When “anti-racist” means “racist”

I hate to make this post because, as the husband of a woman of Filipino ancestry and as the adoptive father of a boy of Guatemalan ancestry, I want to be ever-cognizant of racist issues in this country that they both (have to) deal with and which, as one who has never experienced any significant racism because of my white color, I can’t fully fathom.

Because of my adoption of A.J., I occasionally visit a site called “Anti-Racist Parent.” It was started by adoptees and, quite frankly, it seems more like a place where those who have adopted interracially can praise each other for being so wonderfully anti-racist for adopting outside their races. Nonetheless, it sometimes has interesting topics, and it has opened my eyes to the ability to be racist (if, for instance, we dressed our Guatemalan son in traditional Guatemalan clothing for Halloween) when the intention is exactly the opposite.

Fast forward to the 2008 Presidential Election.

I just came back from visiting, and I have to vent… for at this site that alleges to be “anti-racist,” they posted a blog entry that is nothing but racist.

From “Anti-Racist Parent” on the eve of Obama’s election, see these quotes and comments:

Commenting on a photo of a random African American child shaking Obama’s hand and smiling admiringly (I love this shot, by the way): “That hopeful young man looking at Sen. Barack Obama in the photo above is worth fighting for.”

or…

“I blogged about what this election means to me in terms of a white mother of black sons.
How can race not be a factor for me? It has to be.”

“I gleefully imagine the shock in every racist heart when they face the reality that the MAJORITY of blacks, whites AND hispanics support Obama for President. I relish the idea that their fear, hatred and ignorance is being challenged.”

So, in order to be a proper “anti-racist” parent, must I vote for Obama — not on the issues — but on the color of his skin?

Don’t get me wrong. I voted for Obama. I think he is the right man for the job among the choices we were given. I also am just as pleased that our American society, which puts on a good face of freedom but has had major problems with the “freedom for all” and “equality” thing (and still does with the Prop 8 issue, aforementioned), gets one more brick taken off the wall of racial bigotry…

But, for a website that claims to be anti-racist, to clearly support a view that is nothing but racist… well, that is just plain shameful, in my humble opinion. Don’t think I’ll bother to go back to that site.

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1 Comment

  1. November 11, 2008    

    Whoa! That’s quite a leap! The point of the post is not that the young man in the photo is worth fighting for because of his race. He is worth fighting for because he is the next generation. As someone who voted for Barack Obama and supports his policies, I believe his win will make this country better not just for me, but perhaps more inportantly, for my stepkids and nieces and nephews.

    Why are you so quick to read racial bias into that post? It smacks of the oft-debunked “all the black people are voting for Obama because he is black” assumption.

    To be clear, I am African American. I initially liked Edwards. The husband wanted Biden. My mom was a Hillary supporter. All of us eventually voted for Obama, because he won us over with his policies and intelligence. Are many black folks like me happy to have a self-identified black person in the White House for many reasons, including the message it sends to young children of color? Yes. Is that the reason that I voted for Obama? Certainly not.

    I believe you may have posted a comment to the thread in question. I hope you hang around long enough to engage in dialogue with the readers/commenters on Anti-Racist Parent before abandoning the site because you THINK you understand their motives.

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In May, 2005, Rob was a secular, Jewish, thirty-something, Los Angeles, personal injury attorney whose idea of getting up early on a Sunday was getting up for the third quarter of the first televised, NFL games.

Thirsting on the idea of playing in a band for the first time in a decade, Rob finally accepted his neighbor's request to get up at seven-in-the-morning on Sundays in order to participate.

Eleven months later, his world was turned upside down by Jesus. Instantly, he began leading songs on the worship team and, today, he now leads that same LIFEhouse worship team in which he was initially invited to join as a non-believer.

God is cool like that.