What is an angry adoptee? Here lately I’ve been seeing this phrase used and I wonder what made the writer use this idiom. Was it something they read? Was it something they heard an adoptee say? Was it a feeling they got or an impression they witnessed and perceived that the person was an angry adoptee?
With all this wondering, I began to think about other cultures that got labeled as angry, like the angry black man of the 1960’s. Can you believe that when I did a google search for angry black men, images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared along with Malcolm X and some Black Panther leaders?
http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/16/us/king-birmingham-jail-letter-anniversary/ (Check out Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham jail. So very passionate and powerful.)
It’s hard to believe that anyone would consider Dr. King to be an angry black man. Is it because he was outspoken about the injustices that were being dispersed upon his race, his community and his own family? Did society really believe it was okay to have separate drinking fountains, separate sitting areas (restaurants, buses), lower wages, and a magnitude of other discriminatory acts that I couldn’t even begin to scratch the surface in this short blog.
As a result, confident, educated and hardworking black men and women began to speak up about the injustices and the unethical practices that Americans were allowing to happen in their own country. This same country that boasted its motto, Land of the Free, a country that vowed to honor and protect its citizens had been turning a blind eye to members of its own people. And people like Dr. King, Malcolm X and so many others had had just about all they could take. They spoke directly about the cruel acts, the hangings, the rapes, the merciless beatings, and they were bound to put a stop to it. As humans we all have our limits, boundaries and breaking points. And who better to speak about the biases and uneven ethical treatment than a black man or woman living in America in the 1960’s.
I’ve viewed many public speaking recordings from Dr. King and I would surely not perceive him as an angry black men. I would say Malcolm X too, even in his more bluntness, spoke with grace and solidarity.
I guess if you were one who supported all those injustices and did not want to see change in America, you may have been one of those individuals who claimed that the Civil Rights Leaders who were speaking in the public arena were angry because they “didn’t like” the way things were happening in their country and wanted America to change.
The 1960’s was truly a crucial turning point in American History.
So now it is a time of reflection on adoption and who better to speak about adoption then the adoptee. I can’t help but think about the incident between Angela Tucker and NPR. For those who are unaware, NPR was doing a story about transracial adoption. Angela Tucker was one of the people interviewed for this feature but for whatever reason, NPR chose not to use Angela Tucker’s voice. Why did NPR go with a white adoptive mom of black adoptees over that of Angela Tucker? From my perception, Angela seems well-educated and not the least bit angry. She obviously has first-hand experience with adoption, beings that she is an adoptee, and a transracial adoptee at that. Please explain to me how her voice could not add value to NPR’s story about transracial adoption. In my mind, choosing not to air Angela’s voice and her story is like choosing not to air one of Dr. King’s speeches.
Adoptee’s have found their voice; have an open forum and are speaking up in great numbers. Don’t we want to know the truth about all adoptees and their experiences? Why is it that we fear hearing any negative experiences or feelings that resulted from adoption? Why do we call the adoptee an angry adoptee if their experience was not an entirely positive experience? Or if the adoptee feels compelled to share their unique experience so we as a society, especially those in the adoption community, can increase our awareness so we do not continue to make the same mistakes, choices or assumptions.
I am sure there are some angry adoptees, just like there are some happy adoptees but let’s stop labeling adoptees as happy or angry. Can’t we just allow them to be human and share their voice and their human experience? Adoptees are real people with real experiences and real emotions. For once, let’s just sit, open our mind, close our mouth and listen to the wisdom of the adoptee.
Change gonna come…