Oh, for fuck’s sake.
Apparently a clutch of privileged, delusional bigots have hijacked the term “transethnic,” ensuring that us Class Bastard adoptees and foster kids encounter even MORE dismissal and confusion in public discourse.
“Transethnic,” for those who don’t know, occurs in the context of adoption. For example, a white Jewish child is adopted by non Jews. Or a Saami kid by some other non-indigenous Scandinavians.
These are not transracial adoptions -because if you don’t know that PoC are effectively barred from adopting white children, then STFU already- they are transETHNIC. (Yes, I’m well aware that being Jewish for one does not always entail ethnicity.)
Transethnic can NOT be equated to transracial because of the profound protection that ever holy white privilege affords in the former, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s a prejudice-free walk in the park. No adoption is outside of fairy tales.
Before World War II officially broke out, different humanitarian organizations tried to place Jewish refugee children from Central Europe into Nordic homes. Today we can read about the rank bullshit they encountered through nationally archived correspondences:
“We don’t want Jewish children. Aren’t there any Aryan children?”
Of course nowadays, transethnic adoption runs at full throttle in Scandinavia and other rich, Western regions. Sweden in particular also takes the lead in transracial adoption, importing the largest number of adoptees among all Western countries in relation to their own population.
After a pro-Nazi war history and a long tradition of race thinking, self-righteous Sweden after 1945 wanted to be the paradise for human rights, democracy and anti-racism. Another less idealistic motive worth mentioning was the sudden disappearance of adoptable Swedish children during the decade as a result of rapid economic growth and a high participation of women in the labor force, as well as the development of an advanced social welfare system. Even more important is Sweden’s self image as the world’s most democratic country, a self-image recently challenged by the sudden appearance of a vigorous National Socialist movement and racism towards non-Western immigrants including adoptees. Intercountry adoption is in Sweden nothing else but a national project to uphold the country’s self-image.
In the case of the Saami, transethnic adoption neatly accomplishes the Nordic status quo’s agenda of cultural genocide in a quiet, cheap and (more importantly) self-aggrandizing manner.
So maybe you can comprehend by now just how much it grinds my gears that some blisteringly ignorant douchebags have now co-opted “transethnic” in their selfish fucking attempt to disavow their complicity in the white supremacist global hegemony and claim that their “souls” aren’t white privileged.
It makes me sick to think about it because I’ve met a person in real life who claimed to be transethnic (though they didn’t use that label). When that person was told by multiple people that the idea was incredibly problematic and that they should re-think it— this person’s reaction was really scary. They screamed bloody murder about it until everyone had heard them because they felt like they had been SO wronged. They called us all racist… all of us POCs were being “racist” against a white person because we said that we had a problem with how they claimed to be both Black and Indigenous despite being white “in this life”. No, fuck that. FUCK THESE PEOPLE. THIS SHIT IS DANGEROUS AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. NO TIME AND SPACE FOR ANYONE WHO CLAIMS THIS SHIT.
Co-signed. Thanks a lot, you racist fucks. You just made it 10 times harder for adoptees to be heard in the critical contexts where we are already ignored, because adoption is still outrageously marketed as a progressive, enlightened endeavor, not the paternalistic for-profit BILLION dollar industry that it actually is.
If any of y’all know of any these shitheads, message me so I can block them, record their aliases, and make a list for all the world to see. X