This one is a bit strange to me. All through the Adoption process nobody…I mean NOBODY explained the trials and tribulations of raising a black child in semi-post-racist America? Black Adoption Social workers fought tooth and nail only a decade or so against interracial adoption, in large part for the same reason. Uhhh…Sandra, and the rest of the white Hollywood elites who adopt black kids…Being rich in America doesn’t mean you won’t face racism, being stopped by a racist cop for driving your Maserati in the Hollywood Hill where you live…
Or possibly be assaulted by same bad cop, denied service at Hermes, or pay twice the interest rate when you replace said Maserati with a Jag despite you 800 credit score.
Sandra Bullock’s Fears For Her Black Son
Actress Sandra Bullock recently spoke out about the anxiety she feels for her adopted black son. The Our Brand Is Crisis star adopted the now-5-year-old Louis from New Orleans in 2010 when he was an infant and is reportedly in the final stages of adopting a baby girl, also from New Orleans. Back in 2010, there was speculation from some that the adoption was a PR move meant to soften the sting of her high-profile divorce from TV star Jesse James—hurtful reports that proved to be bogus, since she’d been trying to adopt for several years prior to the couple’s split. She hasn’t shared much about her life with little Louis, but that changed this week.
In the November issue of Glamour magazine, Bullock talks about her anxiety in anticipating the racism she knows her son will face. “You see how far we’ve come in civil rights—and where we’ve gotten back to now. I want my son to be safe. I want my son to be judged for the man he is,” the actress says. “We are at a point now where if we don’t do something, we will have destroyed what so many amazing people have done.”
She said that she is afraid she won’t be able to shield him.
“You look at women’s rights; it’s turning into a mad, mad world out there. But sometimes it needs to get really loud for people to say, ‘I can’t unsee this.’ If I could ride in a bubble with him for the rest of his life, I would. But I can’t.”
Bullock’s fears aren’t special or unique. Black mothers have spoken and written about the fear they have for their sons living and growing in a society that deems them a threat. And when, in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder, the president himself mentioned that “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” and shared that, “There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.”
Sandra Bullock operates from a position of white privilege. Those who consider themselves aware, who have the audacity to call themselves “progressive”—they have to start with recognizing that particular truth. Recognizing her son’s blackness and what that means for him is part of understanding who he is and how his experiences will be different from hers. All too often, white folks can only value interactions with black people that don’t demand that they recognize the racism that black people face; and inversely, they never have to acknowledge the societal privilege born of white supremacy.
Bullock didn’t say anything remarkable about race. She simply stated what is and should always be fairly obvious. But the weight of her statement gets magnified in the context of the current pop culture climate. If Matt Damon and Miley Cyrus are any indication, many white superstars are clearly invested in distorting or dismissing the reality of racism.…More...
October 8, 2015 at 10:13 AM
As is true with (White) privilege, there is no problem unless / until it’s a problem to you personally. Sandra simply stepped outside of her privileged bubble. I give her credit for at least acknowledging the issue; many wouldn’t do that.
October 8, 2015 at 10:47 AM
Sandra grew up here in NoVa in Arlington, Va. She certainly wasn’t shielded growing up by a wealthy family, although her Mom was a fairly well known Opera Singer. She attended Washington-Lee High School which has a fairly diverse student population. Her Mom lived here in the area until 2000, when she passed away.
Perhaps that W&L experience helped.
October 8, 2015 at 1:58 PM
I think the experience you describe is why she could consider a Black child to adopt begin with. Just a guess of course, but I bet in her mind “We are all the same” or something like that. And she is raising her son in HER world, not really realizing her world isn’t the only one.
James Baldwin said: “To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” Black folk are constantly reminded of our “position”, regardless of our reaction – from crime to conservatism. (Side note: I believe a large part of Black conservatism is a reaction to this social / racial rejection – “please accept me, I’m good too!”. But that’s another topic). Being confused with the waiter or the valet at a restaurant, being treated poorly / disrespected by a police officer, etc., or being assumed the lesser intellect in a school or professional setting are constant reminders.
Sandra, and people like her, see this from afar (if at all). She is invested only because of her adopted son. This doesn’t make her “bad” or anything, it’s the the reality (IMHO).