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BRAND X

Orphaned transracial international ungrateful insurgent Class Bastard.

Posts tagged identity

Sep 30 '14

korwegianseoul:

Saw this posted….an adoptee is forbidden to learn his language where he is from as his adoptive father forbids it.  Normally I don’t use the term adoptive but in this case this father doesn’t deserve to be called a father with his narrow minded thinking!  

All adoptive parent’s please do not be like this prick of an adoptive dad. We as adoptees need to know about our history, our identity.  It doesn’t mean we are leaving you.  By doing this you are just pushing your adopted kid out of your family when all they needed was loving support. 

This is ethnocide, plain and simple.

Sep 13 '14

99% of media portrayals of adopted kids

  • scenario 1: no problems ever! graciously rescued from a broken home/impoverished or war-torn country! unquestioningly grateful and indebted to their adoptive family! has nothing but 100% good things to say about being adopted, all the time!
  • scenario 2: absolutely miserable. aggressively resentful of adopted family and of their adoption. will petulantly respond to even the most gentle of requests with proclamations of "you're not my real family!" usually a rebel/delinquent/generally maladjusted and sometimes even violent.
  • The other 1%? Aliens. Seriously.
Jul 13 '14
"It grew out of trying to conceptualize the way the law responded to issues where both race and gender discrimination were involved. What happened was like an accident, a collision. Intersectionality simply came from the idea that if you’re standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you are likely to get hit by both. These women are injured, but when the race ambulance and the gender ambulance arrive at the scene, they see these women of color lying in the intersection and they say, ‘Well, we can’t figure out if this was just race or just sex discrimination. And unless they can show us which one it was, we can’t help them.’"
Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Intersectionality: The Double Bind of Race and Gender” (via ethiopienne)

(Source: ethiopienne)

Jul 13 '14
jeromewaznice:

newblackschool:

ancestralvoices:

“Can you name one African God? How can you then define yourself, the very true essence of yourself and the very essence of your soul and organise the very nature of your life here on earth based on a god handed to us by our slave master and say that you have no slave consciousness?” Dr. Amos N. Wilson.
 Ancestral Voices: Esoteric African Knowledge
Website
FaceBook 
Twitter 

Food for Thought. 

I can name several. Still doesn’t invalidate what he’s saying….

jeromewaznice:

newblackschool:

ancestralvoices:

“Can you name one African God? How can you then define yourself, the very true essence of yourself and the very essence of your soul and organise the very nature of your life here on earth based on a god handed to us by our slave master and say that you have no slave consciousness?” Dr. Amos N. Wilson.

 Ancestral Voices: Esoteric African Knowledge

Website

FaceBook 

Twitter 

Food for Thought. 

I can name several. Still doesn’t invalidate what he’s saying….

Jul 7 '14

Anonymous asked:

Growing up in a white family, did you ever wish you would have grown up in a black family or feel like you were missing out?

onlyblackgirl:

Yes, all the time. Don’t me wrong, I love my family and i think they did good with what resources they had, but as far as culture, my own identity and sanity i certainly never felt like i belonged and always felt lost.

I also grew up in a predominantly white city so i didn’t even have a black community i could connect with, it was literally just me and other transracially adopted family members going thru the same thing till high school. So i really had and still have a hard time connecting with my family members simply because i don’t feel like i have anything in common with them, it has gotten a bit better now mainly with my mom, we actually talk about race & racism quite a bit but it still feels like we try to tiptoe around the elephant in the room that “hey guess what, you have 3 black kids in your family, we are not and never will be white”. 

People always ask me if i could’ve switched, would i, and that is always a hard question for me to answer. Growing up in a black family certainly would have made my life easier and less stressful, but i think i would have also taken a considerably different path in life and would not have turned out to be the person i am today. 

Jun 26 '14

sweetsugaryshock:

beben-eleben:

For future reference.

Thank you.

Jun 26 '14

I used to hate my name…

onlyblackgirl:

My birth mother gave me the name “Waykedria” but my white adoptive parents changed it to “Rebekah” because “Waykedria” was too abnormal for them and they could never spell it. They kept is as a middle name solely out of respect for my birth mother. I was also teased and called ghetto when I told people by middle name. I started to hate it, shame it, hide it and curse my birth mother for ever giving to me.

Then recently, when I decided to start looking for my birth mother, my adoptive mother gave me a letter that my birth mother wrote to me when I was a baby. In it, she explain everything not only about the adoption but also why she names me Waykedria. It was a family name that has been passed down to the first female in my grandfathers family for generations. My perspective completely changed. I started to take pride upon realizing the everything people had told me didn’t matter. Also felt so cheated and lied to that my adoptive parents just erased a whole part of my identity just to make their own lives more comfortable. So I looked good on paper. Just because your name has more letters or a different combination of letters than what society is used to, does not make you less. It does not make you ghetto, chances are your name has a meaning to it.

It is because of this that it irks me so much when transracial adoptee or international students are alway forced to change their name it something more “American” sounding. My sister from Ethiopia was forced to change her name, my 6 cousins forced to changed from “Semegn” to Sarah, from Ashenafi to “Joseph. You erase culture, you erase identities. You tell us we need to “fit in” to white culture or we won’t make it. You basically tell us that our culture and identity come second to white Americas comfort.

Truly GLORIOUS post.

This xenophobic erasure of birth identity takes place in every First World(tm) nation comprising the “receiver countries” of the adoption industry, but there’s an added level of absurdity in countries like the U.S., Canada, and Australia that have been invaded with foreigners to begin with (see The European Settlers’ Inability to Feel at Home by transracial adoptee & activist Tobias Hübinette).

Jun 24 '14

hannigoat:

so i met up with this Jewish guy i haven’t seen in like two years. we talk about his faith or lack of faith, and my non-faith. we talk about families and ancestors, culture, and history. he tells me stories of his family, how he learned hebrew, how large and connected his family is.

he asks me about my family and i say, i don’t talk to them anymore. i cut contact. i was adopted. i know my birthmom but it is rocky. my birthdad doesn’t exist.

i don’t even know his name. i just have one photo.

he looks at me. he asks me, “do you feel rootless? i mean, not only do you not know your family, you left everything behind you. do feel like you don’t have a country?”

and no one has asked me this but it has been on my heart for 2-3 years. growing. i feel rootless even though i am learning a new language. i struggle with the language because my soul isn’t in it anymore. there was nothing more i wanted than to leave america behind, but somewhere in the past 5 years immigration became a burden and not a blessing…it is always both for me.

i am safe, however i have limited resources (now changing). i am safe and loved, but i reel at the idea of having my own family. people bug me about children, because “it’s time, isn’t it?” no matter how many times i explain why i may never breed (or adopt). i want my own family, however i am afraid i would ruin it because i only know what not to do with children.

i am trying to sink my roots into the norwegian soil while living in fear of being tied down to anything.

he says, “my mother and father told me I had to decide what country i wanted to be from, to claim as my own. otherwise i would be and stay rootless.”

he speaks 6 languages fluently. he has more stamps in his passport than me and has lived in more countries than me. his parents have moved all over europe in search of a home before settling here.

my parents hopped around the us before hiding us away in the woods from all authority. i was in my 20’s before i even saw a cop car within 10 miles of our farm. we spoke only english. i feel proud because even if i only have a high school diploma, i immigrated and am doing something they never could do, and i have worked so hard to speak my heavily accented, grammatically poor norwegian.

i inhabit a half space. part norwegian, part american, part something else.

i feel my roots in the landcape of the pacific northwest US and yet in the rocks and dirt of a new land. and i still can’t settle because i am both and nothing, something, somewhere…else. something else.

my roots are shallow and i wonder when i will feel grounded.

rooted. planted.

home.

(Source: hannibalthegoat)

Jun 19 '14
"Cultural identity is particularly significant for an adopted child because they have already lost a large chunk of their identity through being removed from their birth families…"

Kate Hilpern, The Guardian (via mspreciouswilliams)

…all the while being expected to be grateful for the loss and the absence. X

Jun 12 '14
"i.

“Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.”

My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.

“Don’t let them give you an English nickname,” my mother insists once again, “I didn’t raise amreekan.”

My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth. Eight years in this country and she’s still not convinced she lives here. She wears her headscarf tightly around her neck, wades across the school lawn in long, floor-skimming skirts. Eight years in this country and her tongue refuses to bend and soften for the English language. It embarrasses me, her heavy Arab tongue, wrapping itself so forcefully around the clumsy syllables of English, strangling them out of their meaning.

But she is fierce and fearless. I have never heard her apologize to anyone. She will hold up long grocery lines checking and double-checking the receipt in case they’re trying to cheat us. My humiliation is heavy enough for the both of us. My English is not. Sometimes I step away, so people don’t know we’re together but my dark hair and skin betray me as a member of her tribe.

On my first day of school, my mother presses a kiss to my cheek.

“Your name is Tasbeeh,” she says again, like I’ve forgotten. “Tasbeeh.”

ii.

Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.

“Tas…?”

“Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”

A pause.

“Do you go by anything else?”

“No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”

“Tazbee. All right. Alex?”

She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.

“Tazbee,” says one of the students on the playground, later. “Like Tazmanian Devil?” Everyone laughs. I laugh too. It is funny, if you think about it.

iii.

I do not correct anyone for years. One day, in third grade, a plane flies above our school.

“Your dad up there, Bin Laden?” The voice comes from behind. It is dripping in derision.

“My name is Tazbee,” I say. I said it in this heavy English accent, so he may know who I am. I am American. But when I turn around they are gone.

iv.

I go to middle school far, far away. It is a 30-minute drive from our house. It’s a beautiful set of buildings located a few blocks off the beach. I have never in my life seen so many blond people, so many colored irises. This is a school full of Ashtons and Penelopes, Patricks and Sophias. Beautiful names that belong to beautiful faces. The kind of names that promise a lifetime of social triumph.

I am one of two headscarved girls at this new school. We are assigned the same gym class. We are the only ones in sweatpants and long-sleeved undershirts. We are both dreading roll call. When the gym teacher pauses at my name, I am already red with humiliation.

“How do I say your name?” she asks.

“Tazbee,” I say.

“Can I just call you Tess?”

I want to say yes. Call me Tess. But my mother will know, somehow. She will see it written in my eyes. God will whisper it in her ear. Her disappointment will overwhelm me.

“No,” I say, “Please call me Tazbee.”

I don’t hear her say it for the rest of the year.

v.

My history teacher calls me Tashbah for the entire year. It does not matter how often I correct her, she reverts to that misshapen sneeze of a word. It is the ugliest conglomeration of sounds I have ever heard.

When my mother comes to parents’ night, she corrects her angrily, “Tasbeeh. Her name is Tasbeeh.” My history teacher grimaces. I want the world to swallow me up.

vi.

My college professors don’t even bother. I will only know them for a few months of the year. They smother my name in their mouths. It is a hindrance for their tongues. They hand me papers silently. One of them mumbles it unintelligibly whenever he calls on my hand. Another just calls me “T.”

My name is a burden. My name is a burden. My name is a burden. I am a burden.

vii.

On the radio I hear a story about a tribe in some remote, rural place that has no name for the color blue. They do not know what the color blue is. It has no name so it does not exist. It does not exist because it has no name.

viii.

At the start of a new semester, I walk into a math class. My teacher is blond and blue-eyed. I don’t remember his name. When he comes to mine on the roll call, he takes the requisite pause. I hold my breath.

“How do I pronounce your name?” he asks.

I say, “Just call me Tess.”

“Is that how it’s pronounced?”

I say, “No one’s ever been able to pronounce it.”

“That’s probably because they didn’t want to try,” he said. “What is your name?”

When I say my name, it feels like redemption. I have never said it this way before. Tasbeeh. He repeats it back to me several times until he’s got it. It is difficult for his American tongue. His has none of the strength, none of the force of my mother’s. But he gets it, eventually, and it sounds beautiful. I have never heard it sound so beautiful. I have never felt so deserving of a name. My name feels like a crown.

ix.

“Thank you for my name, mama.”

x.

When the barista asks me my name, sharpie poised above the coffee cup, I tell him: “My name is Tasbeeh. It’s a tough t clinging to a soft a, which melts into a silky ssss, which loosely hugs the b, and the rest of my name is a hard whisper — eeh. Tasbeeh. My name is Tasbeeh. Hold it in your mouth until it becomes a prayer. My name is a valuable undertaking. My name requires your rapt attention. Say my name in one swift note – Tasbeeeeeeeh – sand let the h heat your throat like cinnamon. Tasbeeh. My name is an endeavor. My name is a song. Tasbeeh. It means giving glory to God. Tasbeeh. Wrap your tongue around my name, unravel it with the music of your voice, and give God what he is due"

Tasbeeh Herwees, The Names They Gave Me (via cat-phuong)

I am weeping.

(via strangeasanjles)

(Source: rabbrakha)