Open thread: Rebecca Walker on capitalism and interracial adoption

Latoya shared this quote with her readers on Racialicious and I wanted us to take some time to discuss it on Anti-Racist Parent:

It is beautiful that people can open their lives to human beings of any background, but I think that all of us – every human being – runs the risk of being commodified in a hypercapitalist culture. For example, I feel that as a biracial person I have more social currency now that we have a biracial president. So when we think about which bodies have currency, it’s an interesting question.

One of the writers [whose piece] didn’t make it into One Big Happy Family wrote about how the process of adopting a child from another country made her more aware of human trafficking. Ultimately, she had to question whether her child had been put up for adoption or was stolen. If we look at plunging fertility in developed nations and raging underdevelopment and poverty in others, we can see how children can become the ultimate product.

Many people don’t realize that there are more human beings in slavery today than ever before. The discussion of transracial adoptees should be part of a growing awareness about the modern slave trade, but I think the glamourization of them in popular culture often does not lend itself to a deeper dialogue.

— “All In the Family: A Q + A with author Rebecca Walker”, Bitch Magazine, Fall of 2009, interview by our Racialicious contributor Nadra Kareem

Also, hear Carmen, atlasien and I discuss this quote in this week’s edition of Addicted to Race.

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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, Change.org, 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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