“No One Can Say Anything To Me…”

So….Ellen Pompeo is running around giving her opinion on race relations, and what black people need.

(h/t @daowens44 on twitter)

The relevant parts are between 45 seconds and 2:45.

As you can see in the video, Whoopi asks her about her plans to adopt a baby of color, and what people have said about that. Ellen Pompeo says, with a certain amount of what she must of thought was black girl sass, “No one can say anything to me cause I had a baby of color…” [Yeah. I paused too.] Then she goes on her rant about HBCUs and the NAACP. She doesn’t think we need “black schools and white schools,” referring to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She doesn’t think we need the NAACP awards; we only need “People Awards.” And I don’t think she is referring to the magazine.

What makes Meredith Ellen feel this way, let alone think she has a legitimate voice on these issues, that actually don’t affect her, considering she would have never even attended an HBCU or would get an award from the NAACP**?

Cuz can’t nobody say nuthin’ to her cause she already has a black baby. And a black husband. And who really cares what Jill Scott has to say, right? The experiences of black mothers can’t really be worth as much as those of a white mother of a black child, huh?


Let’s put out the disclaimer from the start: I’m not saying that Meredith Gray Ellen Pompeo does not have the right to speak an opinion on HBCUs or the NAACP. We live in a country of free speech, and I love a healthy debate. But what she did was try to pull our her “race-by-association card” – oh, yes, yes, she did – and THAT is unacceptable.

I’m sorry (actually, I’m not), but when will white people learn that no matter how many black kids, husbands, wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, coworkers, pastors, lovers or neighbors they have that does NOT give them an honorary black card?

When will they learn that their social and familial relationships with black people does NOT automatically remove their prejudices and biases or prove that they don’t have them?

Did you notice how many times she said, “and my husband thinks so too?” When will they learn that just because one black person agrees with them, that doesn’t mean that point of view is right or deserves anymore attention?

And one of my biggest pet peeves: When will white parents of black kids learn that they have a lot to learn about what it means to be black in this world outside of sliding a black baby from their vaginas or choosing a black baby from an adoption agency?!?

I’m not touting some essentialist view of blackness here. Blackness means a lot of things, contingent on time and space, and is continually being negotiated and renegotiated.

But one thing is certainly true, white parent of black child: your multi-racial family is NOT proof of the color-blindness that SHOULD be taking over the world.

Many white moms of black kids get this (I don’t know about white dads of black kids. Don’t talk to them much.) The moms that I interact with here get this.  I have a great friend who is a white mom of black kids who gets this. But there are so many more who do not, and I would go as far to say that the majority are in this camp. So many more who want to believe that their families are the harbingers of the racial utopia we all want and that they, in their white privilege and power, should have the right to dictate to everyone else what racial programs should look like. So if Ellen Pompeo, due to her status as a white mother of a black child (and a rich celebrity at that), wants to rid the world of HBCUs and the NAACP awards, who are any of us to protest? Can’t “nobody say nuthin'” to her!

UGH. And y’all wanna know why I sometimes want to go back to the days of segregation.

JK. Kinda. Sorta.

** Or any other acting award? Truth is I never liked you and your whiny character on Gray’s Anatomy. I stopped watching after the first season because you and Patrick Dempsy make me nauseous.

39 thoughts on ““No One Can Say Anything To Me…”

  1. I’ve heard this before. Nothing new or controversial here. A lot of ppl blk and white share her opinion.
    And your post headline misquoted her to make it seem like she was trying to sound hood.

    Your blog should get lots of traffic today. I’ve been here twice and sent the link so..mission accomplish.


    1. I misquoted her? Hmmm…I watched the video several times and thought I captured what she said pretty accurately. I’m not sure what you mean by “nothing new or controversial here” – what are you referring to? That people think we don’t need HBCUs or the NAACP? Or that white parents of black kids think their families are proof of a color-blind ideal?


  2. Okay first of all…chill! You’re not a slave…and chances are your mom wasn’t so lets get your sense of entitlement go at the door. Also, if you don’t want to be stereotyped…then stop acting like the stereotype. Oh poor you…you’re black. So am I! Actually…I’m mixed so I hope that doesn’t confuse you’re brain that is probably the size of a pea. Listen…I think what Ellen was trying to say (and did so well) was that we should be equal. And we should be! I think she was saying that we spend so much time being separate…that we don’t come together as on. As a mother of a mixed child, this totally concerns her. It concerned my mother and it still does. Parents of children who are mixed have every right to care! What the hell is your problem? You need to stop with the criticism of her and take a moment and realize you are part of the problem!


    1. First, on my site, we have respectful disagreements and debates. Check your attitude at the door or else your comments will not be welcome here. For I hate to say it, but I am almost certain that my intellectual abilities would massacre you, but I won’t even go there. Google me.

      Who is talking about entitlement or stereotypes? What stereotype am I conforming to?

      As Sherri Shepard was trying to tell Ellen, who summarily dismissed her, was that the problem was not, and has never been, that black people want to separate themselves. It has been that white supremacy has made it impossible for true integration, in which all people can be equal, to occur. White parents of black children are often blind to this reality, as they see the love that is cultivated in their own homes as what must obviously be in the world. If everyone would just “come together,” everything would be fine. But structural and institutional racism does not make that possible. I am not a slave, but modern day slavery and Jim Crow exists in the form of mass incarceration, the dismal system of education for black children, and residential segregation. My mother was not a slave, but she struggled disproportionately because she was black.


  3. She said ” well no one can say anything to me because I had a baby of color” she DID NOT say “can’t nobody say nothin to me” you took this entire piece out of context and she went to great lengths to say she can only speak on her own personal experience, and that she is in a different situation and that she has never walked in any one else’s shoes.

    She is entitled to her opinion regardless of who she is married to and what their race is.

    You also voided any point you attempted to make by attacking a character she plays on television. How very terribly petty and bitter.


    1. Okay, I agree that when I re-watched it several times, she did say it like you said, so I edited the piece. I still think she said it with a certain amount of sass, and my larger point still stands. I also said that she can speak her opinion as we live in a country of free speech.

      But I still think that she believes that because she has a child of color, that gives her some greater authority to speak on theses issues, more than she should have if he DID NOT have a child of color, or if she WAS NOT married to a black man.

      My jabs at Meredith Gray were jokes. On blogs, people joke. I said I was kidding. If you can’t see that, and separate the jokes from the substantive points, then you have no sense of humor. This piece was not written for you.


  4. What sucks is that when people say shit like this they want NAACP, La Raza anything minority centered to go away. They’re not pushing for white institutions to disband. I just want to punch all of them.

    They’re the same people complaining there’s not a White History Month or White Entertainment Television(WET). Ugh!


    1. Very true. She doesn’t see how the “People Awards” would be dominated by white folks, essentially becoming the “White People Awards,” and how without HBCUs, many black people would not get a college education because they would be pushed out of the Predominantly White Institutions of higher education.


  5. mmm.. i have to disagree with you.

    I get your point on this. I just don’t think you captured the 2 minutes of her talking about the issue, accurately.

    I don’t think she has a tone of arrogance or entitlement.. which is what your post seems to suggest. I do think she spoke from a place of naivete.. and ignorance (not in a negative sense, but a literal one).. i also think her intentions came from a good place (where she spoke about the people awards)

    I wonder if your opinion on this might change if you took a step back and viewed this interview from a different perspective. I don’t think her lil bit of sass about having a child of color is an issue. She’s a mom. She’s got a mixed race kid.. What mom doesn’t have a touch of sass when they talk about their experience? If my kids were black and (insert other ethnicity here).. I’d be rolling my neck a little too…lol

    I don’t agree with all the statments others have said in their comments.. but the underlying theme they seem to share, I do agree with. I think you missed the mark on this one. From your post, it seems as if you’ve made a lot of assumptions on this woman. I realize in some respects you can only judge what you see.. but I would be interested in having the questions posed about her comments, then the judgments you’ve shared.

    The NAACP comment was naive and ignorant. Just that. I raised my eyebrow at it too.. but it wasn’t enough to make me cross the bridge to the same conclusions you reached about her.. as a person.. as a mother, of a mixed race child. Plus.. she has her black husband supporting her ignorant view..lol..

    When you made this comment:
    “Did you notice how many times she said, “and my husband thinks so too?” When will they learn that just because one black person agrees with them, that doesn’t mean that point of view is right or deserves anymore attention?”

    That’s not jus one black person.. that’s her HUSBAND. My husband’s opinion carries a lot of weight with me. And maybe she did feel like she needed a buffer.. maybe she isn’t 100% comfortable speaking on these issues w/out that buffer.. I also wonder, had she not used her husband so often.. and spoke with confidence and assertive saying all the same things.. would it come across as intended.. or would it be read as arrogance? How should she have shared the opinion she has? What tone would have been acceptable? I think the agreement with her statements is one argument. But the judgment on her tone and what all else she thinks/feels entitled to because of her opinion is ill-founded.

    I too have seen white mothers raising mixed race or other ethnicity children who dont “get it”. And don’t “get it” while having a very closed minded, arrogant, defensive attitude towards learning “it”

    I didn’t get that sense from Ellen.

    And I think the bottom line, for me anyway.. is that whether you/I/they like it or not.. she DOES have a voice on this topic. Her child is half-black.. she is that child’s mother. She will be responsible for raising a half-black child in this world. It’s not race by association when you are the birthing mother of a mixed race child. And I don’t think this is about her having an “honorary black card”

    I hope time and circumstance shape her opinion to fit the reality we as black americans all live in.

    I’m still a fan of yours!! =) And I will continue to watch GA coz I love that sappy ish, lol 😉


  6. What disturbs me most about this is not her absurd comments (they are absurd) but that it’s clear she hasn’t taken a minute to recognize white privilege, and how that plays out. And although we all should recognize that, as the parent of a black child, she has an obligation to recognize and understand that, if only so that she can help navigate her children through our so-far-from-colorblind society.

    I’m also disturbed by the crazy comments that were immediately posted in response to your spot-on analysis, LaToya. I’m not sure which is worse–attacking someone’s intellectual capabilities just because you disagree with their (very well thought out) position, or using one’s background as a multi-racial person to justify attacking someone’s (very well thought out) position. 😦


  7. miss latoya,
    thank you! you are brilliant! but so many people, black and white live in ellen pompeo’s world. america needs to understand a change of the law (segregation) doesn’t necessarily change the heart of people.

    . …it’s really too deep to get into.

    i admire what you are doing here. keep it up! i am a new fan:)


  8. First of all, “what the what” about these comments?!

    I had the same response as you, LaToya. When white people argue that “we should all just stop trying to be separate” what I hear is “black people should stop acknowledging race everything would be fine.” Or, regarding HBCUs and the like, “we let you into our institutions so obliterate your unique traditions”. Since whiteness is often treated as neutral, raceless position, I can understand how people think that simply ignoring it would resolve issues–after all, white folk don’t spend a lot of time thinking about race and their lives move along just fine, right? I’m disappointed, but not surprised, by Pompeo’s very shallow and uninformed statement on “The View” but I certainly hope she learns to think more complexly about race since her she’s raising a child who will absolutely need to confront his racial position in a complex way.


  9. ummm….i’m gonna hold my tongue and be respectful because that is my sister LaToya’s wish.
    I’ll just say I agree with you LaToya. Even folks of color have internalized White privilege.
    Those first few comments made me NAUSEOUS. REALLY? Ya’ll feel so utterly compelled to defend McDreamy’s wife hunh? (I’m going to just turrrn my back because I’m afraid I don’t have the verbal restraint to respond with little outside of drop-squad like commentary right about now….smh)

    You are SPOT on LaToya.


  10. First of all, thank you LaToya for opening up this type of dialogue. I read your blog a lot, but never seem to have the time to comment – kudos to you for your commitment.

    I think what Ellen Pompeo should have focused her comments on were being a mother/woman in general, as opposed to a white mother of a black child. Although she does have a daughter of color, she also lives in an entirely different realm of reality because she is considered a “celebrity”, and therefore has access – for herself and family – to wax poetic about things like “people awards”, etc. I don’t think her comments came from a place of racism or ignorance, rather from her sheer naivete due to her celebrity. I don’t excuse them, but in my opinion I think she thought she was being sincere. At the end of the day her daughter is black and that is something that does put her in a different category than a white woman with white children. By no means does it make her black, but it changes the dynamic. For me, this begs the question – how should Ellen, or other women like her act when it comes to the ethnicity of their children? There’s no blueprint, and even as our society is rapidly becoming more integrated, there still exists racsim and bigotry and hatred toward people of color.

    As a white woman, I will never know what it is like to walk in the shoes of a woman of color or of varied ethnicities. I will never know the additional struggles and biases that are leveraged against you because of the color of your skin. Perhaps it is because I am white that I identify with my sex first and race after the fact. I am priveledged that I don’t have to jump over the race barrier that exists, even though I, too, forget it is there sometimes because I am of the mind set that everybody is equal.

    I don’t think there are any easy answers to any of these issues – but keeping an open dialogue like this is great LaToya.


  11. Thanks for all of your comments.

    I am using Ellen Pompeo here as an example of what I’ve seen over and over again. White people who see their great interpersonal relationships with black people as the sign that racism no longer exists. This phenomenon is greatest, in my opinion, with white parents of black kids, whether those children are bi-racial or adopted. And it is fueled by white privilege, the veil that allows white people to only see the world from their point of view, that ignores institutional forms of racism, that makes color-blindness seem like a viable option.

    I don’t disagree with any of you when you point our that her words were out of naivete or ignorance. That could very well be true. But why does that make them any less dangerous, or maddening, or irresponsible, or smacking of white privilege? Why does that mean that we shouldn’t criticize the hell out of white people who, even out of naivete, believe that there is no use for institutions that cater to black folks because “we should be beyond that”? Why can we not rightfully point out to them that despite what we should be beyond, we are not, and it’s downright insulting for them to insist for the world to be more comfortable for them? Because racism is so ingrained in our institutions, an appeal to color-blindness is an appeal to put everyone at the starting line for a race in which there are multiple hurdles in the lanes for people of color, but a clear path for white people.

    Ellen Pompeo may have been sincere. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I think we need to stop coddling white people and thanking them for their sincerity when the results of their oh-so-sincere actions are to make things worse for us! Sincerity of thought is all good, but I’d much rather not have someone like her on a national television show not saying that we don’t need HBCUs and the NAACP awards anymore.

    I absolutely do believe that she is using her “by association card” – when she says “no one can say anything to me because I have a child of color” even in response to the adoption of a child of color, she is making it clear that her status as a white woman married to a black man and who has a black child makes her immune to questions or criticisms on race.

    My point is that she is still white, and she still has a lot to learn about the black experience. Despite her concessions that “I can’t speak to that experience,” to say that “no one can say anything to me” implies that she has it all figured out. But the testimonies of countless bi-racial and adopted children say otherwise. White parents of black children do not have it all figured out.


  12. Hi LaToya,

    I’m so glad you have written about this. I watched The View yesterday and was confused why they were talking about Jill Scott’s Essence piece (from LAST YEAR!) where she said she gets offended when she sees black men with white women. Why they drudged that up…I don’t know. Then when they wove it into the interview with Pompeo the sh*t hit the fan. I was feeling the way Sheri handled it. She let her know that there’s a need for HBCUs and NAACP awards, and then tried to shift the convo elsewhere back to her TV show.

    My mother is black, Dad is white and I identify as multi-racial (more or less) but I (like our President) am black especially in the way the world views us and in experiences & culture. I know it’s more nuanced than black/white but I don’t want to get too long-winded. Point being I totally knew where Pompeo was trying to come from. I feel like in her heart of hearts she believes she is colorblind and that the world SHOULD be that way too. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that she needs to do some examination of her own white privilege and how the world reacts to her as a white woman. I think that will help her be able to manage the questions and issues that will come up with her son as he grows up and the black baby she wants to adopt (insert sideeye). It’s important for people to recognize the difference between what IS and what SHOULD be. They are two very different things at least regarding race, class and gender in the United States and as much as we mix, we still need to dismantle and discuss the realities that people of color face. It would be in her best interest if she wants to continue to raise healthy children of color.


  13. First off, I just wanted to let it be known that I have non-petrolatum “vaseline” on hand, and have laid my earrings aside. That is all. Stereotype that if you must, but a can of whoop ass is a can of whoop ass–even if it’s an intellectual massacre (LaToya is a beast!!)

    Thank you good Dr. Esquire for talking about this, even if it’s not new or isn’t shocking to some folks. That’s the issue right there. WHY would it ever be okay to have this type of conversation, on air, on land or by sea? The View has made me more than a little nauseous the four times that I’ve watched it, and I’m so glad I wasn’t looking at it when this crap appeared. White women slay me…for real, y’all do…and when women who look black portray some of these white women ideals, y’all become white women who slay me as well…and not in no nice way. The main problem I have with celebrities spewing this type o’ talk is that they are indeed NOT experts when it comes to a lot of things (we can talk about her acting later), but definitely not about white women taking care of black children. If they were experts, or at least reflective about the entire situation, then the thought process behind raising a child of color would be apparent in her testimony. Things like,”I have to make sure my child is culturally aware of what it means to be black in America, especially with a white mother,” or “my child has to know that she just can’t grip up children from an African country because she’s rich and has blond hair.” Instead, statements above made from the likes of Meredith or whomever, get swept under this national ignorance of us moving towards a colorblind society. Furthermore, the being black by association part always makes me cringe, because if you were a true ally (which is what I hope you would be if you marry a black person and/or slide black babies out of your vaginal/help create black babies from your spermssss), those words would never leave your mouth. You’d KNOW that while identity is indeed fluid, and we all socially interact to construct identity everyday, identity is also very personal. You can stand next to, have sex with, have babies by as many black men as possible, but that does NOT make you anything other than a person who stands next to, has sex with, or has birthed children by black men. If she started with a relational analysis, without any mention of “my husband would also agree,” I may have taken her seriously. However, for her, and Sherri Shepard who validated her statements by saying (and I’m paraphrasing, but you’ll get the idea) “Honey chile, you get black dick every night!” I feel sorry for them that they’re completely ignorant of the sociopolitical realities that I know too much about. Oddly enough, for the show to be called The View makes this even more hilarious…and shameful. Shame on them all. I’d love to hear what Jilly from Philly would have to say about Meredith giving her license to be intelligent and have an opinion. Lookatmyface. I gotta get back to dissertating. Thanks Toya!


    1. You know, I don’t watch The View either – this came to me via somebody on Twitter. All of them get on my nerves. Yes! Did you hear Sherri? “OHhhh…there’s your hussssbannnndddd!!!!” like the chick had won the effing black man lottery. SMDH.

      Thank you for taking off your earrings. People don’t know, but I’m from Philly PROPER, not the suburbs.


  14. Black people have a lot to get over and quit playing the race card every time an issue pops up. The author completely missed what the lady was saying because the author was blinded by her own bigotry towards this white woman and white people in general. Don’t talk to white guys that are fathers of black kids. Ya just heard from one. I’ve moved forward, you’re stuck in the past. I pity you.


    1. Your comment would be laughable if it didn’t represent exactly what I am talking about in this post – white parents of black kids thinking that they are the symbol of the future while the rest of us are languishing in the past. White men have been fathering black children for a long time. YOU are nothing new. It is not, therefore, surprising that a white father of a black child would come on this site and say black people need to stop complaining. It’s almost ironic.

      Call me a bigot, call me an idiot, call me whatever you want. But pitying me is a waste of your time. Cause I’m gonna keep on writing this stuff, here, there and everywhere. And I’m doing quite well for myself, thank you. You should harness that pitying energy toward your black child, who will most likely look back at your comment and shake their head. THEY will know that black people do not merely “have a lot to get over” as if racism in all its forms is something that’s only all in our heads. THEY will know the everyday reality. THEY will know that “moving forward” is a catch phrase of white people for “releasing white guilt,” “ignoring racism,” “being ahistorical,” etc, etc.

      And most of all they will know that their white dad could care less about their experience. Damn, homie. I almost pity you.


      1. What’s laughable is your inept knowledge of white people.
        ~”It is not, therefore, surprising that a white father of a black child would come on this site and say black people need to stop complaining. It’s almost ironic.”
        The idea was instilled by my step father; my hero, my Dad. Who’s black.
        Growing up he taught me to recognize, analyze and improve upon personal actions and choices and the consequences/rewards that follow. Bottom line, you are responsible for the outcome and no one else. No excuses, no cards, regardless of what people like you spout.
        My kids live by that, and let me tell ya “homie,” THEY know reality better than anyone.

        Keep writing, keep up the hate.


      2. Mark, thanks for your comments. You are not saying anything that countless other folks have not said before. It’s classic bootstrapping rhetoric. Good luck to you and your children. Namaste.


  15. Thank you for your post. It has many valid points and I also appreciate the link to love isn’t enough. I am a white mother to a beautiful adopted African American baby girl and my husband is a minority, too. However, their experiences are not mine. I cannot speak for what is needed in the African American community because I am a mommy or a wife to minorities. To think such a thing is egotistical and very ignorant. Now, I will admit to using the term color blind but I simply mean that I love my husband and daughter the same way I would love them if they were any other races. I see them as my daughter and my husband- it is that simple for me. BUT that does not mean that the rest of the world shares that sentiment- in fact, quite the opposite is true. For anyone who questions your opinion they should try living in the south for a while and see what sorts of reactions a mixed race family still receive- racism exists in many places in the world and to ignore it or deny it is the same as condoning it. What Ellen was suggesting might work in an ideal world but we are far from being that ideal world and it is ridiculous to suggest taking away NAACP awards and the HBCUs until the world is that ideal. Since I am not holding my breath on that one, I plan to make sure that my daughter has the ability to discuss and even vent her experiences in our home. I cannot ever say that I truly will understand what she face but at least I can listen…. For other trans racial parents I would recommend going to the writings of Kevin Hofmann who addresses the need to discuss race in trans racial families- http://www.kevinhofmann.com/ I am not defending Ellen’s comments but I do think that they showed her ignorance- her heart seemed to be in the right place but being a mother to an African American child does not make you an expert on the experiences of an entire race!


  16. Gosh, I am so over the “sincerity” or “ignorance” card. At some point, definitely by the time you are a grown woman, raising children–and children of color in this color-struck world at that–you are responsible for your naivete, or your ignorance. If you are unwilling to go past the surface and try to understand how race operates not just for black people, but for white people as well, then you are responsible for your blunders, mistakes, off-the-mark statements, and ignorance, no matter how well intentioned. And at that point, it’s just racism; it’s just benefiting from white privilege. It’s just wrong.

    I also think it’s interesting when the debate turns to “I pity you; you’re ignorant; you’re racist” instead of “huh, I hadn’t thought about it that way,” or “you know, I think you’re wrong, and this is WHY.” This is one of the major reasons we can’t have open and honest conversations about race in the first place. People are unwilling to truly consider alternate points of view, and unfortunately, it is often the point of view of people of color–the people most negatively affected by these issues–that is summarily dismissed. Pompeo gets to speak about her reality as a white woman, but LaToya doesn’t get to speak about her reality as a black woman? I’d call this the twilight zone, but really, it’s just “post-racial America.”


    1. It’s really maddening when you think of it. And this is why I have so many problems with talking to white people about race. Because I truly to come to the table with an attitude of “I don’t care about your feelings.” Race is not a comforting topic. There really is nothing warm and friendly about it. You sincerely say some shit that is seeped in white privilege and I’m supposed to give you points because you didn’t mean any harm? Hell naw. If you come to the table knowing we are going to talk about race then know that intent means nothing.


  17. I’m reminded of the story Chris Rock told Oprah about his little daughter telling him of her friend, and little black girl, Julie who had a crush on a little white boy, Brad (I don’t actually remember their real names). His daughter said: “Dad, Brad said he didn’t like Julie because she’s annoying” I loved this story because it shows us that we are getting there….our kids have to be taught racism or to look for it and or expect it. I grew up in the real jim crow times in a southern state and have not read anything more racist than your writings. I think your personal wish for segregation has already occured in your mind and heart. Good luck to you


    1. Thanks for your comment.

      I really wish you were right that my writing were the most racist thing ever written! We would certainly live in a much better place if that was even close to the truth.

      {Side-eye, eye-roll, and any other thing I can do with my eyes to make it clear that this is the most ridiculous thing yet to be posted in response to this piece. Oy vey.}


  18. Latoya, I have followed this blog for quite some time and not commented but this has itched at me so much that I have to respond. I am Jamaican and have been in this country for 10 years. Let me be the first to admit that upon migrating here at 18, I did NOT understand the experience of being black in America and foolishly, complained that people need to just do away with all the ‘black this and black that” and be one happy place! I WAS IGNORANT AND STUPID!

    I un-learned my way of thinking and while I do hope for a utopian society where the color of a man skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes (Hailie Selassie I of Ethopia and made popular by Bob Marley in his song War) I KNOW WE ARE FAR FROM THIS! People like to think that by not talking about race issues, then racism will go away. People like to think that by adopting black babies and marrying black people, that we are all colour blind and happy nowadays. I got news for you! It aint so! On the outside this is what you may thing…but racism is INSTITUTIONALIZED AND EMBEDDED IN THE VERY FIBRE OF THIS COUNTRY. you can disagree with me and that is ok.

    Ask that Ellen if she fully understands and grasps her white privilege in this country and tell me what she says…


  19. I just read all the comments. I respect the diversity of opinions but seriously I can best sum it up by saying that there is a lot of surface level, superficial thinking going on here. I don’t mean this rudely so don’t take it that way or launch a vicious attack! Do you seriously believe that race is no longer an issue and that the more we talk about it the more we are stuck in the past? How can you accuse a black person of playing a ‘race card’ when you are not even in deck of cards to begin with? I don’t even have the same experience of being black in America but best believe, as an immgrant, I can see that the inequalities and instiutionalized racism is the cornerstone on which this country is built. To think otherwise is modern day mental slavery!


    1. “not even in the deck of cards..” Beautifully put. Although I would also say that many white people are actually the dealers of the cards, which is why I think they fail to see their white privilege. They so often don’t even have to “play” the “game” of race.


  20. Pompeo did attend the NAACP. Remember when Shonda Rhimes still had a respectable show the entire cast of Grey’s attended. I wonder if ABC will make as quick work of Pompeo as they did of Isiah Washington? In all fairness the woman is just an actress & not a historian. What baffles me is the zeal in which people from the dominant culture attack so called minority cultures & institutions. They should spend more time attacking the pathologies in their culture that lead to racism. So other ethnic groups can have their institutions but Black people should sacrifice theirs? Why? Because anything is better than being Black? How arrogant. If having a half Black child makes her knowledgeable about race relations than Black women should be considered scholars. The only thing that will silence this kind of arrogance is for Black people (because that’s what many of them, e.g. Pres Obama, still identify as) with a White parent, who attend/attended HBCUs tell Pompeo to go have a sit down & don’t speak on their behalf. I know these people exist because many of them were my classmates. Where’s Halle or Mariah’s mother when you need them?


  21. I read you post the other day and originally chose not to respond because, honestly, I found it heavily weighted with what seemed like unfounded bias. However, today being the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Ed got me thinking and prompted me to go ahead and throw in my two cents on the topic. Because I do think there was some validity to what she said; but furthermore, I think your intro paragraph took it to another level that is worth addressing.

    I think we’re all familiar with the case, but just to provide some history and context… In 1896 the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v Ferguson that “separate but equal” accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. That ruling went on to condone segregation in various public establishments, including elementary schools. In 1954, the NAACP intervened. In Brown v. Board of Education – with the amazing Thurgood Marshall leading Linda Brown’s team – the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional in ALL cases. …that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”.

    At that point in 1954 and amidst the Civil Rights movement, we were – as a nation – taking steps away from segregation and racism. The NAACP was an integral part of that, as were the nine white men who sat on the Supreme Court that made the ruling, and as were many, many countless others that fought and continue to fight this battle. Now flash forward to present day, and let’s take a look at Spelman College, “the premier historically Black college for women”, or Morehouse College – “The College of Choice for Black Men”. Seems a little ironic to me…

    Now before you go off on your mental tirade and start thinking of all of things you want to write in response to this and disregard everything else I say from here on out, I have a few other things to say.

    I don’t know you, so I’m not going to attack you personally. (And please don’t reply with a list of your credentials on paper.) I’m sure you are a highly educated and intelligent woman. I do, however, sense that you have experienced a great deal of negativity and hostility in your life, and have some serious race issues. You’ve got a real “us and them” mentality that is really hard to swallow. One thing that – ironically, given the topic of your post – you’re neglecting to acknowledge is that this world is not just full of white and black people. There are many mixed-race people, and I wonder what box they fit into in your compartmentalized world. And btw, not all white people are born into “privilege and power”. You (and several of the commenters) are coming off really ignorant. Talk about naiveté. Damn…

    You’re also outright rude where you state, “When will white parents of black kids learn that they have a lot to learn about what it means to be black in this world outside of sliding a black baby from their vaginas…” Not only is that callous, but once again you’re grossly generalizing. So you have “a great friend who is a white mom of black kids” and “interact” with a few others. Well, lady, you don’t get the “race-by-association card” or experience/insight/knowledge-by association either. It’s obvious you don’t know sh!# about mixed race kids. Our President came from a white vagina, and I’d say his mother did a damn good job of preparing him for this world. Wouldn’t you?

    In any case, I appreciate the fact that you take the time to share your thoughts and opinions. This is just a blog. I get that. Racism, all this… it needs to be talked about. I just wish there wasn’t so much anger. You’ve got to open your mind and your heart a little more before we – yes WE: black, white, and everything in between – can move on.


    1. Thanks for your comment. I won’t respond with my credentials, but I will respond with some points of clarification/perspective. I won’t go too in-depth because a separate post on Brown is forthcoming 🙂

      You are right. I do have serious “race issues.” I grew up in a segregated neighborhood that experienced white flight. I do not believe that we are living in a post-racial America. I believe that race is a foundation upon which this country was founded, and racism is a foundation upon which is continues to operate. I think only racism can explain the continued disadvantage of blacks in the country, and around the world. And yes, you are are right. I am angry about that. I believe anger can be a catalyst for change. W.E.B. DuBois encouraged black people to become educated and be unhappy about their subordinate position in the country. That is what I aim to do.

      I believe, like many of the lawyers that worked on the Brown case, that Brown was a failure, if looked at as only a school case. Schools today are as segregated as they were prior to Brown. Why? Because the constitutional prerogative of white parents to move their kids out of schools that would have become desegregated was just as strong as the constitutional right of black kids to go to desegregated schools. What Brown did do was declare that segregation could no longer be state-sanctioned. You are correct in your analysis of Plessy, except that separate schools were the basis of the Plessy decision. Separate schools were around before Plessy.

      The need for HBCUs was, and is, recognized because when you look at the enrollment of PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions), you will notice that the vast majority of the black students are not the descendents of slaves, but 1st or 2nd generation immigrants. This country is not moving away from racism; those who were most affected by slavery, Jim Crow, and the re-segregation of pubic schools in America are not being able to take advantage of higher education. It is at HBCUs that descendents of slaves are able to access higher education.

      I think it’s true that you don’t know me, so it’s quite impossible for you to say that neither my heart nor mind are open. I have discussions about these issues on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel the need to vent and rant, which I do, on my site, which is what I did here. I don’t think its “obvious” that I don’t know anything about mixed race kids; I wasn’t talking about mixed race kids, I was talking about their parents, with whom I talk to many given that I study parenting and race.

      Finally, I’m not interested in “moving on.” I’m interested in equality NOW. I’m interested in fairness NOW. I’m interested in getting our due NOW.


      1. Unless I’m mistaken, you were talking about the parents by way of the fact that they are parents of mixed-race kids, and are therefore incorporating conversation about mixed-race kids. Regardless… from the outside looking in, it seems your studies of parenting and race are limited in scope. I’m not sure what it is you are hoping to learn from your studies, but it seems like either you’re looking for data to support your already formed opinion(s).

        And I don’t think you’re about equality or fairness now, or if you are… it doesn’t come across that way. Rather, you come across as “I’m black and angry, and damn it if you’re white you’ll just never understand because you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth.” I’m just sayin’…


      2. I am black, and I am angry. But I don’t hate anybody. I do hate white privilege, and I do hate white supremacy. I don’t think all white people were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and I know I never said that. What I did say was white people benefited from, and saw the world through, white privilege. If you want to get into a discussion if exactly what that privilege entails, we can. One part of that privilege is thinking that your personal relationships say something about the state of racism more globally.


  22. Okay… Let me begin by saying when originally listening to this clip it took me a minute to even catch on to anything controversial. When she states that no one can say anything to her because she “had a baby of color” she is simply saying that the people who may question her decision to adopt a child of color should take into account her own experience and the fact that she has already been a mother of a beautiful child that happened to be mixed; and that adoption or birth, either way, has given her (or will give her) a child that she is fully capable of raising. What on earth is wrong with this? If I have accomplished or gone through anything in a successful manor, I would be just as comfortable saying I am prepared and entitled to do this (yet again). I am happy that she has been successful in raising her child and that as a proud mom she knows this and doesn’t feel it necessary to defend her decision to people who may criticize. She is not saying that just because she has a black baby or a black husband that she is “justified” but that she is more than “qualified” to make her own decision as a mother. This may have been poorly worded, yes, but let’s reread half of the posts here. Lol. Surely and hopefully, you don’t mean to be as attacking, close minded, one-sided, and ignorant as you seem. I’m guessing it’s just poor wording. Now as far as the issue of her “rant” about the NAACP, I (a child of mixed race) could not agree more. I find it a bit of a contradiction that many black people speak about segregation and how it was wrong, and how we needed to over-come it (which is completely true) yet when a white women states that we shouldn’t need these black school and how we should have “people awards” (not SEPARATE ones) that suddenly the idea about coming together is suddenly so far off base? I understand that we are of different races, that’s not to be under minded or ignored, but when you talk about how you are “as a black women,” or how “white people” act in this manor or another, how “The experiences of black mothers can’t really be worth as much as those of a white mother of a black child, huh?” you are simply doing what you are criticizing her for… using your “race-by-association card.”  She didn’t even say anything close to this? We shouldn’t have different schools or groups; after all did black people not fight for that very same idea? Lol. Was civil rights not about being treated as equal (or one)? I am not debating that fact that there are some people out there who are in fact very ignorant in saying a black person doesn’t deserve to be here just as black people may say that a white person can’t understand or infer just that as you seem to have. “When will white parents of black kids learn that they have a lot to learn about what it means to be black in this world outside of sliding a black baby from their vaginas or choosing a black baby from an adoption agency?!?”… When will black people understand that a child is a child? Equal. They have the same needs as any baby; and a mother is a mother, fully capable of love, care, and nurturing? (Please do note that I say “when will black people” in a humoring manor simply to parallel your wording)… I don’t mean to misconstrue my intentions or character. My mother (a white women) and my father (a black man) have given me the same love as any parents could have given to their child. I for one have no desire to know “what it means to be black in this world.” I strive to be a person in this world, not separated by my race or upbringing. To ask to be viewed differently or titled as black or white or any label at all would only speak poorly of myself in saying that I support being seen as set apart by something so ignorant. Isn’t that what “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” means? Why do you try to attack her for saying (maybe very differently) just that? Why can’t we have “people awards?” Why can’t we be seen on an equal playing field? Why do we have to be separate? Yes, in today’s world this perfect idea may be hard to come by, but by attacking a women’s idea for just that all you’re doing is hindering further growth.


    1. Wow. There is so much in your comment that I think is just wrong that to try to address each of them would be a post in itself. Let me say broadly: black people, as a whole, did NOT fight to not have different schools or groups. Black people fought against state sanctioned segregation. Plessy v. Ferguson was a case that said that a Louisiana statute that MANDATED blacks and whites sit in separate cars was legal. Brown v. Board overturned that, saying that the state cannot enforce laws that required separation. Black people fought against legal distinctions that cemented inequality. That is because the Constitution, in the 14th Amendment, was interpreted at that time to forbid such LEGAL distinction.

      That idea is totally distinct from blacks themselves maintaining organizations and institutions that serve them and their interests, given the white supremacy that continues to exist. Martin Luther King was a product of such institutions, being a Morehouse man himself. Many blacks, at the time Brown was decided, did not believe that ending de jure segregation was the way to go; many wanted to fight for equality between black and white schools instead. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, schools are nearly as segregated today as they were pre-Brown. Brown itself, if equalizing schools and ensuring equal educational opportunities for black children was the goal, was an utter failure. Why? Because white supremacy is a strong opponent to true equality. It is mostly through HBCUs that black people, as descendents of slaves, receive the higher education needed to succeed in this country. HBCUs produce more black doctors, lawyers, and scientists than PWIs.

      MLK did NOT say that he hoped one day that his children would not be seen as black; he said that he hoped his children would not be JUDGED by the color of their skin. Integration is an ideal that is perfect once all people are equal. But you don’t get equality just by saying it is so. Brown proved that. The Civil Rights Acts proved that. Affirmative action has proved that. Equality will only come by pointing out white privilege and supremacist thinking when we see it, by investigating it, and by dismantling it. As Robert Carter, a key lawyer in the NAACP and formal federal judge put it when writing about Brown: “The lawyers did not understand then how effective white power could be in preventing full implementation of the law; nor did they realize at the time that the basic barrier to full equality for blacks was not racial segregation, a symptom, but white supremacy, the disease.” The same thing is, I think, hindering black folks, and other folks who care about equality now.

      I think most people who have commented on this post have the same goals I do. But perhaps we see the problem differently. I’m okay with that. But I’m going to keep on doing what I do. For now, I’m closing comments on this post, and moving on to the next one. (And if you don’t mind, I’m going to turn this reply into my next post. I’m kind of liking what I said right here 🙂


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