only to the outside world. So we changed the census to read “mixed” or “blended” (whatever the word was). I love my children, my daughters, but only rarely do I remember they are Chinese. […]
Obviously you WOULD rather have it some other way, wouldn’t you? You’d rather have a kid who looks like you, but you don’t, so you turned this one white for your convenience. You have looked at your daughter and erased her in the name of love. Every. Stinking. Day for the past twelve (thirteen!) years. You love your child, your daughter, just as long as you can pretend she’s white. You call her Chinese heritage, her very SELF, a thing that can’t be real because only “the outside world” sees it. And you present this as a cute thing that will happen to people when they adopt rather than a disturbing and racist tragedy of privilege.
An a’dad explaining how adoption was in his heart “from the get-go.”
I’ve always wanted a China doll.
No dad was quoted in this story as saying “I’ve always had yellow fever,” but since Woody Allen made that acceptable, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. (After all, before Wo Ai Ni, Mommy, surely no a’dad had the courage to admit in public he adopted from China because he likes Kung Fu movies.) I swear on my life I am not making this up.
This stuff is why I don’t believe you, Ms. “Jeezy whezzy, my daughter has not been made fun of or been subjected to or taught racist stereotypes.” You don’t know what a racist stereotype is, because raising a child of another race somehow didn’t arouse in you any feeling of obligation to learn anything about race, which is tantamount to saying “This won’t be a problem for me because any child I raise will be white.” You don’t know racist stereotypes when you see them. You don’t know them when you say them. You don’t know them when you perpetuate them. You don’t know them when they come out of your own children’s mouths. And you don’t think it’s a big deal, so we should all shut up.
After all, it’s adorable! It’s not like anybody gets hurt by this stuff, amirite?
If you are alive on this planet, then you have been and are being taught racist stereotypes. Denying that is the best way I know to make the stereotypes–and your own unexamined racism–stronger. If you presume to adopt a child of another race, you’re to be held to a higher standard of understanding about this, not to be awarded a free pass because hey, one of your best kids is Asian.