This is in response to a comment I received on an older post, White People Adopting Black Children. I thought it best to go ahead and clarify one or two things, look for the bold. ~MsQ
I thought your comment showed that you misread or deliberately misunderstood my post on White People Adopting Black Children, so I reposted it on the blog with a response and wanted to make sure you got it, so I e-mailed it to let you know. I was being flip before but now I’m ready to give you a real answer. Please read my response below. Your original comment is in italics with my responses in between.
That’s all that matters to the child. Good, loving parents. Versus no family at all. Due to the numbers, that is what the choice ends up being for many children. I don’t even need to use the word “child” in the rest of this post now. I’m not saying I won’t use the word, I’m just saying I don’t have to.
–Your comment is based on the assumption that all children actually go to “good, loving parents”, no matter what their race. Your comment is also based on the assumption that most of these children actually get any such home at all. Take off your rose-colored glasses.
I’m not sure myself but I’d suggest taking a look at reported stats on how many children are actually placed in “good” homes and how many never get there at all.
I’m free to talk about you. You may be a sociologist, artist, whatever, but I’m just going to treat you like an ordinary human being. Is that OK?
–And insulting my character is conducive to what, Dan, other than making you feel better?
Let me ask another rhetorical question. What do you care more about, the child, or the “black/white communities” and their issues?
–If you think race has nothing to do with how kids grow up, the difference between having white parents and Black parents for many Black children (though not all of them depending mostly on the children themselves in some cases), you have waaay bigger issues than I initially thought. Class and location (neighborhood, etc.) also play a role in this.
The Black/white communities and its issues are very relevant to how Black children grow up. There is no way to separate the issues.
I think we’ve established what the answer to that is.
–No, I don’t think we have, Dan. So I shall continue.
You appear to be unaware of what the word “commodity” means. A commodity is something that can be traded for other commodities. Under US law “children” do not meet the definition. If you treated them like commodities you would be breaking the law. The resolution of this apparent impasse lies, of course, in your foolishness.
–As a matter of fact, I know exactly what the word commodity means. And even if I didn’t, there’s plenty of online resources to draw on.
Children are a commodity for anyone who can buy them, whether it’s with money or approval from the government or agencies. Black children have been brought by white people for five hundred years or more in the United States. Open up a textbook, Dan, it was called slavery. And many white people still believe they can buy us—this may or may not include yourself (as white, I mean). They view us as commodities, especially the “exotic” brown kids from other countries.
The original post was written in response to upper and middle to upper middleclass white people who either purchase children of color or adopt them exactly because they are children of color, particularly the white
scavengers “parents” or would-be parents who hover over scenes of natural disasters (Haiti, for example), waiting to pick up little brown kids to so that they can boast their privileged egos and inflate their sense of Christian duty or what have you. It has nothing to do with the child and everything to do with owning them and participating in exploitation.
As a Black woman, I think it’s important for Black children to be around other Black people and involved in Black communities and the issues facing them. It can create a racial/ethnic disconnect and desensitivity of sorts when they are not.
Oh and I don’t think I’m being foolish at all, so fuck you on that one.
You must have written that mouthful of a CV some time ago, because you don’t stand for diversity. You don’t. You stand for pettiness. You stand for defensiveness. You stand for not meeting people halfway.
–No, I don’t meet bigots halfway. They take and take and have nothing to give. I’m betting I have a different idea of what diversity looks like than you do; I’m more on the social justice end of things and Black people need a lot of that. Diversity can only be fostered with justice.
And I didn’t write my “CV” “some time ago”, 2010 actually so I’m a pretty recent on my info. Graduate.
Your principle is that white people will never understand what it is like to be black.
–After attending a predominantly white university and living in a white-dominated world, yes, I believe that that opinion/principle has some merit or truth to it.
Black people probably don’t understand very well what it’s like to be white, either.
–As I said, we live in a white-dominated world. White privilege is real. Black people don’t have to be white to understand it. Many of us are punished and beat over the head with it every day.
Another day, another misguided jerk, thanks for the practice, Dan,