|Jennifer Hart holds up Devonte at |
a 2011 ‘Occupy Minnesota’ protest.
We may summarize the Hart family story in a single sentence: Two white lesbians adopt six black children, abuse them for a decade, parade them around as mascots, and then kill them in a murder-suicide.Read the rest. For those not in Maryland, Morgan State is the historically black university in near Baltimore. A state school/ it is predominately black, as is Professor Patton.
A brutal summary perhaps, but accurate.
My conservative readers will, I suppose, read this as a cautionary tale about same-sex families, but liberals are noticing something else:
When Devonte Hart’s emotional photo went viral in 2014, white America embraced it. The image of a black kid in a fedora, giving out “free hugs” to a white officer during a police brutality protest was viewed as a sign of hope and racial reconciliation. It was, as CNN put it, “the picture we needed.”You can read the rest of that by Morgan State University Professor Stacey Patton, who is certainly not the only one who’s noticed the angle of “white saviorism” in the Hart murder-suicide story. . .
But like many black Americans, I was skeptical. As an adopted child abuse survivor, I identified with the pain I saw on Devonte’s face and bristled at what seemed to be a staged act of virtue, a black boy forced by his white adoptive mothers to overcome his fears and offer comfort and hope to white people. . . .
Authorities believe that Devonte’s body may have washed out to sea last month after one of his mothers intentionally plunged the family’s SUV off a 100-foot cliff in California, with his five siblings inside. Since then, a timeline of suspected abuse has emergedstretching back a decade. The children had complained to teachers and neighbors about being hit and deprived of food. One teenage daughter looked nearly half her age. And in the days before the family disappeared, Devonte had repeatedly prodded neighbors to contact authorities for help. He showed up at their home three times one day to get food for his siblings, they said.
But even as these details came out, some continued to defend Jennifer and Sarah Hart.
Friends of the couple took to social media with angelic stories about the mothers and criticized the “rush to judgment” that they were abusive. In a long tribute written on Facebook, one friend said the couple was “the example of marriage and parenting that I looked to and wanted to emulate.” . . .
It seems that America cannot see or hear black children’s tears unless they are framed in the context of white redemption or white saviorism. In the 2014 photo, people looked past Devonte’s pain to see what they wanted to see, what they needed to believe: an image of racial unity, forgiveness, and progress that isn’t happening in America. And now, many are struggling to see two white women, who “saved” a half-dozen black children from their hard beginnings, as anything other than virtuous.
Why can’t we fix our collective lips to say that the Harts were probably horrible parents and that any good they may have done for their children was canceled out by the heinous crime they’re suspected of committing? Is it because they were white? Is it because they were lesbians? Or women? Or liberal? . . .
I suspect Stacey and Stacey are on to something here. I doubt that lesbians or white women in general are on average neglectful mothers, but I have a suspicion that people who adopt children out of a savior complex are may have some problems in the long term. In the long run, kids just need parenting, and expecting to get karma points for it probably isn't helpful. It's long, it's soul-sucking, full of big and little disappointments, as well as occasional high points.