Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Why Do We Care Who Sandra Bullock Adopted?

Sandra Bullock adopts Black Baby

Sandra Bullock cares about black people

Sandra Bullock, the woman who captured America’s heart and sympathy at nearly the exact same time via The Blindside and Jesse James’ wayward peepee has gone and adopted a Black kid from New Orleans.

Yay.

She’s another in the long line of white folks who’ve gone out and copped them a ninja to raise and support.

Yay.

So why is this a story? Seriously. I just peeped a CNN story entitled, “Bullock’s adoption of black baby stirs debate” and frankly I’m puzzled by the “debate.” Why does it even matter to anybody? Shouldn’t we just be glad that a Black baby from America actually got adopted. Most celebs traipse on over to Africa to pick up a kid to make a millionaire. Bullock, a woman with strong ties to New Orleans, has gone and adopted a youngster from the great city. Once again, I’m just happy the child was adopted…at all.

Look, I’m one of those people who feels that white people cannot adequately raise Black children. Not in this country where racial tensions lay latent and then explode out of nowhere for whatever reason. It’s hard for a white person to contextualize for a Black child what it all really means. It just is. This is fact. All the books in the world cannot teach you how to be Black. That’s a cultural experience and education that requires actual experience and education. White people tend to make excuses for other white people’s shortcomings and tell you that “it’s not everybody” and that you should take an individual as just that. They believe that the institutions are intent on justice, blah blah blah (No Ke$ha). Fact is, it’s bull malarkey. But…

…therein lies the quagmire. While I recognize that white people are not equipped (not even my own mother) to raise Black babies, SOMEBODY has to raise them. White parents are better than no parents at all. Especially in America where there are so many unadopted Black children who grow up in a system that is not designed to foster their growth, but their survival.

In a piece appearing on the site Black Voices, writer Lola Adesioye notes that Bullock joins other stars, including Madonna and Angelina Jolie, who have adopted black children. Madonna and Jolie’s children are African and Bullock’s new son, Louis, is from New Orleans, Louisiana.

“As Bullock’s case shows, a white celebrity adopting a black child raises questions as well as suspicions,” Adesioye writes. “Why do they want a black baby as opposed to a white one, when there are also white kids who are up for adoption?”

Why does this raise suspicions though? Seriously, I’m curious. I recognize that it became trendy a few years back to go to Africa and get a kid, and I see how it looks like the nice white people are helping out the darkies, but, suspicious? I’m not suspicious of these individuals intent. Maybe they view it as their way of giving back to those in need. I doubt any of them want a farm full of ninjas to do their work for them. That’s why they’ve hired Latinos already.

The online magazine Clutch, which is aimed at African-American women, asked its readers “Do you think Sandra Bullock is using her new black son to curtail the negative publicity on her husband’s scandalous affairs? Or is Bullock like many adoptive mothers who simply want to give children in need a happy home?”

The responses of commenters ranged from “God bless anyone who wants to adopt” to “Suspicious with the timing.” One person commenting raised the parallel of Bullock’s starring role as a woman whose family opens its home to a disadvantaged black football player in “The Blind Side” to her real-life adoption.

“When I saw the trailer my first thought was ‘not another white savior movie!’ ” wrote a commenter who identified herself as “Margaret.” “But in real life — our kids need homes. I’m glad to see that Sandra Bullock chose to adopt a child from the United States. Too many of our babies are in the system.”

I don’t even view these folks as trying to be white saviors. I view them as rich people with endless cash and realizing that the best way to give back is to REALLY do it by raising a kid. I think in this case, most folks are either over it because it happens so frequently or realize it’s a non-starter (like this CNN forced piece), but it comes up every time we hear about a white person of celebrity adopting a Black child.

So my people, why does anybody even care who these people are adopting? At least they’re adopting…right??

Inquiring minds would like to know.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3

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Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://www.sheliagoss.com/blog Shelia Goss

    I don’t know what the big deal is. I’m glad someone is adopting an American Black child instead of going to other countries. There are plenty of Black kids here who need homes so kudos to Sandra Bullock for adopting a child in need of a loving parent.

    • Mo

      I don’t care nor do I see the big deal. She seems to be one of the few people who understand that in order to adopt outside your race, you need to have people around who can speak to your adopted child’s experience. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do. So, I say more power to her, God bless her and I’m glad she adopted a kid from the U. S.

      And if any Black person feels that serious/strongly about it, then they need to get their act together and adopt a Black kid of their own. Put up or shut up. End.of.story.

      • LuckBALady

        PREACH.

      • LuckBALady

        PREACH.

      • PapiEsq

        I feel you. However, though we can’t know her motives, it just seems like the “in” thing for white celebrities to do to declare their A-list status now. Mama’s lil’ baby is becoming an accessory, tantamount to an Hermes bag or Manolos.

        • DC Jai

          Sandra Bullock has never struck me as the type to do what is ‘trendy’. She is known for helping minorities and this adoption process took place way before Jesse James was caught cheating. I say good for her (regardless of the color of her child) because she needed some happiness in her life.

        • DC Jai

          Sandra Bullock has never struck me as the type to do what is ‘trendy’. She is known for helping minorities and this adoption process took place way before Jesse James was caught cheating. I say good for her (regardless of the color of her child) because she needed some happiness in her life.

      • PapiEsq

        I feel you. However, though we can’t know her motives, it just seems like the “in” thing for white celebrities to do to declare their A-list status now. Mama’s lil’ baby is becoming an accessory, tantamount to an Hermes bag or Manolos.

      • krystal from tx
      • krystal from tx
    • Mo

      I don’t care nor do I see the big deal. She seems to be one of the few people who understand that in order to adopt outside your race, you need to have people around who can speak to your adopted child’s experience. I don’t know why I feel that way, but I do. So, I say more power to her, God bless her and I’m glad she adopted a kid from the U. S.

      And if any Black person feels that serious/strongly about it, then they need to get their act together and adopt a Black kid of their own. Put up or shut up. End.of.story.

  • http://www.sheliagoss.com/blog Shelia Goss

    I don’t know what the big deal is. I’m glad someone is adopting an American Black child instead of going to other countries. There are plenty of Black kids here who need homes so kudos to Sandra Bullock for adopting a child in need of a loving parent.

  • Jennell

    I just so happened to have a conversation about this the other day with some of my white co-workers. What’s interesting is they all said exactly the same thing: “Why adopt a black baby?” Let it be stated that I live in TN and this probably had A LOT to do with the responses. Finally one woman came up with the notion that maybe the appeal of the black baby, particularly the black baby boy, is the idea that maybe they are showing how selfless they are by picking the “bottom on the barrel” and attempting to “save” the child from what would no doubt be a life of poor education, poverty, gang violence, etc. I waited for her to say that she was being sarcastic but she was completely serious….

    I personally don’t mind that she adopted the little boy. It’s none of my damn business. The way I see it, at least she adopted from the USA.

  • Jennell

    I just so happened to have a conversation about this the other day with some of my white co-workers. What’s interesting is they all said exactly the same thing: “Why adopt a black baby?” Let it be stated that I live in TN and this probably had A LOT to do with the responses. Finally one woman came up with the notion that maybe the appeal of the black baby, particularly the black baby boy, is the idea that maybe they are showing how selfless they are by picking the “bottom on the barrel” and attempting to “save” the child from what would no doubt be a life of poor education, poverty, gang violence, etc. I waited for her to say that she was being sarcastic but she was completely serious….

    I personally don’t mind that she adopted the little boy. It’s none of my damn business. The way I see it, at least she adopted from the USA.

  • Terribke

    FIRST!

    that baby look like lil wayne #ftw

    • IVR in Qatar

      “FIRST!

      that baby look like lil wayne #ftw”

      LMAO! Damn . . . thats f-d up. That baby gonna be PAID like lil wayne. . .more power to him or her.

    • IVR in Qatar

      “FIRST!

      that baby look like lil wayne #ftw”

      LMAO! Damn . . . thats f-d up. That baby gonna be PAID like lil wayne. . .more power to him or her.

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      SMH. All that shade and you ain’t even first!

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      SMH. All that shade and you ain’t even first!

    • M Gundam

      Let’s talk about that pic of the baby on the magazine. LOL, That kid got the only “do you believe this s*** face”

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        LOL. You ain’t right. He’s a cutie!

        • http://www.twitter.com/GemoftheOcean Gem of the Ocean

          yes, he’s a cutie!! not as cute as my godson, but a cutie nonetheless

        • http://www.twitter.com/GemoftheOcean Gem of the Ocean

          yes, he’s a cutie!! not as cute as my godson, but a cutie nonetheless

      • http://lizburr.com Liz

        LOL. You ain’t right. He’s a cutie!

    • M Gundam

      Let’s talk about that pic of the baby on the magazine. LOL, That kid got the only “do you believe this s*** face”

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Terribke, wow, not even second. LOL. so so wrong.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Terribke, wow, not even second. LOL. so so wrong.

  • Terribke

    FIRST!

    that baby look like lil wayne #ftw

  • I’ll give it a try

    Um, no, I could care less. Given that my own birth mother took off on me and didn’t pop back into my life until I was 14, I say your real parents are those people who love, care, and nuture you and care enough about your well being to see you come out some kind of way (be they black, white, asian, etc).

    If these folks are adopting for the right reasons, I see no problem with it. Just make sure somebody knows how to come their damn hair when they come of age

    • Leila

      “I say your real parents are those people who love, care, and nuture you and care enough about your well being to see you come out some kind of way (be they black, white, asian, etc)”

      I agree completely.

    • Leila

      “I say your real parents are those people who love, care, and nuture you and care enough about your well being to see you come out some kind of way (be they black, white, asian, etc)”

      I agree completely.

    • SaneN85

      I agree with the nurture over nature aspect of your comment. However, as someone who had a very similar experience with my mother (who reappeared after 11 years), I know that nobody is my parent but her. The simple act of her reappearing and wanting to be a part of my life showed that she cared, and fighting to get us back was just further proof. Then again, I didn’t have any steady adult in my life in those first 11 years, and I might feel differently if I did have a somewhat stable home environment.

      As for the post, if more people of means would do what Sandra did and adopt a child in need (regardless of race), then I probably wouldn’t need to ask myself if I would feel differently under different circumstances. I would have experienced those circumstances. So, I believe Sandra did a great thing and doesn’t need to justify it to anyone.

      • Leila

        “I believe Sandra did a great thing and doesn’t need to justify it to anyone”

        I don’t understand why people are criticizing her. It really baffles me that people get criticized over doing a great thing. Adopting in the US or abroad gives a child a home. There’s nothing worse than not feeling wanted or having a family, so if someone can provide that, kudos to them.

      • Leila

        “I believe Sandra did a great thing and doesn’t need to justify it to anyone”

        I don’t understand why people are criticizing her. It really baffles me that people get criticized over doing a great thing. Adopting in the US or abroad gives a child a home. There’s nothing worse than not feeling wanted or having a family, so if someone can provide that, kudos to them.

    • SaneN85

      I agree with the nurture over nature aspect of your comment. However, as someone who had a very similar experience with my mother (who reappeared after 11 years), I know that nobody is my parent but her. The simple act of her reappearing and wanting to be a part of my life showed that she cared, and fighting to get us back was just further proof. Then again, I didn’t have any steady adult in my life in those first 11 years, and I might feel differently if I did have a somewhat stable home environment.

      As for the post, if more people of means would do what Sandra did and adopt a child in need (regardless of race), then I probably wouldn’t need to ask myself if I would feel differently under different circumstances. I would have experienced those circumstances. So, I believe Sandra did a great thing and doesn’t need to justify it to anyone.

  • I’ll give it a try

    Um, no, I could care less. Given that my own birth mother took off on me and didn’t pop back into my life until I was 14, I say your real parents are those people who love, care, and nuture you and care enough about your well being to see you come out some kind of way (be they black, white, asian, etc).

    If these folks are adopting for the right reasons, I see no problem with it. Just make sure somebody knows how to come their damn hair when they come of age

  • Peyso

    Good for her! However, I am suspicious of the timing. I really do hope that she honestly wants to raise this child and is not doing it for the publicity b/c that would make her a pretty terrible person.

    I too am tired of the white savior coming to save the black man’s arse. Its just a story that’s tired and old and redundant and addresses white guilt w/o addressing white privilege which causes it.

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      Her adoption of a baby has been 4 yrs in the making. She’s even HAD him since before the Oscar’s. It has nothing to do w/ her #hosh*t-loving hubby of hers.

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      Her adoption of a baby has been 4 yrs in the making. She’s even HAD him since before the Oscar’s. It has nothing to do w/ her #hosh*t-loving hubby of hers.

    • QueenT

      Peyso, why do you think more celebrity black folks aren’t stepping up and adopting lil black babies/kids? Somebody has to step up and make a home for these kids…I wish I would hear of Oprah, Denzel and other celebs of note, adopting..but, we aren’t doing it…….

      • its2010dammit

        I think a Celebrity black couple should adopt a female white child from Scandinavia and make sure she has blue eyes and blonde hair.

        Can you imagine the outrage?

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

          “I think a Celebrity black couple should adopt a female white child from Scandinavia and make sure she has blue eyes and blonde hair.

          Can you imagine the outrage?”

          OMG, yes. The world would implode with side-eyes. They would get much more attitude than White celebs. I just recently read an article about a non-celeb Black family adopting a little white girl and the troubles they experienced. Yes, the “Why couldn’t you find a Black kid” question was raised for them, but what really stood out to me was how folks would look at the Black father suspiciously when they’d see him holding the little white girl’s hand…even going so far as going UP to the child and asking, “Are you okay”?. IN FRONT of the parents. O_O

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

            I read that article. It was very telling of how post-racial we really are. It’s much more accepted for a white person to adopt a BOC(baby of color) than a black couple adopting a white or even a non-black baby. Personally, I want anyone who can adequately care for a child financially, emotionally to feel free to adopt any child available. There are enough children to go around.

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

            I read that article. It was very telling of how post-racial we really are. It’s much more accepted for a white person to adopt a BOC(baby of color) than a black couple adopting a white or even a non-black baby. Personally, I want anyone who can adequately care for a child financially, emotionally to feel free to adopt any child available. There are enough children to go around.

        • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

          “I think a Celebrity black couple should adopt a female white child from Scandinavia and make sure she has blue eyes and blonde hair.

          Can you imagine the outrage?”

          OMG, yes. The world would implode with side-eyes. They would get much more attitude than White celebs. I just recently read an article about a non-celeb Black family adopting a little white girl and the troubles they experienced. Yes, the “Why couldn’t you find a Black kid” question was raised for them, but what really stood out to me was how folks would look at the Black father suspiciously when they’d see him holding the little white girl’s hand…even going so far as going UP to the child and asking, “Are you okay”?. IN FRONT of the parents. O_O

        • Leila

          Josephine Baker did that back in the 50’s. She adopted over 10 kids from all different backgrounds – black, white, asian, hispanic.

        • Leila

          Josephine Baker did that back in the 50’s. She adopted over 10 kids from all different backgrounds – black, white, asian, hispanic.

      • its2010dammit

        I think a Celebrity black couple should adopt a female white child from Scandinavia and make sure she has blue eyes and blonde hair.

        Can you imagine the outrage?

      • a plus

        why do you think more celebrity black folks aren’t stepping up and adopting lil black babies/kids?

        or black people in general. i’m not saying that we all have a duty to adopt black babies, but until more of us step up, then i think it’s fine that some white people want to play “savior” (even though I really don’t see it that way, it is what it is). my mom works for a program that advocates for abused and neglected children. the majority of the children in the system are black, but the majority of the volunteers of her program are white. she has spent the last 20 years trying her hardest to recruit more black volunteers, but to no avail. she’s said that many of the white volunteers that she does have are some of the sweetest and nicest people she’s met, and they’re doing wonderful work for these children. if they’re doing it out of some sort of white guilt, or they want to play savior to some little black babies, so be it, but at least someone’s doing it

        • http://www.twitter.com/GemoftheOcean Gem of the Ocean

          but until more of us step up, then i think it’s fine that some white people want to play “savior” (even though I really don’t see it that way, it is what it is).

          im completely agree!!! id rather a black child suffer cultural identity issues as a result of adoption by white parent(s) than a black child dealing with a whole host of other issues because NO one (black. white or other) else will rescue them from being raised by the state.

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

            complete co-sign.

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com N.I.A. naturally

            complete co-sign.

        • http://www.twitter.com/GemoftheOcean Gem of the Ocean

          but until more of us step up, then i think it’s fine that some white people want to play “savior” (even though I really don’t see it that way, it is what it is).

          im completely agree!!! id rather a black child suffer cultural identity issues as a result of adoption by white parent(s) than a black child dealing with a whole host of other issues because NO one (black. white or other) else will rescue them from being raised by the state.

      • a plus

        why do you think more celebrity black folks aren’t stepping up and adopting lil black babies/kids?

        or black people in general. i’m not saying that we all have a duty to adopt black babies, but until more of us step up, then i think it’s fine that some white people want to play “savior” (even though I really don’t see it that way, it is what it is). my mom works for a program that advocates for abused and neglected children. the majority of the children in the system are black, but the majority of the volunteers of her program are white. she has spent the last 20 years trying her hardest to recruit more black volunteers, but to no avail. she’s said that many of the white volunteers that she does have are some of the sweetest and nicest people she’s met, and they’re doing wonderful work for these children. if they’re doing it out of some sort of white guilt, or they want to play savior to some little black babies, so be it, but at least someone’s doing it

      • Deviant

        Who says they aren’t?

        It’s just not as big of a story to the mainstream media. I’m sure white celebrities adopt white children all the time and black celebrities do the same. I’m sure there are many affluent but unknown people who adopt children of any and all races. But there’s nothing special about that. It’s not news.

        • http://www.twitter.com/GemoftheOcean Gem of the Ocean

          while i see your point, the fact remains that there are all too many :”real life” stories of black social workers and adoption agency workers that say there just arent many black couples stepping up to adopt any children. so the reality is very likely that black ppl just arent adopting.

          on the flip side, i have heard of many black single women trying to adopt and running into little luck based on a host of barriers that confront them. which is also very sad (altho i understand why single parents arent the most attractive for adoption)

          • Deviant

            I won’t argue numbers but I will assume that those numbers vary with respect to geography and socio-economic conditions.

            And I will point out that there are plenty of black people raising black children that are not their own. Maybe just not on paper…

          • Deviant

            I won’t argue numbers but I will assume that those numbers vary with respect to geography and socio-economic conditions.

            And I will point out that there are plenty of black people raising black children that are not their own. Maybe just not on paper…

          • krystal from tx

            @Deviant, right. It would be just plain ignorant to not acknowledge that we as a community have different obligations, values that has been embedded systemically into our lives and do not have the same economic and social freedoms to do what most 2520s have the freedom and the time to do…its not to say that 2520s are better than blacks for taking in little lakeesha though that seems to be the message being conveyed here. and you’re right, besides, after 400 years of playing “mammy” to everyone elses kids with little or no recognition..not being able to take in lakeesha is more than likely a reprecussion of having done so, therefore, I think we could give ourselves a BIT of a break here.

          • krystal from tx

            @Deviant, right. It would be just plain ignorant to not acknowledge that we as a community have different obligations, values that has been embedded systemically into our lives and do not have the same economic and social freedoms to do what most 2520s have the freedom and the time to do…its not to say that 2520s are better than blacks for taking in little lakeesha though that seems to be the message being conveyed here. and you’re right, besides, after 400 years of playing “mammy” to everyone elses kids with little or no recognition..not being able to take in lakeesha is more than likely a reprecussion of having done so, therefore, I think we could give ourselves a BIT of a break here.

        • http://www.twitter.com/GemoftheOcean Gem of the Ocean

          while i see your point, the fact remains that there are all too many :”real life” stories of black social workers and adoption agency workers that say there just arent many black couples stepping up to adopt any children. so the reality is very likely that black ppl just arent adopting.

          on the flip side, i have heard of many black single women trying to adopt and running into little luck based on a host of barriers that confront them. which is also very sad (altho i understand why single parents arent the most attractive for adoption)

      • Deviant

        Who says they aren’t?

        It’s just not as big of a story to the mainstream media. I’m sure white celebrities adopt white children all the time and black celebrities do the same. I’m sure there are many affluent but unknown people who adopt children of any and all races. But there’s nothing special about that. It’s not news.

    • QueenT

      Peyso, why do you think more celebrity black folks aren’t stepping up and adopting lil black babies/kids? Somebody has to step up and make a home for these kids…I wish I would hear of Oprah, Denzel and other celebs of note, adopting..but, we aren’t doing it…….

    • krystal from tx

      Peyso. I am indeed suspicious myself..right after her public break up who will FATHER this child? Its the child has gone from one broken home to another. Doesn’t matter if the place has neverland ranch as a backyard, a child without a father is still like a house without a roof..is this an attempt at someone trying to make ‘Art’ imitate life by trying to live out ‘The blindside’? ftw…yeah but errything outside of those thoughts about this=meh.

    • krystal from tx

      Peyso. I am indeed suspicious myself..right after her public break up who will FATHER this child? Its the child has gone from one broken home to another. Doesn’t matter if the place has neverland ranch as a backyard, a child without a father is still like a house without a roof..is this an attempt at someone trying to make ‘Art’ imitate life by trying to live out ‘The blindside’? ftw…yeah but errything outside of those thoughts about this=meh.

  • Peyso

    Good for her! However, I am suspicious of the timing. I really do hope that she honestly wants to raise this child and is not doing it for the publicity b/c that would make her a pretty terrible person.

    I too am tired of the white savior coming to save the black man’s arse. Its just a story that’s tired and old and redundant and addresses white guilt w/o addressing white privilege which causes it.

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