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BRAND X

Orphaned transracial international ungrateful insurgent Class Bastard.

Posts tagged white savior industrial complex

Jul 22 '14

this-isnt-your-captain-speaking:

You ever feel so overwhelmed by racism that your stomach and your head and your heart hurt and you feel like screaming until your throat bleeds but you have to sit quietly so you don’t upset your nice, normal White family and a little part of you is dying but you can’t even speak? That’s kind of the worst.

Yes. Nothing like fighting years of whitewashing and conditioning to hold onto the truth, only to be stigmatized for it. X

Jul 22 '14
Jul 22 '14

White Savior Stalker Alert

blackorphanreviews:

bastardplanet:

"I want a teenager that screams their hatred at me and wishes their birth mother had raised them, I want a young adult who feels sorry that they were a bratty teenager."

^ Another pearl of an adoptive parenting fantasy from “An Adoption Journey" in her most recent white whine over "anti-adoption blogs."

For any adoptees not yet aware of this white supremacist adopter (she’s already making great headway in buying a child and raising them to be “sorry” for ever wishing to live with their birth mom):

Anadoptionjourney is a stalker who follows us for the sole purpose of insulting and pathologizing adoptees (especially transracial adoptees) about our own experiences.

To her, it’s OK for adoptive parents to tell adoptees and foster care survivors “fuck you” and try to shame us with white opinions.

She’s thrown ableist abuse at us long before, yet still she refuses to unfollow and LEAVE US ALONE.

If you’re adopted and publicly disclose this on tumblr, she’s probably following you. Please be warned.

oh ew. i made this tumblr with the express purpose in mind of getting some safe space away from white adopters with messiah complexes and now who do i find immediately popping up in my new follower count

gurl bye.

image

but srsly, heart goes out to whatever child ends up with this white lady. dismissing an adopted kid’s wish for birth family as a bratty teenage phase, wowee that betrays some fucked up mindset.

Jul 13 '14
Jul 11 '14
"While the purported purpose of the bill is to reduce the number of children in orphanages, the opposite will most certainly result. According to Kathryn Joyce in The Child Catchers intercountry adoptions actually increase the number of children living in institutions: “Children who were not unparented or homeless before end up becoming institutionalized as a direct result of orphanages setting up shop in poor areas.”

The adoption industry helps create these institutions, often funded in large part, by grateful adoptive parents. As we’ve seen in the Ethiopian case, practitioners may falsely claim children are orphans in order to line their pockets with American money.

Furthermore, increasing intercountry adoptions runs the risk that children will be placed in unsafe homes where they may be killed, abused, or dumped into another unsafe home, as the recent series of stories on “re-homing” has shown us. It also diverts money which could be used to help children remain within their families."

[Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Encouraging intercountry adoptions with hard cash

this article starts with the line ‘when half the faculty at Harvard and Boston College Law Schools endorse a bill that encourages poor countries to take children from their mothers and send them to the United States for adoption, you’d think something was amiss’ and it’s probably a sign i read too many (or just enough) adoption blogs that my first thought was ‘i thought that was the whole point of international adoption’.

(via keelanrosa)

"Children who were not unparented or homeless before end up becoming institutionalized as a direct result of orphanages setting up shop in poor areas.”

Jul 9 '14
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 25 '14

Anonymous asked:

I was a white child adopted by a white family within my country, so I cannot speak for anything. But I do have a cousin who is a POC adopted by my aunt and uncle. I admire their willingness and efforts to get him involved in a local Korean community as he grew up. They encourage any desire to know about his heritage. But I know not everyone is so lucky. I do know that this is a touchy subject. I don't claim to know anything, I was just curious of your opinion on such things. I wish you well.

irresistible-revolution:

My opinion is that transracial adoption, especially transnationally, is skeevy as fuck and reeks of white entitlement; it’s also hella enraging when white people work furiously to keep POC institutionally oppressed then swoop in and “rescue” our babies. 

It’s a complex and painful issue, but I know that we need to be centralizing the voices of adoptees of color and mothers of color.

^^^^^^^^^^^^

Also (and this has echoed by SO many transracial adoptees: "Encouraging one’s heritage" etc. actually does fuck all to prepare us for surviving in the racist societies we’re adopted into.

Furthermore, it conveniently displaces the problems of transracial/national adoption onto the child of color, and not on the parents and THEIR responsibility to examine their white privilege/savior complex, and their duty to combat white supremacy

because white Westerners adopting children of color is actually the opposite of anti-racism, ESPECIALLY when the children are from countries they’ve invaded.

Jun 25 '14
pleasedotheneedful:

socimages:

#intagrammingafrica: The narcissism of global voluntourism.
By Lauren Kascak with Sayantani DasGupta PhD
An article in The Onion mocks voluntourism, joking that a 6-day visit to a rural African village can “completely change a woman’s facebook profile picture.”  The article quotes “22-year old Angela Fisher” who says:

I don’t think my profile photo will ever be the same, not after the experience of taking such incredible pictures with my arms around those small African children’s shoulders.

It goes on to say that Fisher “has been encouraging every one of her friends to visit Africa, promising that it would change their Facebook profile photos as well.”
I was once Angela Fisher. But I’m not any more.
***
I have participated in not one but three separate, and increasingly disillusioning, international health brigades, short-term visits to developing countries that involve bringing health care to struggling populations.
Such trips – critically called voluntourism — are a booming business, even though they do very little advertising and charge people thousands of dollars to participate.
How do they attract so many paying volunteers?
Photography is a big part of the answer.  Voluntourism organizations don’t have to advertise, because they can crowdsource.  Photography – particularly the habit of taking and posting selfies with local children – is a central component of the voluntourism experience. Hashtags like #InstagrammingAfrica are popular with students on international health brigades, as are #medicalbrigades, #globalhealth, and of course the nostalgic-for-the-good-days hashtag #takemeback.
It was the photographs posted by other students that inspired me to go on my first overseas medical mission. When classmates uploaded the experience of themselves wearing scrubs beside adorable children in developing countries, I believed I was missing out on a pivotal pre-med experience. I took over 200 photos on my first international volunteer mission. I modeled those I had seen on Facebook and even premeditated photo opportunities to acquire the “perfect” image that would receive the most “likes.”
Over time, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of those photographs, and ultimately left my camera at home. Now, as an insider, I see three common types of photographs voluntourists share through social media: The Suffering Other, The Self-Directed Samaritan, and The Overseas Selfie.
The Suffering Other
In a photograph taken by a fellow voluntourist in Ghana (not shown), a child stands isolated with her bare feet digging in the dirt. Her hands pull up her shirt to expose an umbilical hernia, distended belly, and a pair of too-big underwear. Her face is uncertain and her scalp shows evidence of dermatological pathology or a nutritional deficiency—maybe both. Behind her, only weeds grow.
Anthropologists Arthur and Joan Kleinman note that images of distant, suffering women and children suggest there are communities incapable of or uninterested in caring for its own people. These photographs justify colonialist, paternalistic attitudes and policies, suggesting that the individual in the photograph…

…must be protected, as well as represented, by others. The image of the subaltern conjures up an almost neocolonial ideology of failure, inadequacy, passivity, fatalism, and inevitability. Something must be done, and it must be done soon, but from outside the local setting. The authorization of action through an appeal for foreign aid, even foreign intervention, begins with an evocation of indigenous absence, an erasure of local voices and acts.

The Self-directed Samaritan
Above we have a smiling young white girl with a French braid, medical scrubs, and a well-intentioned smile. This young lady is the centerpiece of the photo; she is its protagonist. Her scrubs suggest that she is doing important work among those who are so poor, so vulnerable, and so Other.
The girl is me. And the photograph was taken on my first trip to Ghana during a 10 day medical brigade. I’m beaming in the photograph, half towering and half hovering over these children. I do not know their names, they do not know my name, but I directed a friend to capture this moment with my own camera. Why?
This photograph is less about doing actual work and more about retrospectively appearing to have had a positive impact overseas. Photographs like these represent the overseas experience in accordance with what writer Teju Cole calls the “White Savior Industrial Complex.”
Moreover, in directing, capturing, and performing in photos such as these, voluntourists prevent themselves from actually engaging with the others in the photo. In On Photography, Susan Sontag reminds us:

Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

On these trips, we hide behind the lens, consuming the world around us with our powerful gazes and the clicking of camera shutters. When I directed this photo opportunity and starred in it, I used my privilege to capture a photograph that made me feel as though I was engaging with the community. Only now do I realize that what I was actually doing was making myself the hero/star in a story about “suffering Africa.”
The Overseas Selfie

(Photo obtained from Global Brigades.)
In his New York Times Op-Ed, that modern champion of the selfie James Franco wrote:

Selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are … In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Although related to the Self-Directed Samaritan shot, there’s something extra-insidious about this type of super-close range photo. “Hello, this is me” takes on new meaning – there is only one subject in this photo, the white subject. Capturing this image and posting it on the internet is to understand the Other not as a separate person who exists in the context of their own family or community but rather, as a prop, an extra, someone only intelligible in relation to the Western volunteer.
***
Voluntourism is ultimately about the fulfillment of the volunteers themselves, not necessarily what they bring to the communities they visit. In fact, medical volunteerism often breaks down existing local health systems. In Ghana, I realized that that local people weren’t purchasing health insurance, since they knew there would be free foreign health care and medications available every few months. This left them vulnerable in the intervening times, not to mention when the organization would leave the community.
In the end, the Africa we voluntourists photograph isn’t a real place at all. It is an imaginary geography whose landscapes are forged by colonialism, as well as a good deal of narcissism. I hope my fellow students think critically about what they are doing and why before they sign up for a short-term global volunteer experience. And if they do go, it is my hope that they might think with some degree of narrative humility about how to de-center themselves from the Western savior narrative. Most importantly, I hope they leave their iphones at home.
Lauren Kascak is a graduate of the Masters Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, where Sayantani DasGupta is a faculty member.  DasGupta is the editor of Stories of Illness and Healing and the author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories and Her Own Medicine.

Totally. I get that volunteerism isn’t totally altruistic but I often see people take it to a level that comes off as totally disingenuous. Several years ago I probably would’ve been guilty of the same.
Also worthwhile to investigate candidate mission organizations and see what kind of long-term impact their work has on the local community… as touched on here, some end up doing more harm than good.

To name just one example: Child Trafficking “Orphan” Trade in Nepal Directly Fueled by Voluntourism
Because who gives a fuck about white peoples’ narratives &/ motivations really. The most salient point is that white voluntourism not only corrupts local infrastructure (a fact barely referenced and only by the end of the piece), but actively destroys the lives of non-Western people, then expects the survivors (most often children of color) to be grateful.

pleasedotheneedful:

socimages:

#intagrammingafrica: The narcissism of global voluntourism.

By Lauren Kascak with Sayantani DasGupta PhD

An article in The Onion mocks voluntourism, joking that a 6-day visit to a rural African village can “completely change a woman’s facebook profile picture.”  The article quotes “22-year old Angela Fisher” who says:

I don’t think my profile photo will ever be the same, not after the experience of taking such incredible pictures with my arms around those small African children’s shoulders.

It goes on to say that Fisher “has been encouraging every one of her friends to visit Africa, promising that it would change their Facebook profile photos as well.”

I was once Angela Fisher. But I’m not any more.

***

I have participated in not one but three separate, and increasingly disillusioning, international health brigades, short-term visits to developing countries that involve bringing health care to struggling populations.

Such trips – critically called voluntourism — are a booming business, even though they do very little advertising and charge people thousands of dollars to participate.

How do they attract so many paying volunteers?

Photography is a big part of the answer.  Voluntourism organizations don’t have to advertise, because they can crowdsource.  Photography – particularly the habit of taking and posting selfies with local children – is a central component of the voluntourism experience. Hashtags like #InstagrammingAfrica are popular with students on international health brigades, as are #medicalbrigades, #globalhealth, and of course the nostalgic-for-the-good-days hashtag #takemeback.

It was the photographs posted by other students that inspired me to go on my first overseas medical mission. When classmates uploaded the experience of themselves wearing scrubs beside adorable children in developing countries, I believed I was missing out on a pivotal pre-med experience. I took over 200 photos on my first international volunteer mission. I modeled those I had seen on Facebook and even premeditated photo opportunities to acquire the “perfect” image that would receive the most “likes.”

Over time, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of those photographs, and ultimately left my camera at home. Now, as an insider, I see three common types of photographs voluntourists share through social media: The Suffering Other, The Self-Directed Samaritan, and The Overseas Selfie.

The Suffering Other

In a photograph taken by a fellow voluntourist in Ghana (not shown), a child stands isolated with her bare feet digging in the dirt. Her hands pull up her shirt to expose an umbilical hernia, distended belly, and a pair of too-big underwear. Her face is uncertain and her scalp shows evidence of dermatological pathology or a nutritional deficiency—maybe both. Behind her, only weeds grow.

Anthropologists Arthur and Joan Kleinman note that images of distant, suffering women and children suggest there are communities incapable of or uninterested in caring for its own people. These photographs justify colonialist, paternalistic attitudes and policies, suggesting that the individual in the photograph…

…must be protected, as well as represented, by others. The image of the subaltern conjures up an almost neocolonial ideology of failure, inadequacy, passivity, fatalism, and inevitability. Something must be done, and it must be done soon, but from outside the local setting. The authorization of action through an appeal for foreign aid, even foreign intervention, begins with an evocation of indigenous absence, an erasure of local voices and acts.

The Self-directed Samaritan

Above we have a smiling young white girl with a French braid, medical scrubs, and a well-intentioned smile. This young lady is the centerpiece of the photo; she is its protagonist. Her scrubs suggest that she is doing important work among those who are so poor, so vulnerable, and so Other.

The girl is me. And the photograph was taken on my first trip to Ghana during a 10 day medical brigade. I’m beaming in the photograph, half towering and half hovering over these children. I do not know their names, they do not know my name, but I directed a friend to capture this moment with my own camera. Why?

This photograph is less about doing actual work and more about retrospectively appearing to have had a positive impact overseas. Photographs like these represent the overseas experience in accordance with what writer Teju Cole calls the “White Savior Industrial Complex.”

Moreover, in directing, capturing, and performing in photos such as these, voluntourists prevent themselves from actually engaging with the others in the photo. In On PhotographySusan Sontag reminds us:

Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

On these trips, we hide behind the lens, consuming the world around us with our powerful gazes and the clicking of camera shutters. When I directed this photo opportunity and starred in it, I used my privilege to capture a photograph that made me feel as though I was engaging with the community. Only now do I realize that what I was actually doing was making myself the hero/star in a story about “suffering Africa.”

The Overseas Selfie

1 (2)

(Photo obtained from Global Brigades.)

In his New York Times Op-Ed, that modern champion of the selfie James Franco wrote:

Selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are … In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Although related to the Self-Directed Samaritan shot, there’s something extra-insidious about this type of super-close range photo. “Hello, this is me” takes on new meaning – there is only one subject in this photo, the white subject. Capturing this image and posting it on the internet is to understand the Other not as a separate person who exists in the context of their own family or community but rather, as a prop, an extra, someone only intelligible in relation to the Western volunteer.

***

Voluntourism is ultimately about the fulfillment of the volunteers themselves, not necessarily what they bring to the communities they visit. In fact, medical volunteerism often breaks down existing local health systems. In Ghana, I realized that that local people weren’t purchasing health insurance, since they knew there would be free foreign health care and medications available every few months. This left them vulnerable in the intervening times, not to mention when the organization would leave the community.

In the end, the Africa we voluntourists photograph isn’t a real place at all. It is an imaginary geography whose landscapes are forged by colonialism, as well as a good deal of narcissism. I hope my fellow students think critically about what they are doing and why before they sign up for a short-term global volunteer experience. And if they do go, it is my hope that they might think with some degree of narrative humility about how to de-center themselves from the Western savior narrative. Most importantly, I hope they leave their iphones at home.

Lauren Kascak is a graduate of the Masters Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University, where Sayantani DasGupta is a faculty member.  DasGupta is the editor of Stories of Illness and Healing and the author of The Demon Slayers and Other Stories and Her Own Medicine.

Totally. I get that volunteerism isn’t totally altruistic but I often see people take it to a level that comes off as totally disingenuous. Several years ago I probably would’ve been guilty of the same.

Also worthwhile to investigate candidate mission organizations and see what kind of long-term impact their work has on the local community… as touched on here, some end up doing more harm than good.

To name just one example: Child Trafficking “Orphan” Trade in Nepal Directly Fueled by Voluntourism

Because who gives a fuck about white peoples’ narratives &/ motivations really. The most salient point is that white voluntourism not only corrupts local infrastructure (a fact barely referenced and only by the end of the piece), but actively destroys the lives of non-Western people, then expects the survivors (most often children of color) to be grateful.

Jun 13 '14

blackorphanreviews:

unforgivingplace:

mariavontraphouse:

Black people are more likely to be queer

Black queers are more likely to get married

Black queers are more likely to adopt children

Yet the face of gay marriage and adoption are white people

I don’t consider myself queer, I don’t even believe in the institution of marriage but this pisses me off to no end. I’ve had to explain to my teachers that HRC is awful and that white gay men are such a copout and often don’t realize what their heteronormative behaviors do to queer identified and gender non-conforming individuals.

um, i wanna know where op is getting that third fact bc it’s completely fucking wrong? lol. adoption is and always has been run by white people for white people. do some damn reading and try again.

WTF?

The reason the face of adoption is white is because adoption is a racist, sexist, classist for-profit industry that trafficks children, erases the entirety of non-Western single parents, and actively destroys indigenous cultures and communities more than any other operation the Western world currently has running.

I get what you’re trying to say here, but If you’re concerned with the discourse on adoption, how about you NOT disregard actual adoptees.

(Source: kemeticballbuster)