Guest Post: An Open Letter To Those White Pro-Life Parents Intent on Adopting Black Kids Just To Prove A Point

26 Apr

Guest Post by Aresa Jvon

Dear Aaron,

We’ve gotta talk about this Washington Post article that you wrote. You know, the one about how you and your wife like to collect cute black kids to live in your rainbow family. The one about how being pro-life means you should march into a fertility clinic and demand the blackest embryos they’re got. You know the one I mean

It’s bad.

It’s really, really bad.

It’s so bad that I’m trying to figure out where to begin addressing such a horrible article. In fact, even referring to what was published as an article is insulting to the hardworking and competent journalists out there who compose amazing and well thought out pieces on a daily basis. This was not an article, it was a seemingly never-ending shit fest in which each sentence was worse than the previous. I tip my hat to the author for being fully committed to the agenda no matter how ridiculous.   Consistency is key after all?

Let me first thank you, Aaron, for clarifying repeatedly that you and your wife are white, because that seemed to be a source of confusion for me. I was sitting at my desk desperately trying to figure that part out, but the reminder in each paragraph easily placed things into perspective for me. I can’t say “thank-you” enough to you two Great White Saviors and truly where would these po’ lil ole black embryos be without two highly privileged and painfully ignorant individuals such as yourselves?

And while I’m thanking you, Aaron, I guess I should probably show you some gratitude for this gem of a sentence:

“My wife, on the other hand, grew up in the delta of Mississippi and it wasn’t until she took a few trips to Haiti that the veil of racial prejudice was lifted from her eyes.”

What does this mean? Are you saying that she was racist as heck until she went to Haiti? Or that she didn’t think racism was real until she did some poverty tourism>

If it’s the latter, how amazing and privileged a life your wife has led, that she apparently did not encounter any racism in Mississippi of all places? I guess names like James Anderson  – who was the victim of a hate crime that made national news – likely won’t ring a bell to these two. Probably if you don’t see color, then you’re not likely to recognize racially-motivated crimes for what they are. In all seriousness, though, how can anyone say with a straight face that they grew up in the south but didn’t realize racism existed until they went to Haiti? Must have been nice for your to grow up in post-racial America. I just wish that people other than little white girls got to have the same experience.


But wait, it gets worse. At one point you write:

“There is something beautiful and enriching being the only white face sitting and chatting with some of my African-American friends as my son gets his hair cut on a Saturday morning. There is also something wonderful in the relationship that is built as my wife asks a black friend on Facebook how to care for our little biracial daughter’s hair.”

This is where I really had to get up and take a break from existing, and even considered cancelling my internet and cable services so that I would no longer have to suffer through this article. Is there a club or place at which I can sign up to be that one black friend and share in this delight? Wait oops, I work in corporate America and my membership is free with employment. Dopeness! A bit of advice to ole boy, it would probably be better received to collect material items you know like a Ferrari for instance instead of people as accessories for your delight so that you can share experiences with your token friends will NEVER be ok. Like ever, mmmk?

It would also be nice to have some answers regarding how one deems themselves pro-life yet can walk into an embryo bank and order the “black ones” only, as if standing in line at KFC to place an order for dark meat. How are you pro-life but likely walked into an invitro center and reminded them of your whiteness as you have done repeatedly, and placed an order for ONLY the black ones? I will answer it for you Aaron: it is because you and the subjects you wrote about are what we call benevolent racists. In your mind, the five piece dark special you have acquired makes you a savior and game-changer.

You know what would’ve been a real game-changer? Providing a black family struggling with infertility with funding for in vitro fertilization. You’d be accomplishing the same goals that you allegedly set out to accomplish, but in a way that isn’t going to generate a Washington Post story about how great you are. Which, frankly, is what seems to be the goal here: you looking good in national media.

I know I’ve said this already, but I really can’t emphasize this enough: Black people aren’t things. Black babies don’t exist for you to collect and show off as some kind of proof that you’re a good person. If you really care about black lives, make a donation to Black Lives Matter or attend a protest against police brutality. There are so many ways that you could support black communities; you say you’re ready to show that you mean what you say about being pro-life, but you don’t seem quite so interested in proving your commitment to anti-racism. Instead, you look like someone who wants some kind of award for being progressive enough to let black children into your home.

You make a comment in your article about the people you feel are judging you. You write, “There will always be the older white woman in Walmart who stared at us with sheer disgust, or the African-American mother who looked at us and just shook her head.” Did you ever think that African-American mother might have a good reason to shake her head? Did you consider maybe asking her what that was? Or are you just going to go on assuming that what you’ve believed all along to be true: that you, a white person, believe that there is not a single argument from any black person anywhere that will ever dissuade you from believing that you’re right.


Author Aresa Jvon

32 Responses to “Guest Post: An Open Letter To Those White Pro-Life Parents Intent on Adopting Black Kids Just To Prove A Point”

  1. Jeff/neighsayer April 26, 2016 at 2:53 am #

    well said. We were having trouble catching pregnant and looked into adoption. The first thing that came up was black babies out of a large American City (I live in the whitest place in Canada), and we started down that road before we finally caught pregnant ourselves. That was something we might have done at the time, but not long after I started to wonder if after we got our baby, some other poor black family would lose theirs, that we would have been participating in some evil market where the kids were CPS recoveries or something. I don’t mean damaged kids, I mean state-abducted kids for sale. I feel I a dodged a moral bullet. I mean, maybe we’re helping some teen mom finish school when we do that, but maybe not. Maybe we’re taking kids freed up from their parents because of the racist war on drugs. That is a terrible chance to take – and a terrible situation to have ignored through my ignorance and privilege if it had worked out.

  2. ebonysmonaesthoughts April 26, 2016 at 3:07 am #

    This is maddening. Because there are people that take kids of other races in just because these kids have no other place to go. Take my mother for example we are a African American family but my mom is adopting two kids of different races. What happened to compassion? Do everyone do things to make a story out of it. My little sister is Hispanic and Caucasian, her hair texture is totally different from mines but I’m not going to ask a Hispanic or Caucasian person how to do her hair. Some days she gonna have good hair days and others days she won’t just like me. Great post though!

  3. Steele Shakira April 26, 2016 at 3:40 am #

    I haven’t read the article that this post is about; nor do I have a desire to, because I work with a self-righteous b******* like this, every day. He adopted a black child many years ago, after her mother actually requested that he do so, before she died. Hearing his stories about this child, make me cringe, because she’s his ‘Black daughter’; not his daughter- you have to constantly be reminded that she’s black. The poor girl has even been conditioned to refer to herself as his ‘black daughter’. This is the guy who doesn’t want ethnics at his WWII Swing Dances, not if they come dressed as ‘Zoot Suiters’ …because he calls them ‘unpatriotic’ and you can’t tell him the real reason for the discrimination was/is racism. He’s not racist he has a ‘black daughter’; he just doesn’t like people acting non-white.

  4. sashaj11 April 26, 2016 at 4:03 am #

    Awesome, well thought out article.

  5. Shirley April 26, 2016 at 4:45 am #

    Aresa, I read your article first then went back to the Washington Post article. I support what you said. Aaron makes a big issue of race when speaking of his children. So if he wishes to achieve ethnic diversity within his family why no Latin children, Native American children? Everything in his family is black or white. And why make issue of the color of their skin rather than child or sibling. It so appears that this couple is doing this pro-life adoption for themselves for poster-child “see what a great Christian I am.”- Not one mention about teaching these children about THEIR ethnicity. Or does that not count if they are God’s children. I sincerely question the authenticity of their pride of the children’s ethnicity.

  6. Nícia April 26, 2016 at 7:52 am #

    I support you, Aresa. If this isn’t racism, I don’t know what is: “We wanted additional siblings to feel connected to our first two children racially, and asked the team at the NEDC if we could be matched with African-American embryos. They agreed with our thoughts about our kids matching each other racially and were supportive of the decision to select African American embryos.”

  7. Emily April 26, 2016 at 8:09 am #

    Thank you for writing this. I couldn’t even get through the other article. I gave up early on, at the veil of racial prejudice being lifted on the trip to Haiti. This needed to be said.

  8. esammarie April 26, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Love, love, love this piece! Spot on. Thank you!

  9. danielhszabo April 26, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    I’m sad for America that racism is so omnipresent that a white person can’t do something for a black person without being called a racist. So much spite in your response, it’s sad. Does it mean white people should not adopt black children? Does it mean that because they’re “white evangelicals” they can only be wrong? Can we give them the benefit of the doubt and perhaps believe that they’re doing this out of love and that they’re trying to show that colour doesn’t matter? I’m white and I don’t care. It doesn’t define who I am. Ok I’m French and although we have racism like everywhere else the divide between blacks and whites is not as big as in America. And it’s not because a majority of white evangelicals are perhaps idiots and might vote for Trump that ALL white evangelicals are idiots, bigots and Trump supporters. Have you heard of Tim Keller? I can assure you he will not vote for Trump and he’s not an idiot. The problem is that in America you’re not allowed to talk about race if you’re white. You’re not allowed to say you have black friends without being frowned upon. You see two of my three closest friends are black but we don’t even notice it here in France, we don’t care about it. They are my children’s godparents and no one questions that. Perhaps Aaron’s article is awkward (he’s not a professional writer) because he is probably aware that it’s such a touchy subject that whatever he might say he will be scrutinised and analysed and criticised. You see it’s so easy to call other people racists and not look at ourselves in the mirror. It’s so easy to criticise people who are actually trying to do something in their own way. Perhaps they won’t go to a protest and perhaps you do and that’s great. Can you really blame them for preferring to adopt a child or an embryo than seeing this life not happen? I’m a Christian and yet I’m not a Republican. I’m white and if I were American I could never vote for Republicans. I try to follow Christ and yet I don’t think abortion should be illegal (though I do have an issue with abortion and I’m against it personally I am also against laws that forbid it). But I see much more love in Aaron and his wife however awkward than in your response that is full of contempt, anger and even hatred. “Black babies don’t exist for you to collect and show off as some kind of proof that you’re a good person.” This sentence for example is quite awful—I don’t know if you have children yourself but having children is a gift and a sacrifice at the same time. It is both beautiful and hard. Raising children with love is one of the hardest things and yet it’s worth it. The fact that this couple was even willing to adopt children instead of having their own children is hard to fathom, but it’s too easy to criticise. As I’ve said I’m French though I’ve lived in America for a while and I know that American history is certainly not in favour of white people (as in they have caused so much sorrow, so much pain and injustice), but you can’t keep looking at all white Americans and think that all they do is motivated by racism. I stumbled upon this blog after a friend of mine posted the beautiful and moving article ‘being a girl…’ And n the same way as all men are not sexists and abusive to women, all whites are not racist and they do not all suffer from the ‘white saviour industrial complex’ as Teju Cole put it. I love Teju Cole but sometimes he forgets that good things also come out of these white people who want to help others out of love. And that’s the bone I wanted to pick with you today (and I don’t often pick bones). Having said that I don’t know you and I don’t know your writings but perhaps you show amazing love and grace in your other stuff but unfortunately that was not the case here. You might not agree with me but please don’t be too harsh with me I’m not trying to start an argument (and certainly not trying to bring out hate). Love. DS

    • Andrea April 27, 2016 at 3:30 am #

      Great response and spot on! Thanks for calling it out. Racism knows many faces and shades. Love is love.Or so I read. In these two stories these tone deaf but genuine parents have more love than a virulent bitter black women filled with scorn. Sad statement on America. Let them be however dorky or tone deaf they are!

    • Josie poland May 2, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

      If they truly want to help a child or children, why would they choose to adopt left over in vitro black babies?

      Why wouldn’t they instead go to,an a f I p t ion agency and ask.for a child that needs a living dsmily. There are lots of already been born children ot there waiting for their forever home

    • Q. August 19, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

      If someone doesn’t want to be referred as a racist, they should try and not point out someone else as “black” or “white” or any other colour for that matter. They point out people as “PEOPLE”. Easy, isn’t?

    • Q. August 19, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      If somebody doesn’t want to be referred as a racist, they should try and not point out someone else as “black” or “white” or any other colour for that matter. They point out people as “PEOPLE”. Easy, isn’t?

  10. Sarah B. April 26, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Just reading the snippets you posted has me appalled on many levels. I must go find the article now because my brain is warped to have to see the drivel in its entirety.

  11. bnzoot April 26, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    Oh God. I had avoided this article (his, not yours) because the picture gave me a squicky feeling in my gut. But all your awesome snark made me go read it, and now I know why my gut was rolling at the photo, because I kinda sorta knew what I would read. Where to begin? It irritates me on so many levels…. Like, if they’re so invested in being saviors to black or multi-racial kids, how about the ones already born languishing in foster care because they’re difficult to adopt? But babies are easier because they might not have problems, the problems of being bounced around foster homes, and the tender mercies of CPS.
    He really does see himself (and his wife) as saviors. Ugh. It just sets off every ick button I have with regard to the sub-set of Christians who feel they have a lock on what God wants.
    “Select” African-American embryos. We don’t “select” children, for the love of God. This upsets me as much as those who would select for eye color, etc., in their own embryos.
    And seriously, she didn’t see racism until she went to Haiti? I grew up white as the driven snow and solidly middle class in racially diverse Southern California and noticed at a very young age that whenever I saw the Highway Patrol searching a car, the drivers were almost always black or Hispanic. It’s all around, if one has eyes to see.
    But I am glad your post made me read the article, because maybe the most dangerous thing for white people like me, is to ignore the stuff that makes us recoil in disgust, because we need to be reminded that this is still happening, all around, everywhere. And I don’t know what I can do about it, except shake my head and try not to be like that myself.

  12. Patrick Patterson April 26, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    White evangelicals…need one say more?

    • listentothebabe April 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

      My precise thought. But I didn’t want to come across as biased in a post about racism… It is unimaginable how one is comfortable using embryos and children to promote propaganda.

  13. Little Voice April 26, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    I haven’t read the article, but I’ve read your response several times, and thank you. Thank you for addressing the issue directly, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. White supremacy is alive and well.

  14. Mick Canning April 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    Racism dressed up as non-racism, if that makes sense. Self-promotion dressed up as benevolence.

  15. Lorraine E. Castro April 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    Amen to everything you said!

  16. gigoid April 27, 2016 at 2:03 am #

    Well said. If I started using descriptive adjectives, it would sound like fawning, but, well said, for sure and for certain.

    The only comment possible on these two ‘persons’, for me, I’m afraid, would probably get me blocked, as it would refer directly to the IQ of their ancestors, as well as make suggestions they’d find anatomically impossible, if not disgusting. So, I won’t say it. I will quote Frank Zappa, who once mentioned, “I’m not black, but, there are a lot of times I wish I wasn’t white.” I know exactly how he felt.Their ignorance is cringe-worthy.

    Thanks for sharing your take on their faux compassion; maybe they’ll read it. I hope so.

    N. R. Moore, aka gigoid, the dubious

  17. I like your article, very inspiring and thank you for your post..

  18. teachingandlifealongtheway April 28, 2016 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve found in life that a lot of people’s actions should be judged based on their reasons for doing something and it seems as if, as you addressed, this family is adopting black children for the wrong reasons. I love to see diversity within families. However, there are the very few diverse families who act as if it is some sort of trophy and that, I believe, is when it becomes a problem. I don’t know this family and maybe he just gave off the wrong impression in this article but I have a feeling that he does not fully understand racism, especially when it comes to implicit racism. Thank you for addressing this.

  19. Lauren May 1, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    This is a beautiful response. First, it addresses the systemic racism built into our society and calls out white people on their bull shit. Aaron from the article, is not “doing something good” for the black community, he and his wife did something to make themselves feel good. The white savior complex has to be dismantled if we can ever work toward equality. I’m so sick of people saying we “cry racism” or some other ill informed shit. If we say something isn’t what it seems, as is the case here, we are doing our civic duty. That civic duty being that we absolutely must continue a conversation on race and extend that conversation to the point it isn’t comfortable for some people…because until we truly are able to do that, nothing will change. Thank you for this beautiful piece.

  20. youngjamaican May 21, 2016 at 1:06 am #

    Great post

  21. newwordwars May 24, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    OK, I read both articles and here’s the thing. While it may have been poorly written, I believe our inept author was trying to say something about love, race and his personal belief. Having never grown up the recipient of racial prejudice, it was probably difficult to recognize or describe. Hence, the veil lifting analogy.
    Crossing the racial boundaries is difficult. The rise in anger and resentment from the Black community, isn’t exactly welcoming to those who tend to ignore race. The backlash from every side has been enough to discourage many from even trying. It was arrogant of them to insist on one race over another, especially if they are fertile. It was not evil, just stupid.
    As a final point. You cannot understand where it is they came from. What their experiences were like, that shaped them into what they are. Until and unless you are willing to look at both sides, all you will ever see is the racism. All you will ever be is a racist yourself. They may be stupid and naive, but at least they’re trying.

  22. Joel Latterell May 24, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    I didn’t read the article but get a sense of it from your take.

    1. enough said.

    2. Do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing…and don’t go bragging to us about both of your hands.

    3. My own story: When I first married my wife who is black (waiting for congratulations and applause…) I probably did a lot of this: overly fawning attempts at interacting with African American culture and name dropping what I learned about it. I was genuinely pleased when I learned phrases like “ashy” and “Black don’t crack” and that black people generally don’t like swimming (maybe my wife made that up to explain her lack of ability?)

    Like most white people, I approached this new universe with the same thing all white people approach like situations: without cultural savvy or grace. But I approached it with earnestness nonetheless because it’s exciting to become part of a new world that I had not been a part of. For white people in the suburbs of the north, discussions on race usually start and end with the idea of culpability: “racism and inequality are our fault and that’s all we have to think or say about the matter.”

    As time went on, I noticed occasional racist tendencies in myself that I had not thought could be there and I dealt with them as honestly as I can. My wife patiently waited for a good time to tell me that “gal” is not an appropriate descriptor for females. But, what I’m really missing in most online exchanges about race in our country is a more genuine entry point for white people. Granted, I’m not implying we deserve a place at the table. I’m just saying: we want to have a restorative discussion. We want reconciliation, justice, peace and love yes?

    Yes: inequality and racism still exist, still devour large amounts of good and beautiful people. We can’t have an honest discussion about race without addressing them in detail and admit that they are now. But WE can’t have a discussion about race without acknowledging a genuine entry point for white people that doesn’t begin and end with guilt and some sort of ‘reparations by shame’ ethic.

    Speaking honestly as a white person: where do I enter the conversation? If I say racism isn’t a big deal: I’m a heartless ostrich willfully ignorant of ongoing injustice. If I over-identify with black culture and the black struggle, then well…

    And I don’t think it’s a genuine desire on the part of anyone currently in the conversation to have the white part of America’s conversation on race to take the position of perennial guilt without opinion or stake. As a white guy, I don’t like racism because but the whole point of the conversation is to turn “us and them” into “we.”

    Maybe this comes across as a challenge and I don’t mean it to be. I don’t intend it to be critical of the original post because I agree with the original post. What I’m asking for is this: a road map forward that we can all agree on. The first part of that roadmap should be: how do we talk to each other while maintaining and assuming the best intentions of the other?

  23. Amy Cherie Copeland May 24, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    What’s more sickening is that, even as this couple claims to be pro-life, fertility clinics destroy thousands of unwanted embryos every year. A fertility clinic is the last place a pro-life person should be patronizing.

  24. rajski tadeusz June 28, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Hello to those of you looking for baby to adopt, I’m Mr rajski tadeusz by name,lots have a set of twins, boy and girl here, they don’t have all it takes to take care of them as they have made their decision to put them for adoption,During their pregnancy they had used no drugs, cigarette or alcohol. interested couples looking forward to adopt the babies should please contact:( , they don’t just want the little children to suffer anymore please HELP by coming to take them from us thank you very much..

  25. thefolia July 7, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

    Well these parents will certainly get the picture once their precious “accessories” come of age and really see what it’s like for a black male and black female in their little white world. The ignorant comments unfortunately are heard constantly and actions based on fear as we hear and see from our great protectors the police force are out of control. Courage to us all!

  26. tkrozen August 1, 2016 at 3:53 am #

    Tell um


  1. Guest Post: An Open Letter To Those White Pro-Life Parents Intent on Adopting Black Kids Just To Prove A Point – thefuriousurging - May 10, 2016

    […] Source: Guest Post: An Open Letter To Those White Pro-Life Parents Intent on Adopting Black Kids Just To Pro… […]

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