News


Let’s Look Beyond Skin Color

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28, 1996

When people talk about transracial adoptions, they usually think of white parents adopting African-American children who risk losing their identity.

However, the same thing happens when African-Americans adopt white children.

I speak from experience. You see, my mom married an African-American in 1970, and when she died in 1977, he adopted me and became my legal father.

Growing up in an African-American family had the same stigma on me, as a white child, as an African-American child would experience being raised by a white family.

I was a blond, blue-eyed kid. Try explaining that to people around you when they meet your African-American father. Try dealing with every racial remark that can be imagined. Or try figuring out what part of society you belong in when whites don’t want you because your family is African-American and African-Americans don’t want you around because you are white.

We adults could learn so much from our children. They play with whomever they please. It doesn’t matter what the skin color is.

It is parents or other adults who instill in children who they can play with and who they cannot play with.

Racism starts in the home and continues on television, in newspapers, schools and any other way possible to get the message across.

When are we going to stop dividing ourselves? When does the segregation end and the desegregation begin?

Ethnicity is an important part of everyone’s background, but racism is not.

Our children are far too important, and they deserve to have families and homes where love and care can be provided unconditionally.

They do not deserve to be seen as “Oreos,” rather than as human beings, just because they live in mixed-race families.

Far too many children of all races are waiting in foster homes for families who will love them and be there for them, someone they can call Mom and Dad.

There are people who are concerned only with adoption, not skin color. If my African-American father had not adopted me when my birth father no longer wanted me, I would have gone to a foster home.

I was raised to not look at skin color. As an adult, I’ve been able to see that the values that matter focus on the fact that we’re all human beings.

MEMO: “Your turn” is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a “Your turn” column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write “Your turn,” The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane 99210-1615.

“Your turn” is a feature of the Wednesday and Saturday Opinion pages. To submit a “Your turn” column for consideration, contact Rebecca Nappi at 459-5496 or Doug Floyd at 459-5466 or write “Your turn,” The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane 99210-1615.



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