Food analogies and racism.

I came across this today in a Twitter bio:

“Adoptive vanilla mama to handsome chocolate son.”

Comments?

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14 thoughts on “Food analogies and racism.

  1. Huh. I guess I’d have to understand more context.

    DC (where I live) has always called itself “The Chocolate City” by residents who are primarily African-American (although the population is changing a little as the area becomes more gentrified).

  2. This is an interesting topic, because it is insidious in its meaning. In the late 1970s, early 1980s when I attended a University in Montana, I attempted to socialize with other American Indians. I thought I was invisible because I so much more resembled them then the people of the American culture (White) I was raised in. However, that invisibility vanished when I opened my mouth and my words, harsh and flat, came out, in contrast to their soft and undulating dialiect. “You a skin?” one asked. “Are you a breed?” asked another. “Naw,” a third replied, “She’s an apple – Red on the outside, White on the in.” The smirk on his face said everything I needed to know about his disdain. As I moved through life I heard other descriptions of transracial adoptees – Oreos, Twinkies, bananas. These were words of consumption and we were products that had been consumed by and into the White culture. To me, that explained everything I needed to know about why we don’t “fit”. To “fit” indicates a level of equality. Consumption is part of a hierarchy. To talk about transracial adoption along with food analogies of what it means illustrates very clearly, to my mind, where we are and the social hierarchy.

  3. My mind too directly went to the idea of consumption, and the hierarchy of consumer and consumed. This leads to loathsome references in white-dominant cosmopolitan gay circles such as “rice queen”, “hommos queen” and the like. This is a reduction to an “ethnic consumable” that doesn’t have a possible positive connotation. That D.C. residents might refer to themselves in this way is kind of different, no?

  4. I find the reference very distasteful, as a white adoptee. As Daniel says, it is about consumption on the basest level, and seems to be about the adoptive mother trying to “fit” into these horrible stereotypes. I don’t get it, on any level.

  5. In addition to the ideas re: consumption/commodification in previous comments, to me, vanilla mama/handsome chocolate son has a really disturbing sexual ring to it. I don’t expect language like that unless it’s in some creepy personal ad on a hook-up site.

    So disturbing on so many levels.

  6. Being Asian and culturally Caucasian-American I’m a: banana, Twinkie, and Golden Oreo. I’ve heard Asian-American adoptees call themselves more clever things, but I can think of them now. I prefer Golden Oreo which is one I came up with.

    Also other Asians who are not Korean sometimes ask if I’m a “Kimchi-Eater” because Koreans eat kimchi. It’s our national dish.

    • KangSunLee1991, I like that you embrace the joke. I ought to do that (I’m an Oreo), although my mind is pretty hard wired to the negative connotation….it’s really not a bad thing.

  7. Pingback: Racism, Class and Adoption » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

  8. Pingback: Racism, Class, and Adoption  Dark Politricks

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