I’m Marlin Snurchin, and today on Wild Adoption Kingdom, we’ll examine two things that are supposed to equip white people with a magical racism eraser but do not: Traveling overseas and adopting a child of color. As the AP in the below-linked article proves, one can visit Africa, “fall in love” with the version of it one sees from one’s privileged position, and remain racist. No, not the sheet-wearing kind of racist. The more common, and possibly more hurtful kind: the Incredibly Oblivious Racist. Look, there’s one now. [lifts binoculars, squints, points] And a beautiful specimen she is too! Don’t make any sudden moves. They scare easily:
…boom badda boom athumpa boom badda boom athumpa boom badda boom athumpa boom badda boom badda…
“Those drums. Throbbing in my brain. Primitive. Frenzied. They speak to me of Africa.”
Exotic, Touristy Africa! I’m in luuuuurve!
“Having fallen in love with Africa on various visits—the people, the land, and the endless skies”
“Yes, all the people and all the lands of the entire continent. I love them each and every one.”
“—adopting from there was especially appealing.”
“Have I mentioned how much I love Africa? I love African people sooo much that I bought one and brought it home so it will never be African. They don’t mind at all, they’ve got so many to spare. And oh! such an adventure I had!”
“And so, in the summer of 2010, with swirling thoughts of Joseph Conrad and his dark colonial tales, I applied.”
Buh whaaa? [reads sentence again] Lady, did you really have to go there? Then so shall I:
They [Africans under the colonial yoke] were dying slowly — it was very clear. They were […] nothing earthly now, nothing but black shadows of disease and starvation lying confusedly in the greenish gloom. [L]ost in uncongenial surroundings, fed on unfamiliar food, they sickened, became inefficient, and were then allowed to crawl away and rest.–from Heart of Darkness.
“Oh god you guys, there with people with GUNS all OVER the place, and actual political protests actually being put down, and my agency told me not to go somewhere, but I did and it turned out to be dangerous! Actually dangerous! For ME!”
“[W]e wound up on that dark road, in the middle of nowhere, with the driver attempting a shakedown and refusing to drive. We stood our ground, and eventually he drove on, muttering angrily.”
“I could’ve had to give up more mon–I mean, I COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED, Y’ALL!!1!”
[fading out] …boom badda boom athumpa boom badda boom athumpa boom badda boom athumpa…*
There you have it: the never-elusive White Adopter in its unnatural habitat. Next week on Wild Adoption Kingdom, we’ll look at a creature so rare as to be almost unique in Adoptoland: the a’mom who doesn’t blog about her adopted children. She says it’s because “Children appreciate privacy just as much as adults do” and that they’ll appreciate not having been blogged about when they’re older. Remarkable, eh? Tune in next week! [removes pith helmet] [lights down]
And that’s it. No, really, that’s the danger she faced. I bet it was frightening as Hell, but I expected worse, what with machine guns in the article title and all. There’s bonus racism in the comments, as usual. In her eagerness to explain how right it is that Americans get anything we want, one commenter says:
It really shouldn’t matter which race adopted this child, what is more important is that she now has a family of her own. Having her wait for someone of her own race to provide this setting is in itself cruel.
You know what? You’re right: it shouldn’t matter which race adopts which. BUT IT DOES. Because WHITE PEOPLE INVENTED RACISM, and when we find it getting between us and something we want, we exercise yet more racism by imagine racism away. “All gone! Post-racial everything!”
“Now gimme that baby, you warthog from Hell! I’m entitled!”
Another commenter asks,
Do you have any idea what the chances are of Anna being able to stay where she is and have any quality of life, at all? You seriously think she’d be better off staying there?
Gosh, you’re right. Africa is nasty and full of guns and flies and shit and flies that shit guns, and it’s just no place at all, dear me no, for a child who’s wanted by a white woman to live. I mean really. How dare you expect that darling girl to sit around waiting for a black family to adopt her? Waiting and waiting. It’s not like Africa is full of black people–No, I mean it is, and that’s exactly why it’s so necessary for USAsians to pluck the little ones who haven’t learned savagery yet out of that horrible place and make them white, not that I’m a racist or anything….
*”Bad, very bad when drums stop!”