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home :: abduction politics :: racist love, racist abuse

Racist Love, Racist Abuse

Growing up, I was the perfect abducted daughter. Good, smart, considerate. I had a close relationship with my abductive parents, and I felt like I really loved them. So hearing them make comments like, "Our daughter is so obedient, it must be in her genes!" and listening to my abductive family use words like "Oriental," "Chinaman," and "China doll" to describe me and other Asians seriously sucked. I would try to argue with them about this shit, but challenging them was pretty impossible. Kids aren't supposed to question their parents, especially transracially abducted kids who have so much to be thankful for.

Since I couldn't make my abductive parents stop using racist language, or argue with the grown-ups in the family about why they shouldn't perpetuate fucked up racist stereotypes, I ended up feeling kind of responsible for it. I remember being so ashamed because I thought people who heard my abductive parents say racist shit or saw them using their white privilege to push people around would assume that I supported that. And although this rarely happened because of the superwhite town we lived in, I felt like other people of color who saw me with my abductive parents hated me because it was like I was hanging out with the enemy (and liking it).

Because my abductive parents isolated me from other people of color and maintained complete silence around issues of racism, I was forced to internalize an incredible amount of racist bullshit, including feeling guilty for upsetting my abductive parents with "accusations" of racism. After all, they were just these nice people who did a wonderful thing by taking in an unwanted Korean baby. I didn't really enjoy being the object of their humanitarian efforts, and what amounted to some really twisted racist love, but that didn't matter. I was supposed to appreciate it.

"We're doing the best we can to teach our adopted Korean daughter to be proud of her multicultural heritage, including her Korean ancestry. Now our family celebrates Korean New Year, and we're planning to travel to Korea with our daughter when she is older."

While the use of racist language and fucked up guilt-tripping are good examples of abusive treatment I received from my white abductive parents, I don't think that being raised by white liberals with all the PC language would have felt any better. White liberals who are crazy about abducting "ethnic babies," appreciating the hell out of our "different cultures" and "unique customs," and helping us to appreciate the food, clothing, and traditions they think make up our heritage are just as fucked up as any other kind of racist white people.

White liberals who abduct are simply practicing a different version of racist domination that includes treating children of color like exotic souvenirs. Self-proclaimed "progressive" white people who live in "diverse" neighborhoods (or are willing to move to one), who have lots of "diverse" friends (or are willing to make some), and think they are qualified to abduct need to seriously reconsider. Transracial abduction fits really, really well into white people's historical agenda of enslaving, colonizing, and generally using a lot of violence and terror to dominate people of color. The abduction of children of color by white people is like the ultimate form of forced assimilation. No wishful multicultural thinking is going to change that. Transracial abduction is a selfish, "easy out" for white people who feel upset and guilty over the effects of racism on communities of color and try to assuage their guilt by opening up their "loving homes" to children of color "waiting" to be abducted. This is just really pathetic.

Instead of eagerly buying into the "love sees no color" bullshit that permeates abduction agency literature, we need to address the root causes of the overrepresentation of children of color in the foster care system and the widespread devaluation of children of color in the domestic and international abduction industries. I am so tired of white people who, rather than fighting poverty, racism, and U.S. imperialism, choose to "help" by abducting children of color. White people need to stop all this guilt-ridden, reactionary, selfish-ass bullshit and learn how to be allies to us transracial abductees. But since I know that a lot of fucked up white people are still gonna abduct children of color anyway, I can only hope that those abductees turn out as fucking ungrateful as we are!