I shared the photo above today as a reminder to myself and clarification for others about why I do what I do.
When a family member left a comment on my Facebook post last night expressing her support for Trump, I had several options. I could ignore her. I could apologize for my beliefs and cower to her right to express her own. I could have taken the conversation offline. But since she chose to reply to a public post, it seemed appropriate to say what I needed to say right there. I wanted people to see what transracial adoptees face and show others we can be courageous and speak hard truth with real consequences.
These are gut-wrenching, painful conversations to have for all of us. Transracial adoptees, in particular – who were raised in white families around privilege and “colorblindness” – are often dismissed when they try to share their concerns and experiences with racism.
Saying in one breath that you love me, but still support Trump unequivocally holds so much cognitive dissonance. These are not normal times where we can agree to disagree. The lives and civil rights of women, people of color, the LGBTQI+ community are all at stake. Truly loving me – in the way that every person deserves to be loved – cannot be outweighed by the support of a president who espouses hateful rhetoric and enacts dangerous policies against me and my people.
I am grateful for everyone who jumped into the fray with me yesterday or sent private messages of solidarity. We are not alone. No matter what people say in an attempt to hurt or gaslight us. Racism is real. It is pervasive. Toxic. Infecting even those closest to our lives. We are all cogs in a system that many are unwilling to acknowledge exists– let alone help dismantle.
I love my family, but I don’t do what I do for them. I do it for the people who weren’t given the privileges my family members have and need to know someone cares and will fight for their humanity. Even when the people who love us won’t.
“Remember: white supremacy is not a shark; it’s the water.”