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Mother Talkers has great post about transracial adoption, titled: “When the parents are African American and the child is Caucasian,” based on a recent Newsweek article. 

As an adoptive mother of Eastern European Jewish background (i.e. very pale skin) with children who were born in Guatemala, I am familiar with the look full of the question strangers are dying to (and sometimes do) ask me about my family: “Are those your kids?” and the assumption that my husband is Latino. However, once the stranger knows I’m their mother, the assumptions about my role with my children usually ends there. Not so when you are African American and your child is white. Read more MotherTalkers…

As a black father and adopted white daughter, Mark Riding and Katie O’Dea-Smith are a sight at best surprising, and at worst so perplexing that people feel compelled to respond. Like the time at a Pocono Mountains flea market when Riding scolded Katie, attracting so many sharp glares that he and his wife, Terri, 37, and also African-American, thought “we might be lynched.” And the time when well-intentioned shoppers followed Mark and Katie out of the mall to make sure she wasn’t being kidnapped. Or when would-be heroes come up to Katie in the cereal aisle and ask, “Are you OK?”—even though Terri is standing right there. Read more Newsweek

A Washington Post reader issued a rebuttal to columnist Kathleen Parker’s rant against “enforced” diversity, which appeared in the paper last week. (More in tomorrow’s post):

Kathleen Parker’s misguided rant ["You'll Love Diversity -- Or Else," op-ed, April 19] could have benefited from a bit of realism and a lot of empathy. She feels that diversity is best as an “organic process,” and I agree, but she is too idealistic in this assertion when it comes to housing. The fact is, many people will go quite far to keep their communities homogenous, and they are the targets of the National Fair Housing Alliance’s advertisements. Read more…

Jennifer Shoub, director of the Kalamazoo YWCA, wrote a wonderful op-ed in response to a local incident involving race:

We have observed that when race is brought into a discussion a common reaction (typically by the person or institution who is feeling on the defensive about having race pointed out to them) is to provide justification for one’s position, action or words, rather than seek understanding, provide consideration, or respond with human concern for another’s expression of anger, distress or unease.

When we physically step on another’s foot, we apologize. But, when we emotionally or psychologically step on another’s heart or mind, we often become defensive and go out of our way to prove that we were, or had, the right to step in the first place! Read more…


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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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