Not sure what my problem is, but if I share politically/socially controversial things on FB, I start feeling like I’m imposing my beliefs on other people and usually end up either swallowing the guilt or deleting the posts. If it’s something I think is actually very important, I’ll leave it up, but right now I’m just going to vent here.
The New Yorker just shared this article on their FB page. It’s about a lesbian couple who are suing a sperm bank for $50,000 because the bank did not give the mother the sperm she had requested. I can understand being upset about that sort of thing; I would imagine that family health history would play a part in choosing a donor, and this negates that planning. However, the article details other objections that the parents have to raising a mixed-race child, such as having to go to a black neighborhood to get the kid’s hair cut and worrying about being able to send her to an all-white school. The article says, “The complaint emphasizes that ‘all of Jennifer’s therapists and experts agree that for her psychological and parental well-being, she must relocate to a racially diverse community with good schools.'”
My thought is — the kid does not care what color her skin is. If the parents care SO MUCH that they are suing the sperm bank over messing it up, that just tells the poor little girl that she is not good enough, that her parents would love her and want her more if she was white, and that it is inherently better to be white than to be black or mixed. These are some of the worst messages that parents can communicate to their children, and the fact that they are concerned enough over this to go to court does not even seem to try to mask their racism.
The article notes that because the mom is a lesbian, she has experienced ostracization and she did not want her daughter to have to go through that with her peers. First, the fact that the daughter is going to grow up with two mothers puts her out of the “norm” anyway. Second though, and maybe I am nothing but a sheltered white girl myself, but I don’t see how this is even applicable. Mixed-race people are not fighting for rights the way that homosexual people are. I agree that neither of these things should be a reason to pass judgment on an individual (the color of your skin is as much your control as the color of your eyes, or your sexual orientation) (actually your sexual orientation is even less your control), but all I can think of is how horrible it would be to discover that your parents had sued a sperm bank because you turned out to be the wrong color. The article quotes — “Jennifer does not want [her daughter] to feel stigmatized or unrecognized due simply to the circumstances of her birth.” Seems to me that if the mother didn’t want her daughter to feel these things, that she would accept her fully as her own daughter and not even mention the color of her skin.
Sometimes I suspect that people who have grown up feeling stigmatized are more likely to stigmatize other people. But again, sheltered white female here. What do I know. I just observe.
2 thoughts on “Racism rant”
I read this when you posted it on Facebook and though the same thing pretty much. Although, i’ve pretty much given up being angry about it. Instead, I just try to influence the people I can and call it a day….
Whenever I feel shy about posting political stuff, I remember that Bloomberg quote, “Cranks move the world; polite, modest, unassuming people with measured views usually don’t.”
The case raises some interesting questions. Many of us had parents who maybe would have ideally wanted someone with better genes and/or memes (e.g. a billionaire or supermodel, or whoever they could have gotten with if they could’ve chosen anyone in the world). But they settled instead for the one they could get, perhaps after several rejections by others, or perhaps because they never even tried to get with those other people, because they knew they didn’t have a chance. We know we’re the results of these unions.
What if we were to ask our parents, “If you’d had your first choice of a mate, out of all the eligible people in the world, who would it have been?” Blinded by love, they might say that they’d pick the same person they ended up with. In this situation, the mother isn’t blinded by love because she doesn’t know the father.