Category Archives: racism

Mom, I want to be white like you.

I always felt somewhat guilty raising a black child.  The “powers that be” preferred that children be raised by parents of the same color.  What if there aren’t enough adoptive parents of that color?  Is it more important that children stay in the foster care system rather than be adopted by  parents of a different color?  Thank goodness there were social workers in the early 1980s, who believed in the priority of placing a child in a loving home even tho our skin colors didn’t match.

One night when BJ was about 4, we were in the midst of our night-time ritual, and he blurted out, “mom, I want to be white like you.”  It hurt me to hear that.  I tried to reassure him that being black was a good thing, “black is beautiful,” but I knew it didn’t address what he was feeling.

I had tried to be intentional about buying brown and black toy figures for him to play with.  Every action figure that was black, I bought.  That is the reason we started collecting GI Joes.  He was given a black Cabbage Patch boy doll at his baptism.  Family members would look for books and other printed material that showed people of color in a positive way.

Internally, I continued to struggle with BJ’s statement.    I wanted to be able to say to him, I wish I could be black like you, but it wasn’t true.  I knew that my race did afford me certain privileges and my life would be tougher if i were a single, black woman with a child.  This was also the time period that I brought up his birth mom, her color, that he looked like her and some day we would find her when he was grown up.

I continued to struggle with BJ’s wish.  At some point that year,   I knew I could honestly say to him,  “I wish I could be black like you!”   He didn’t express wanting to be white often.  However, the next time he brought it up,  I was able to genuinely respond,  “and I wish i could be black like you!”

I suspect that my wanting to be like him,  was a truer affirmation that “black is beautiful.”  I don’t recall that issue coming up much after that.

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Finding My Son’s Birth Mother

It was a day that I knew would come sooner or later.  When he was a young adult, I had given BJ his birth mother’s first and last name,  first names of his sisters and where he was born. It was enough for him to find his birth sisters via Facebook.  His sisters gave him phone numbers.  He called and talked to his grandmother first, then set up a date and time to talk with his birth mom.  His mom felt so blessed that she was finally able to talk with him and know that he alive and loved.

He found out that his birth family had been looking for him a long time.  They had heard of some adoption abuse cases and began to wonder if BJ had been adopted to that kind of home.  He assured them that this was not the case.  He had a good life, good family and was showered with love.

A year later we began to plan for a meeting of the two families.  Since I lived a little over two hours away from his birth family, BJ would fly from CA to OK and we would drive together to Texas.  His wife and son could not make this trip.  My partner, BJ and I would travel to Ft. Worth together.

When I talked to the grandmother about coming to visit, we had anticipated a small gathering:  the  grandmother, birth mother and her other children.  The grandmother got excited about the visit, and invited her sisters, close friends, other relatives, etc.  With PTSD, BJ was not comfortable in large groups.  The three of us were excited and apprehensive about the little gathering that had now become a larger gathering.

I was not sure what kind of reception my white partner and I might receive from this black crowd.  I know that transracial adoption was and is controversial.  There was no way to know if this black family would feel resentful or angry towards us.

When we arrived at the grandmother’s house, we were greeted warmly and graciously with hugs.  There were relatives of all ages who had come to see the returning  “baby who was now a man.”

The grandmother and I had agreed ahead of time that an hour and a half would be long enough for our first visit.  Thirty minutes into the visit, his birth mother had not yet arrived.  The grandmother called her daughter and with my limited hearing, I could tell that she was not happy.  Evidently, the mother was having second thoughts and was afraid for whatever reasons.

Another 15-20 minutes passed, and suddenly his birth mother burst into the apartment.  She looked anxiously around and then rushed to BJ.   I have never witnessed such an intense hug and display of motherly emotion.  She appeared to be grateful, relieved, sorrowful and joyful, all rolled into one.  I was overcome with tears as it was a sight to see.  I imagine that every adoptive mother would want their child to welcomed by his/her birth mother as mine was.

I was extremely grateful that BJ had experienced such a warm welcome and I am sure it helped him to resolve some questions.  The worry I carried over the years, about what kind of reception he would receive from his birth family,  melted away.

I had prepared two photo booklets for the grandmother and mother.  I tried to show a timeline of his life:  his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins,  major vacation trips, his hobbies, accomplishments, etc.  I think they were assured that he was well taken care of, had lots of opportunities, and obviously loved by our family.

His birth mother texted me several times to restate the blessing she received from our contact and visit with them.

Its another family story that is downright personal.

©2016   drp

See:  Mom, I want to find my birth mother  part 1
Searching  for his birth mother      part 2

 

Racism or Difference of Opinion?

The accusations of the past 8 years that white people are racist when they disagree with President Obama’s policies and actions, have reached a level of absurdity.

Many were shocked when an overwhelming majority of white people voted to put Obama in office.  Were they racist to vote for him?  Why didn’t people yell racism when so many non-blacks voted for him?

Was it racist when some voted for him simply because he was black and thought it was time for a black man to be President?  Yes.  Racism is a belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another. Those who voted to simply put a black man in office were saying that his race was superior to others and therefore a black man deserved to be President. It was not racist if one voted because he was the most experienced candidate for being President.

Is it racist when non-black people are critical of Obama’s failed health care program, that was to give us more options, choose our own doctor and cost less?  No.  The criticism is based on poor planing, lack of leadership and dishonesty.  These are typical issues in a job evaluation, white or black.  It is not racism.

Is it racist to criticize Obama and his staff for abandoning Americans in Bengazi and then lie to the American public about who did it and why?  No.  This criticism is again reflective of dishonesty and lack of leadership, white or black.  It is not racism.

Is it racist to disagree with Obama’s gun control goal?   No.  In a majority of recent gun violence cases, the shooters are often mentally ill or out to kill Americans because of Islamic extremism.  Obama seems to be focusing on taking away guns rather the underlying issues of mental illness, Islamic extremism and the effects of violent video games.  One has to wonder about his ulterior motives.  Guns are not the problem.

Is it racist to ignore the large number of black on black shootings and only report on or protest the few white on black shootings?  Yes.  If people are sincerely concerned about the importance of black lives,  why aren’t they raising hell, doing something effective in those neighborhoods and cities where there is a high incidence of blacks killing blacks?

According to FBI data, 4,906 black people murdered other blacks in 2010 and 2011. That is 1,460 more black Americans killed by other blacks in two years than were lynched from 1882 to 1968, according to the Tuskegee Institute.

Is it racist for non-blacks to disagree with Obama and his policies? Absolutely not.

Is it racist when black people criticize  Obama, George Bush or Clinton? No.  It is not racist when anyone disagrees with another’s actions, poor decisions, failed policies, poor judgement,  poor job performance!

In America, we enjoy freedom of speech and the right to disagree regardless of skin color.

Those who falsely cry racism over matters of disagreement, are trying to shut down those who disagree with them.  Think about regimes around the world and what they have done when they don’t want disagreement or criticism of their administration.  They try to intimidate, squash and eliminate those who believe and think differently.

Americans are now being intimidated because no one wants to be called a racist.   The intent is to make non-black people who may disagree with Black Lives Matter’s agenda, or Obama’s policies,  to shut up!

Study some of history’s lessons and you will see where we are headed.

This issue becomes downright personal.

drp © 2016

Black son, white mother, Imus, Sharpton & Jackson

I happen to be white and have raised a fine Marine son who happens to be black. He was adopted as a baby and is dearly loved. Being his mother has opened my eyes to living in the world as a minority. Yes, I do not know or understand completely what it means to be black. I have experienced the stares when we walk into a restaurant, the nervousness of staff when he went to the candy isle or to look at CDs. I quickly discovered that store clerks relaxed when they realized he was with me.

I struggled with how much warning I should give to my son.  It gave me immeasurable pain to inform him that the world is ignorant and unjustly views him as a threat and thief. When shopping, unfair as it was, he should not put his hands in his pockets, do nothing that would make the staff suspicious, keep his hands visible at all times. I absolutely hated having to tell him how the real world is. However, I believe it has saved him some grief thus far.

In the mid 90s, we moved from a mostly white, small town, to multi-racial city life. He was about to start junior high. I specifically chose a neighborhood and schools where we would “blend in.” I had hoped this would be the end of name calling related to his race. However, when it was discovered by some of his new black friends that he had a white mother, he was referred to as “only painted black.”   I was stunned.

The remarks made by the infamous Don Imus were totally nasty and inappropriate. Hopefully, he has learned something from all this and will consider an attitude overhaul.

Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson rightfully denounced Imus’ comments and called for justice.  I think much of America can agree that the remarks were wildly inappropriate. I am guessing that much of America also agrees that the same language and attitudes expressed in rap and hip hop music is also nauseating. Will Sharpton and Jackson call for justice in the rap world?  Why should rappers, entertainers, comedians, make millions of dollars expressing the same revolting attitude toward women? I cannot imagine the kind of damage this is doing to younger generations.

To Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson: please know that this mother agrees with your outrage regarding the words of Don Imus.   However, your words are quickly becoming very, very hollow if you do not take it a step further and denounce the same attitudes in hip hop music.  You cannot have it both ways.   America recognizes the double standard.  The leadership must come from honorable black men.  Will you take us a step further and lead the way?    dr pers    © 2007