Jerry Wasnt Listening – Post Seattle #1

Dammit – I wanted to give my Post Seattle report before the drama began! I’m trying to have it done by tomorrow. So, in the mean/ between time –

Here’s an article by a reporter, Jerry Large, who apparently came to the Seattle CD Forum panel on Transracial Adoption.

“Its About Love, Not Race”

“It’s not easy being a gazelle in a family of lions.

Adoption always comes with complications, but there are more of them when the parents are white and the child black. In the 1970s, black social workers said not enough was being done to preserve black families or encourage black people to adopt, and placement with white parents might leave children without the cultural base they’d need to negotiate America’s racial hierarchy.

But kids can’t wait for social perfection.

Children need parents who will love them, advocate for them and equip them to deal with a flawed world. Race matters, but it isn’t everything.

I was glad to hear that message at a discussion of transracial adoption sponsored by The Central Area Forum for Arts and Ideas last week.” Read the rest here.

The HELL? Ummm, Jerry? What panel were you at dude? I’m sorry, the Transracial Adoption panel on Thursday Night, October 11th at UW? Thats the panel that I spoke on! I think this moment, this point – is where we can say is the crux of why many times white parents thinking about adoption will NEVER get it.

Nowhere in any of our conversations, did anyone say that “its about love, not race”! In fact, “race is of primary importance in TRA lives” was almost a mantra from our panel. At one point in the night, the repetitiveness of this mantra actually bothered me a bit because I really feel like we should be WAY beyond this simplistic conversation of whether or not race matters in TRA experience. Over and over, research, conferences, memoirs, articles, blogs, rants, emails, by professionals, AP’s and AD’s have said out loud that colorblindness is exactly that. Blindness. Talking about race, racism and culture is essential to making sure your child grow up a healthy, connect whole person. (I’m planning on discussing the mantra thing further in my Post-Seattle Report #2!).

Oh Jerry… even his article reveals that what he took in, and what we said – didnt connect!! Because if anything did connect he would have never been so arrogant as to trivialize the discussion of the entire evening and write an article title so dimissive!  Thanks.



One thought on “Jerry Wasnt Listening – Post Seattle #1

  1. I don’t think many white people who choose to adopt because they are having fertility problems, especially women, are feeling all that privilidged when they decide to adopt. They feel inadequate and also scared that the adoptive child may not bond with them for many reasons including race. So when you lead with the notion that priviledged white peopel get whatever they want and are blind to other important issues like race, you may be unnecessarily creating opposition. I think white people, like all people, are most sensitive to the aspects of their experience where they feel most vulnerable, and they are going to do their best to protect themselves from further hurt and injury from people who are blind or uninterested in taking care with those vulnerabilities. They will even abuse their position of priviledge to protect themselves. All people do this. So when a white person hears a messsage of love at your seminar, maybe that is not such a bad thing. Maybe it is a first step for that white person to lower their defenses and begin to learn to live more conciously and compassionately with their vulnerabilities and priviledge. Reading about the urge to stab someone who heard a message of love at a seminar leaves me wanting to protect myself even more from this movement. Am I overreacting?

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