Strapping on my sword

You must read this post by Paula (I'm posting the ARP link so you can join the dialog there; it's also here on Paula's blog.)

I've been whining in a couple of comment at one of the blogs I read about just how far APs have to go to try to raise awareness about race in the adoptive parent community. I was looking for affirmation that it's OK to contain your work to your immediate environment - responding when opportunities arise, but not seeking them out. I asked the question because in the online community, I don't really want to be where the greatest opportunity to speak out exists. I got a swift kick in the pants for the asking, and appropriately so.

I knew the answer all along, but seriously hoped someone would say that it was OK to keep preaching to the choir. It's not. If we truly believe that racism is an issue that adoptive parents should care about, we have to talk to the very ones who refuse to listen. That's hard work, particularly when you have a day job and little time to give. But we have to do it.

With that in mind, I took my first shot the other day, by starting a dialog about the Lori Phanachone issue in a forum I typically avoid like the plague I sometimes visit. I was pleasantly surprised that several APs jumped right in and voiced agreement with Lori's efforts to fight the racism in the school's demand for her to take a clearly-unnecessary English proficiency exam. A couple, however, dismissed that racism was present out of hand; it was clear that neither had even read the article I linked to, because they missed some pretty important facts about the situation. I think I kept my cool pretty well, and am VERY happy to see that the last word is an eloquent post acknowledging the racism in Lori's experience.

And so, into the fray. And because no one can be a one-person solution, I hope you all grab your swords and join me.

Comments

blackbelt said…
This is interesting because lately I had realized how tired I was from having to explain myself (my heritage) and every other East Asian (no, I'm not Chinese, blah blah blah)

I've been at it for over 40 years and I. Am. Tired.
Margie said…
I hear you, Oma - completely empathize. I added a bit since you commented, and hopefully my positive experience this week will add some positive thoughts.
mama d said…
I'm with you.

Sometimes I wonder if my voice is reaching anyone other than the folks who already live where I do. Does this mean we need to actively seek out forums populated with "the very ones who refuse to listen"? And, honestly, how do we think that will fly? Perhaps we can define where that new world is, the place populated with folks who are willing to listen, but haven't been told anything relevant lately. I lived there until I was 18, and -- once spoken to -- took another 25 years to get here.
Paula O. said…
Thanks for the mention, Margie - both here on your blog and over at ARP. :)

I've been thinking a lot about how to engage others in the dialogue about race and then it finally occurred to me that maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse. . .that in order for people to fully engage, they first have to care - to have a vested interest and see a valid reason for putting themselves out there. So many people (not just APs) really DON'T see a good enough reason to address or even talk about race and race consciousness, mainly because they think it just doesn't apply to them. This usually leads a discussion about white privilege and in my personal experiences, I've found that the conversation many times comes to an immediate halt as the defenses come up quicker than you can say "Boo".

I'm rambling even more than normal now, but I hope to put some more coherent thoughts about this together in a future post.

Keep on, Margie.
Seoul Siblings said…
Thank you for posting on those forums and in your blog. As an AP to my 3 young ones under 5, I truly appreciate learning from you and other adoptees about such hard subjects to talk about like racism, adoption issues, and more.

I am a big Arthurian legend fan and as one I'll put my sword in agreement with yours on that round table and help however this mother is still learning...
Blend said…
Quite interesting blog! really frustration comes to explain one again and again, this encourages boredom and tiredness....

Popular Posts