It’s been a long few months. Only if we pretend that nothing happened in these last few months could we think realistically about moving forward with a normal adoptee rights agenda. That would typically mean gearing up to support legislative efforts, producing educational and advocacy resources, building new coalitions, strengthening existing ones, and continuing our fight for adoptee equality in the United States.
The video of the May 26 police murder of George Floyd changed everything, and rapid global response demanded—once again—that enough is enough. Enough is enough, and we all have a part to play in making meaningful change as individuals and organizations.
For us, we will focus our work as allies in the movement for racial justice, particularly to support the work and lives of Black people and Black Lives Matter. What will this mean?
It means being actively anti-racist.
It means not being neutral.
It means we will not tolerate racism within the adoptee community. Period.
It means speaking out and supporting fundamental change, and demanding that you speak for and support that change as well.
It means using our current resources to track, report, and support anti-racism legislation.
This does not mean we give up who we are, what we are about, and what we pursue as an organization: equality for adopted people. It means, however, that active anti-racism must be cooked into that work. Even by making this statement it acknowledges and highlights that anti-racism is not already part of the work we do. That must change.
Adoptees for Justice has called on the adoptee community to stand in solidarity with the Black community and against police brutality. Bastard Nation also recently issued a statement in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Adoptees United endorses these actions, stands with Black Lives Matter, and requests that you do so as well.
We have work to do. And if you are a white adoptee who thinks that the work is hard, it will only get harder in the months to come. Be ready to act as strong allies for equality. And understand that it’s not about you. It’s about Black lives. Listen.
The image used with this post is from a series of murals painted on the boarded windows of Seward Friendship Co-op in South Minneapolis, a few blocks from where Minneapolis police officers murdered George Floyd. More information about that project and the artists is here.