Donald Trump’s rhetoric, and that of the people who support him, makes each of you uncomfortable. I share your discomfort, anger, sadness, and, at times, terror over what might come as Trump rolls out his nightmare vision of technologically armed white supremacist government.
But I am writing with a frank reminder and an urgent plea.
First, the reminder: radical queers, trans people, black people, Muslims, incarcerated people, Native Americans, immigrants and the undocumented, people with disabilities, and those who live at the intersections of these identities—all have lived with this discomfort and terror for decades or centuries. So, to watch this may feel like a nightmare unfolding, but its contours are not new.
The Historical Roots of the Evangelical Adoption Boom
Arissa H. Oh SOURCE
Since the middle of the last decade, evangelical churches and organizations have encouraged their members to adopt children from abroad, often providing funds to help with the high costs. They have promoted a culture of adoption by publicizing a “global orphan crisis,” a disputed concept in itself. Children—many not actually orphans—are adopted hastily by well-intentioned but ill-prepared parents. Horror stories of fraud and abuse abound.
Much of this is not new. International adoption did not begin in the 1990s, or even in the 1980s. Americans began adopting children from abroad at the end of World War II, mainly from places with significant U.S. troop presences, like Germany and Japan. Systematic international adoption began in Korea after the Korean War (1950-1953) as a way to remove mixed-race “GI babies,” the children born of Korean women and foreign military personnel. It quickly grew to include non-mixed-race Korean children, and then spread to other developing countries: most notably Vietnam in the 1960s, Colombia in the 1970s, Guatemala and India in the 1980s, and China, Romania, and Russia in the 1990s….
The current reporting on evangelical adoption overlooks the importance of RACE in international adoption. The vast majority of these adoptions involve white parents and non-white children. In the 1970s, as Americans faced a white baby “famine” at home, a hierarchy of desirability became firmly established in which non-white children from abroad were preferable to African-American children. These children were not white, but they weren’t black either. That they could be rescued from poverty and backwardness heightened their sentimental appeal. Today, Americans cross the color line more readily to adopt black children from African countries. Their blackness is mitigated by their perceived exoticism and victimhood. KEEP READING
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