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Mendocino County Deaths

April 15, 2018

It’s been days, even weeks since two white women who adopted six black children drove over a cliff in Mendocino County killing everyone. Actually maybe just one of the two women, because now they are saying that the driver, Jennifer Hart was drunk and her wife (Sarah) and children (Markis, Jeremiah, Abigail, Devonte, Hannah, and Sierra)  were drugged with Benadryl.  All of this after Child Protective Services visited their home.

I don’t miss Margie that often here, because on the whole she treated me like an inferior and could not appreciate the situation I was navigating at home, although I was the one that was forever holding the reign here that kept us from scorching the earth completely, not to mention my ability to present patterns that helped prompt her astute interpretations. I was never credited for anything.  One universal fact that will be forever true is when there is an opportunity to give others credit, that credit will not be given.  The zero-sum game has a hold tighter than Devil’s Snare.

Aside: the payoff of synthesizing intellectual discourse, chiefly when living inside a mind like mine in which thought is brilliant but evades the ability to share crisply with the outside world (I lack the ability, some disconnect), is hearing it succinctly and solidly presented by others, especially (for me) in print. I’m one of those people who can read it once and immediately consume, rightfully so, the gist.  It’s probably why my wards are all currently on electronic/social-media lock-down.  I have always maintained that I am not a martyr.  Therefore, I am not going to go through all of this hardship just to present the world with three (four, counting my own) dummies who cannot produce the written word properly.   If I wasn’t so committed to effective and concise communication (from the simple to the complex), I would run away and live on my court-promised alimony without said wards.  I certainly have enough future prospects to live a retiring and simple life in which I can afford a small rented room, a cup of coffee, and an 800-page novel for company.

Alas, I have a responsibility as well as a commitment to my poor dead daughter. That woman loved her children something fierce.  Not once did she ever doubt that she was meant to be a mother.  It has been I, who fought that reality all along, only now finding out that it has always been my destiny.  Mothering is the one occupation that I do best, even though my youngest says that although she loves me to death, she cannot lie, that she must define her upbringing as one by a mother who did not own a manual and did not endeavor to seek one out.  If I was more immature than I am, I would be offended.

But, I do miss Margie for this Mendocino County Death story, because I’m feeling something and I’m punching around and I’ve been unable to get to the heart and I am sure I will blunder and the whole world will want my head on a stick.  It would be stories like this one in which we would discuss  and when the conversation was over, a direct line to the socially and psychologically significant part would materialize, —as well as giving me a needed legitimacy to my thoughts.  There was legitimacy because the very same thoughts if presented to the everyday person would produce nothing and be met with, “I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about it that way,” or “How weird,” all in a vein of, “This bitch is crazy…..drunk….bi-polar…”or some other dismissive insult.  Yeah, fuck off you arrogant asshole (arrogance and ignorance is extremely toxic, particularly when mixed with analytical lethargy). Legitimacy also because I appreciated the intelligence that I initially thought was available and free from encapsulated ego. Having to consider and parse out streaks of ego is unwanted work.  Especially when it could easily be avoided, if ego was not allowed to interfere in the first place. But, I’m not omnipotence (nor possess the ability to keep point A intact before it arrives at point Z) so I cannot always get everyone’s character right.

Not to mention, everyone knows that you must, MUST not work out any opinion on the internet.  What you present must always be your FINAL answer.  #Assholes.

I must accept that simply having the feeling that there is significance to my thoughts after I read such stories have to be enough, because the reward of legitimacy, regardless of who is doling it out is not enough to suffer the abuse of being treated like an inferior.  Everyone has limitations, and one’s dignity must always be protected, because in the end we all perish alone.

Currently what is being scribbled into my cartoon bubble of thought is, “White Woman Saviors of the World.” I spit it out as if I have Tourette syndrome.  

White Woman Saviors of the World!

White Woman Saviors of the World!

Initially, I feel it’s an ugly thought because there are indeed women, who happen to be white, who are truly committed and passionate about/with the project they have taken on, be it adopting children or recycling.  Nevertheless, if I had to define one distinctive quality that separates the genuine do-gooders from the fraudulent “look at how great I am,” I would say it would come down to which one brags the most about what they are doing and if it is (whatever it is that they are currently engaging in) something that tends to be on trend.

I’m reminded of a line from Grace and Frankie, when Grace questions Frankie on why she no longer wants to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Frankie says something along the lines of, she was no longer the only hipster white woman with an adopted black son. I never did like Frankie.  All of her hipster-dom is a façade for her to get away with bullying everyone around her.   What has Frankie ever actually accomplished other than making herself the center of attention and imposing restrictions on her friends and family?  By the way, that was a subtle roast of Frankie by the show’s writers that I’m sure many people who admire the Frankie character missed.

My thoughts on the Mendocino County  story are also being tied to lesbians (and lesbiaphobia because what is the default accusation used to dismiss me but that old chestnut of lesbiaphobia?  Hope all you bastards enjoy your faux-indignation.  I’m okay with it because I can see the internalized misogyny in your dismissal of me.  You dismiss me while you eat up the shit sandwiches that males and others serve you daily without the slightest protestations.  Who is really the anathema in such a scenario? HAH!), whiteness, racism, millennials, hipsters, faux-progressive, mothers, motherhood, impression management, Trump and Comey (believe it or not) ……….

As with Frankie, I have to wonder if Jennifer Hart and wife (Sarah) didn’t adopt six black children as a means to appear hip, cool, benevolent, trendy, etc. Not saying it was consciously done.  And when the Jesus points wore off (i.e when Devonte hugged a police officer and the photo went viral) (In hindsight, the poor boy was probably crying for help), the reality of taking care of six children was too overwhelming for them.  Not just six physical children, but six emotional children who probably have been to hell and back.  Biological children of the same race who have been born to a patient mother and who have stayed with said mother throughout their entire childhood can often be too much for said mother.  Add the emotional baggage of being traipsed through the system, not being able to articulate freely the burden of having white mothers (whether said white mothers are benevolent or not), remembering biological family, remembering the circumstances of how said child got from original point to current point times 6 and there is a lot to tackle for two thirty something year old white women. A lot.  More than what someone who simply wants an accessory for cool points can deal with.

I’m not comparing these six children (Markis, Jeremiah, Abigail, Devonte, Hannah, and Sierra) to bunnies or dogs, but there is something about a non-black person wanting to adopt a black child similar to wanting to buy a rabbit for a child at Easter and then no longer wanting it a week later.  Or when Dalmatians were in demand because the movie 101 Dalmatians was making the round, just to be discarded when parents learned that Dalmatians were not very children friendly.  Or maybe I shouldn’t be apologizing for potentially appearing racist, but have arrived at what is racist about wanting to adopt black children in such a haphazard sort of way.  Detached-from-biological-family-black-children are not the latest consumable put forth for temporary use and disposability.  They are humans, with needs and feelings.  It actually feels antiquated to think that such a declaration has to be declared in 2018.

Oh I know, the very thought of questioning Jennifer Hart’s motive makes me public enemy number one. How dare I think, even for a second the children were used as stage props.   Everyone else gets to be cynical, but I don’t, right? I should allow some leeway.  Not rush to judgement……. No. If you are between 25 to 45 years old, you get the side-eye. The vacuous sustenance of internet dribble produced by this age-group has taught me that.  You get the scrutiny because you have offered no follow-through (no solutions) from your demands to blame someone (usually someone older and less hip than you consider yourself).  No results from your rooftop posturing and petulant hashtag activism.  Your little Blameless-Generation shtick is no longer acceptable. This latest crop of social warriors from Florida have popped your (the Blameless Generation 25-45 years old) “wokeness” balloon and exposed it as nothing more than carefully and accurately checked boxes and appropriately used buzzwords garnering zero results for the whole and 100%  results for a decent selfie.  You no longer get to point the finger at the generations before you and smugly assign yourself the best-est and most-est whatever because you prefer Scan and Go to the pesky living and breathing interaction of having to talk to a cashier while tapping out your ill-informed opinion with peppered expressions of giving a social fuck.

You are losers.  Or perhaps, winners who win internet money. Cash that in and see if it pays the rent.

I remember the visceral reaction I would have to Twisty’s (that tired old fake) disjointed and thesaurus contrived tirades when she would prattle on about knowing how she had privilege, as well as that other claptrap mistress with tarnished teaspoons.  It’s like saying it beforehand is a free get out of jail card.  But it’s meaningless really.  There is acknowledging privilege and there is acknowledging privilege.  There is caring for the lives of others and caring for the lives of others.  Similar to how a “feminist” man knows what to say to sex a “feminist” woman.  Knowing what to say doesn’t make the situation what it is said to be, be.  It’s simply knowing what to say. Thoughts and Prayers.

Let’s say Jennifer Hart had the best intentions and I’m completely wrong about her wanting to be crowned the hippiest hipster in all of hippeydom. Do you know what I cannot forgive (if indeed true, and I’m inclined to believe it to be)?  This offence angered me more than I could believe I could be angered from reading a story about people I don’t know personally.  That is, how the mother(s) withheld food from the children as a form of punishment. What.The.Fuck.  FOOD!  FOOD! Not junk food. Not fast food. Not restaurant food, but FOOD! FOOD! FOOD! One of the necessities of life.

Can you imagine the mental anguish (along with the obvious physical anguish) those children suffered by being denied food?

As a human, I find that unforgivable.  As a mother, I find that unforgivable. A mother.  A mother.  Something I would never really cop to because I have always been swimming against that stereotype.  But, I feel it now. I really-really feel it.  I can’t always guide my children in the best way possible, but I can give them some damn food if I have it.  As I said earlier, my children are currently on electronic/social media lockdown because of some schoolwork writing carelessness.  How would that possibly improve if I withheld food?

Starving!  There’s a concept to explore.  What are you figuratively starving for to a degree that you are willing to literally transfer that starvation over to children? What?

Yes, yes I know that men torture children all the time, and whatever.  It is my choice to write about what I want to write about, and your choice to Scan and Go or wait for an available cashier.

 

 

14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2018 8:55 am

    I know there are “kid collecting” families who do this for the cred, whether it’s hipster cred or Jesus cred. It happens over and over again, and nobody seems to care. This site hasn’t updated much lately, but it will give you some idea of the magnitude:

    http://poundpuplegacy.org/

    As an adoptee and a woman, I find adoption (and paid surrogacy) unacceptable. It’s richer women preying on poorer women, period. If you want a baby and can’t have one, I feel for you, but that entitles you to absolutely nothing, let alone someone else’s child. And if you say you’re doing it for the child, well, in at least 90% of the cases, you are straight up lying.

  2. April 15, 2018 12:36 pm

    Spot on! Good to see you writing again (unlike my seemingly, permanently blocked behind)!! Found this site not long ago and one of the writers I follow wrote this piece about the deaths: https://medium.com/@LeciaMichelle/yes-devonte-and-his-siblings-probably-were-murdered-by-their-adoptive-parent-s-90fdbf74cec6

    (P.S. Check out the site’s writing partner program — they pay for writing if it’s popular!)

    • April 15, 2018 12:53 pm

      The vast internet and I had no clue anyone was looking at this tragedy with a critical eye. Thanks for the link. These women got a pass because of “something.” That something needs to be identified and discussed.

    • April 15, 2018 8:57 pm

      @Kitty…“These women got a pass because of “something.” That something needs to be identified and discussed.”

      No shit — on BOTH counts!!

      @Snakurchin…I agree with Kitty — Horrors indeed!

    • April 16, 2018 9:59 am

      Deb, thanks again for giving me that link. I really didn’t think anyone was talking about this case. After reading I see there has been a lot said. For a second I was wondering if everyone was sleeping.

  3. April 16, 2018 7:10 am

    The closer you look, the worse it gets. Reuters did a good series of articles on “rehoming” a few years back. When Harriett J was still blogging at Fugitivus, she wrote an excellent piece called “Sometimes Adoption Gets All Effed Up.” It’s 8 years old and still applies perfectly. And I blog about adoption myself (but not much lately).

    To return to the subject, I think the “somethings” that let them get away with it are whiteness, the notion that adopted children are problematic and therefore anyone who wants them is qualified to take them, and overconfidence. Many people feel that “love is enough” to raise these kids. Love is certainly not enough to enable white people to raise black children in a racist world.

    There’s also the idea that being adopted is always superior to being “in the system” (and no longer the taxpayers’ problem).

    • April 16, 2018 1:53 pm

      @Kitty…No problem! Yeah, there was plenty being talked about it over there. I really like the site and follow several of its writers. Again, read up on their writing partner program to see if it’s something you might want to do.

      @Snarkurchin…“To return to the subject, I think the “somethings” that let them get away with it are whiteness, the notion that adopted children are problematic and therefore anyone who wants them is qualified to take them, and overconfidence. Many people feel that “love is enough” to raise these kids. Love is certainly not enough to enable white people to raise black children in a racist world.

      All of this!!! Just all of this! I also agree that most folk think the way you described, never having been “in the system” their damned selves! {SMDH}

  4. April 16, 2018 7:48 pm

    Do you remember this story?

    The blond ‘Mexican beggar child’ story holds a mirror to US perceptions of race

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/30/blond-mexican-beggar-child-story-us-race

    A Mexican family was recently at the centre of a national controversy over such questions. A young Mexican girl begging for money was photographed by a driver. Child beggars are sadly not an uncommon sight in Mexico – except that in this case, the girl was blond, green-eyed and very light-skinned. Feeling something was “not right” about that particular child, the photographer posted the picture to his Facebook timeline, telling his followers to “spread this photo around”. He argued that something was clearly wrong because the girl’s parents “were brown”.

    • April 16, 2018 8:15 pm

      Don’t remember this one but, I’m not surprised.

      “Feeling something was “not right” about that particular child, the photographer posted the picture to his Facebook timeline, telling his followers to “spread this photo around”. He argued that something was clearly wrong because the girl’s parents “were brown””

      Probably thought the child was a trafficking victim due to her appearance — gotta protect our chirrun from being used and abused by these brown folk! Fuck the probable & probably not — alleged brown victims!

      (Hey — my last comment to you and Snarkurchin’s still in moderation or somethin’ — just want you guys to know I wasn’t ignorin’ you!😀

    • April 16, 2018 8:29 pm

      Sorry. I read your comment in email and forgot to come over to the blog and approve it. I was thinking about the Mexican case because of the outcry when someone saw what they thought was a child in distress. At first I had thought no one was concern over the Hart children and simply returned them to their mothers. However, after reading some more I see that the neighbors did contact authorities. Yet, I wonder if the child had been white if the neighbors would have held the girl (I’m referring to the time I think it was Hannah who came over 2:00 am to ask for food) until the police arrived. I know it had to be horrible for that girl to think she had escaped just to be turned back over to them. My daughter asked me today why am I so worried about this story. She said I need to drop it and mind my own business. White woman savior syndrome (by proxy), I guess.

    • April 16, 2018 8:59 pm

      “Yet, I wonder if the child had been white if the neighbors would have held the girl (I’m referring to the time I think it was Hannah who came over 2:00 am to ask for food) until the police arrived. I know it had to be horrible for that girl to think she had escaped just to be turned back over to them.”

      I won’t do any speculation about the neighbors. At least they said SOME-damned-thing. Yep, I’m sure it was horrible for Hannah, just like I think Devonte’s “Free Hugs” viral vid was way more than the image that was telegraphed to the world. That boy was screaming for help — and nobody listened.

      “She said I need to drop it and mind my own business. White woman savior syndrome (by proxy), I guess.”

      EXACTLY — unless you REALLY get it…(you taught her well!)

  5. April 17, 2018 8:40 am

    I han’t heard about the Mexican child, but it reminds me of something. White children adopted by black couples in the US have reported similar experiences–white adults do things like sidle up to them in the grocery store and whisper “are you all right?” fearing their black parents must be abductors.

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