Charlize Theron Wants To Leave America For Her Black Kids, But That Isn't Enough

Charlize Theron Wants To Leave America For Her Black Kids, But That Isn't Enough

I'm always wary of celebrities who adopt children of color. Most of them do it for the white saviorism and then parade their kids around like a charity trophy. So anytime I see a new headline about one of these white women with black kids weighing in on the transracial experience, I immediately cringe. Which is what I did when I read this article actress, Charlize Theron, did with Elle Magazine published yesterday. In the article she discuses her experiences as an adoptive mother. Theron mentions that having grown up in South Africa, and witnessing racism, she now wants to move her black kids out of America because of racism. 

Being raised during the apartheid era in South Africa made me so hyperaware of equality and human rights. Of course, I have two black kids, but that was always something I was passionate about. I don’t even know how to talk about the last year under our new administration. But racism is much more alive and well than people thought. We can’t deny it anymore. We have to be vocal. There are places in this country where, if I got a job, I wouldn’t take it. I wouldn’t travel with my kids to some parts of America, and that’s really problematic. There are a lot of times when I look at my kids and I’m like, If this continues, I might have to [leave America]. Because the last thing I want is for my children to feel unsafe.
— Charlize Theron, Elle Magazine

I, along with many others on the internet, was confused. This is someone who was raised during the Apartheid, but still somehow thinks America is the where racism is living and breeding. 

First off, had no idea Theron had kids, much less black kids. Secondly, I am already suspicious of her because she's made some off-hand comments about race in the past, so she's on thin ice with me. But really this whole issue of just moving adoptees around to avoid racism is much bigger than just Theron. A lot of adoptive parents think this is a solution and I'm sorry but it's not realistic. 

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That's beside the point here. What I really want to focus on is that simply moving doesn't solve racism, especially when you're black. Anti-blackness and racism are everywhere. Yes, moving can be a very important part of raising transracial adoptees. They should be in an area that their experiences are validated and reflected, but at the same time, they are still going to deal with racism, because racism is everywhere. Moving doesn't solve that. TRAs raised in diverse communities and TRA raised in predominantly white ones, can (and do) still end up with similar experiences. Adoptive parents need to do more than just move. You need to be involved, you need to validate our experiences and help fight the fight. As much as y'all love to think you can shield us from racism, you can't. So rather than focusing so much on how to run from racism, figure out how you can actually fight against it. 

While Theron, didn't mention where she was planning on moving, I'm assuming she means South Africa, as she mentions wanting her kids to know where they're from.

Building confidence for them right now is an oath I made to myself when I brought them home. They need to know where they come from and be proud of that. But they’re going to have to know that it’s a different climate for them than it is for me, and how unfair that is. If I can do something about that, of course I’m going to.
— Charlize Theron, Elle Magazine

Which makes her comment even more strange to me, because South Africa, STILL is very much rampant with racism. The Apartheid like just ended, and the country is still trying to recover. Her very birth in the country of South Africa is a result of racism. I'm not even saying she shouldn't move to South Africa, or wherever she's threatening to go. In fact, if her kids are from South Africa, it would make sense. However, I just want her and all other white adoptive parents to not just stop at moving, as many of y'all do. You're still going to have to protect your children no matter what continent you run to. You still need to do the work, you still need to have the hard conversations. White people have invaded just about everywhere with brown people and that means racism is alive and globably. 

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