ARP Tuesday Links

TIME magazine wonders “Should Race be a Factor in Adoption?”

Should adoption agencies discriminate by race, or even by a person’s racial sensitivity? According to current U.S. law, no. Since 1996, it has been illegal to consider race when determining whether families are suitable to raise adopted children — the law was intended to increase adoptions of black children, who are disproportionately represented in the foster care system, by making it easier for whites to take them home. But a new study suggests that approach is short-sighted. “Color-blind” adoption, the report contends, allows some white parents — who may not be mentally ready or have the appropriate social tools to parent black children — to raise youngsters, who may, in turn, experience social and psychological problems later in life.

In an interview today with NPR “News & Notes,” Aaron Stigger discusses “Growing up black in a white family.”

In “Indian Boarding Schools: Cultural Assimilation and Destruction,” Winter Rabbit, a diarist on Daily Kos, explores the legacy of Indian Boarding Schools within the Native community.The diary includes links to essays, articles and videos that deftly illustrate the enduring pain afflicted on Native American families and children by the schools, government tools to force assimilation. The piece includes this searing interview with Joanne Tall (Lakota).


Diverse magazine reports that “Latinas, Black Girls Respect, Defer to Moms Most.”

Latinas and African American girls defer to their mothers more than non-Hispanic white girls do, according to a University of Florida study.
“Within African-American and Latino families, children follow a cultural tradition that places a high value on respecting, obeying and learning from elders, and in our study they did indeed show more respect for parental authority,” said Julia Graber, a UF psychology professor.

When African-American and Latina girls do act up, said Graber, their mothers consider the arguments to be more intense than those reported by white mothers who clash with their daughters. The study was published in the February issue of the Journal of Family Psychology and reported recently by the university.

Graber said Hispanic and Black mothers, who value strong family connections, family loyalty and extended family/social support networks, seemed to be much more upset if daughters fell short of cultural, good girl expectations.
“It may be just the kind of issue that pushes their buttons more, thinking of their daughter as no longer being the good, respectful daughter,” she said.

Hmmm…I’m tempted, like Gina at What About Our Daughters, to call BS on this one.


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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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