Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Not so Wright on

Watching the Wright Stuff this morning, one discussion was of Minister Tim Loughton's puffing off* about making it easier for children from ethnic minorities to be adopted by people not belonging to that ethnic group.

A woman phoned in and tried to put across the point that she felt that the adoption process is harder on people from minorities who try to adopt. I think in part she was also saying she felt the Social Services are more likely to put children from ethnic minorities into care than those of white parents.

Wright cut her off rapidly and didn't seem to want to entertain the notion that racism could play a part in the difficulties of finding adoptive parents of similar backgrounds. Now in fairness, the woman wasn't particularly clear and was having difficulty wording her point, and to keep the show moving sometimes it is necessary to cut off the hesitant and obviously fazed**, but I thought it was remarkable how little he wanted to even listen to her premise. He quickly threw in that the adoption process is hard on everyone, talking of a white couple he knows who are trying to adopt. When someone claiming to work in the social services called in later, he asked her whether her experiences bore out the previous caller's comments, which she denied. His immediate acceptance of this and dismissal of the experiences of the first caller was pretty marked.

What is so threatening about taking a moment to consider whether there might be obstacles to adoption which are peculiar to particular ethnic groups? Much as we might wish it, we aren't in a post-racist society, (even if black people can now theoretically join the BNP*** if they want to). Why not explore what might be reasons for a dearth of potential adopters from diverse backgrounds and the disproportionate amount of children from ethnic minorities in care (and how long they stay there)?

Sure, The Wright Stuff has fifteen minutes max to expound per topic, but really it was astounding how fast he shied away from whether prejudice or other issues specific to a given ethnic group might play a part.

*This, despite there being no bar on inter-racial adoption currently, just guidance that 'significant consideration' should be given to the issue. According to the Grauniad, " Social workers say they follow the agreed guidance. If there are, to quote the minister, "no other issues", minority children can be and are adopted by white parents. They suggest that Loughton might better work to recruit more adoptive parents and desist from "social-work bashing"."

** Although Wright often cuts off people he disagrees with as well.

*** Mwhahaha about the news N!ck Gr!ff!n is facing bankruptcy over his party's debts. He will no longer be able to serve as an MEP if he does become bankrupt. As Nelson would say, ha ha.