A powerful blog post prompts an Adoption STAR father to share some important race-related thoughts.
Dr. John P. Sauter, Jr. is the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at Niagara University. He is also an Adoption STAR dad. John read a thought-provoking blog post on the website Remaking Mom. The blog post in question is dated February 22nd, 2016 and it’s entitled, “That Black Boy…” We would encourage all of you to read it before moving on with reading the rest of this blog post. You can find it here: “That Black Boy…”
John’s response after reading “That Black Boy…” can be found below:
“This is an example of early racism, prejudice, and assumptions. I don’t agree with everything in this article, but think about what you would do? Are you aware enough to recognize racism/oppression? Do you know what a micro aggression is? Are you knowledgeable enough to understand its implications? Have you developed the skills to appropriately address these issues and take action? Do you see this as something you need to address? Are you willing to step in and not worry about how that might appear or the social consequences to you? Are you willing to make mistakes? What are the assumptions that you are making? Are you able to avoid getting defensive, or turning the narrative to yourself? Are you aware of how your own racial identity may influence the outcome / response? If you are a parent, how are you addressing these issues with your kids, or advocating for them at school? What are the books on your kid(s) shelves or the cultural representation of their dolls? What cultural events do you take them to? What if you were the parent of the boy? What if you were the parent of one of the girls? What if you were a bystander? What if your son or daughter was playing on the same playground? What would you do? These are just a few of the questions that you should ask whenever you are in a situation that involves racism or oppression, at any age. These situations cannot be ignored; we need to do better.
Note: My own perspective is that of a white adoptive parent who brings my own flaws, privilege, biases, and assumptions to this discussion.”
Families touched by transracial adoption have a unique perspective on race, as they have insights and experiences that are truly multi-dimensional (as John’s commentary so vividly illustrates). Also, as adoption author, writer, and speaker Jana Wolff indicates, interracial families can be “quick to recognize bias…even when it’s our own.”