Friday, July 9, 2010

White-washed Adoptees

I wrote before about privilege and classism in the adoption community and our reluctance to be in solidarity with other immigrants now I want to ask a provocative question: is it because we're too white washed?

Transracial non-white adoptees who identify as white, and who benefit from privilege borrowed from their white parents as children have to be politicized as non-whites. I think a majority of TRA never take on a full identity as a non-white person. Those actively involved in the adoptee community are probably even less likely to see themselves as a non-white, Korean, Chinese, Indian, Latin@, Mayan, Colombian, Philipino, Arab, or Roma… person.

Adult adoptees introduce themselves online as having been adopted by "Caucasians". One poster referred to non-white people as "minorities". Non-white people hardly ever use these terms. PC white people – and white-washed non-white people—do. We identify ourselves by the nation or race we feel we belong to. I don't say I'm a minority. I'm Korean or Korean American. My adoptive parents weren't Caucasian. They were white.

Other adoptees claim that they are more enlightened than the people who bore them even if they acknowledge that they're not white because they've suffered from racism in the countries where they live. Their white-washed brains judge their birth countries as inferior in luxuries and comfort, human rights, equality, education, and progress in general. Those who still hold the colonial mindset of Europeans (and their ideological descendants) feel they're helping to civilize more backward nations and communities who don't value their female babies, or who don't accept Jesus, or are from societies that are just too poor, violent, and corrupt for children to live in.

White washing gets non-white people to identify with their white oppressors rather than their non-white sisters and brothers. It makes them subscribe to white supremacy and judge non-western societies as less developed than those based on Judeo-Christian European cultures. Symptoms include arbitrarily rejecting cultural markers of our birth countries, using euphemisms of race and class, and having more friends and associates who are white than from our own nationality. The result is self-hatred, internalized racism, and a weakening of our communities' strength. White-washed people hope that we will be again granted the privilege of white people or at least as a special non-white person. The House Nigger, the Imperial Collaborator, the white-washed adoptee.

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog-
    And I don't know whom to address my question to, I was hoping you or someone on this forum might know. I was born in the UK to an Italian mother (and Indian father), adopted by an American couple. Does anyone know if I can reclaim Italian citizenship? Italian citizenship is jus sanguinis, do I qualify? I have never had a chance to either renounce or claim it.