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NPRgate ~ I’m White. Am I Qualified to Discuss the Transracial Adoption Experience?

by Laura on January 16th, 2014

White Privilege is hard for Whites to understand.


I totally searched “happy white people” on “Friends Meditating In Lotus Pose, Peace Of Mind” by stockimages

But I’m colorblind, I don’t discriminate!

But I have Black friends!

But my kids’ school is so diverse!

But I thought we lived in a post-racial society!

But I voted for Obama!

And of course …

But I listen to NPR, I’m super progressive! Check out #NPRgate on Twitter; it’s totally a thing (coined by the unflappable Deanna Doss Shrodes). 


The White Experience

We are blind to our own White Privilege. It’s so normal, so much a part of White American middle-to-upper class acculturation, it’s hard to distinguish. Even if we desire to unpack it, to rid ourselves of it, it’s all but impossible.

It takes a lot of self-reflection, and not an inconsiderable amount of education by those who do not live with White Privilege … to begin to understand how deep it’s woven into the fabric of our day-to-day lives.

It would never occur to me to write about what it’s like to raise non-biologically related children.

It would occur to me to write about what it’s like to grow up in a family of non-biologically related people.

I would not write about experiencing racism.

It would write about living in a place where any argument with me can pretty much be ended by stating, “Well, your country bombed my country, so maybe you should shut up about how great the Unites States is.” Luckily, that hasn’t happened … yet.

Even living as a White person in a White country (Serbia), I’m tragically aware of my White American privilege that gave me access (economically) to things that the majority of the population cannot afford. [Middle class here is not the same thing as middle class in America.]

Perhaps we’ve gotten the attention of NPR, thanks to the various bloggers; many of whom are White. It’s another problem in-and-of-itself, as a transracial adoptee pointed out–we’ve got white adoptees making an uproar, and NPR starts reading … what White people say.

Then this happened:

@NPRWeekend contacts AP and PAP focused infertility/adoption org to find #adoptees? Try again. We’re right here. #SundayConvo #nprgate

— Julie Stromberg (@LifeAdopted) January 16, 2014


I call Shenanigans!

Why ask an adoptive parent/prospective adoptive parent for a “young” transracial black adoptee, being raised by white parents? It’s very simple, NPR … Use Angela Tucker’s original interview, and/or find other transracial adult adoptees to talk to about the real issues involved with the transracial adoptee experience. Not even gonna to there today about the problematic of talking to a teen adoptee, whose very identity is still in the midst of forming, exposing him or her to the media.

There are plenty who have even written books, or contributed to them!

Perpetual Child

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age

Parenting as an Adoptee

Lost Daughters Anthology


What other bloggers are saying about #NPRgate

The transracial adoptee who was overlooked in the first place, Angela Tucker: Do Trans-racial Adoptees Know Anything About Trans-racial Adoption?

Mothermade: Our Voices

Daniel Ibd Zayd: On the inherent racism and classism of adoption

Karen Pickell: Why NPR Got My Irish Up

Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston: On NPR & Transracial Adoption: Who Gets to do the Teaching?

Mathew Salesses: What is the Adoptee Voice Worth?

Julie Stromberg: NPR: Expect the Expected When It Comes to Adoption Stories

The Lost Daughters: NPR and Exclusion from the Transracial Adoption Discourse: the Wisdom We Could Have Gleaned 

Maureen McCauley Evans: We Listened to NPR – Now Its NPR’s Turn to Listen

Margie Perscheid: Oh Media and Adoptive Parents…Will We Ever Get Adoption Reporting Right?

And, here’s the original radio broadcast: Transracial Family Gets Double Takes ‘Everywhere We Go’

Don’t forget to hashtag #NPRgate and @NPR to get NPR’s attention about how they used their White mainstream media bias to pass on an opportunity to feature the voices of those who’ve lived it.

Caveat: It’s also possible we shouldn’t even care WHAT the heck NPR says about adoption and the adoptee experience. True, so very true. However, do you ever feel like all this adopto-world activism happens in an echo chamber? Me, too.

Right or wrong, THAT’S why we need mainstream media like NPR, to help (re)-educate those who are raising or who encounter transracial adoptees.


From → Adoption

  1. larahentz permalink

    Laura, It's like we are living on two planets and on one planet – the white couples (Child Catchers) who adopt are still saviors. NPR finds them since this is how THEY still think about adoption. Yet the woman who adopts three Black Kids writes a book to make a name for herself? It's not the first time this happened. (The are tons of blogs by savoirs who adopted transracially). And NPR just jumped into the adoption propaganda game promoting people like her. That world is still spinning.
    I live in the new world – where adoptees and first parents have educated beyond these fallacies and mistruths. We have moved past that world into one where children and their safety are top priority, not who adopts them.

  2. jenkinscrowe permalink

    I'd opine that the time for white people to talk about such things is after all the nonwhite people involved have had their say, had their say again, had their say ten more times, received proof their say was heard, and offered to relinquish the floor to white people.

  3. I've just posted my say on my blog American Indian Adoptees. Geez, these people really blow my mind – again and again!

  4. teddy1975 permalink

    Please, jenkinscrowe. White people can talk, but only if they start with what non-white race their adoptive parents actually are…

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