Friday, June 29, 2012

Should Gay Males be Allowed to Adopt Black Boys

Convicted pedophile, Jerry Sandusky, lured young black boys into his basement and molested them.  His wife, Dottie Sandusky, claims she did not hear their cries of pain and terror.  Both Sanduskys had worked for years to build up the Second Mile Foundation, a so-called safe haven for poor black children from urban backgrounds.  Maybe Sandusky's victims were chosen solely on account of opportunity.  But, then again, maybe not. 

The suspicion that race might play a role in a pedophile's choice of victim roared back into my consciousness when I learned that sixty-six year old San Francisco gay activist, Larry Brinkin had been arrested for the possession of child porn. This was no issue of clinging to photos of a favored nephew toddler sitting on the potty or being lifted out of the bathtub.  It was. . . well.  Let me just cite one of the emails found in Brinkin's possession:

 “I loved especially the nigger 2 year old getting nailed. Hope you’ll continue so I can see what the little blond bitch is going to get. White Power! White Supremacy! White Dick Rules!”

Whether or not the man is convicted, the fact remains that someone was molesting young children, and had come up with shockingly racist and fetishistic captions for the black ones.   I decided then that it was time for me to look into this matter, regardless of where it might lead and whose political sensibilities it might rattle.And this is what I found.

One of the most enduring but damning legacies of slavery is American society's unspoken fears and fetish-like preoccupation with black male physicality.  From time to time this volcano erupts into theories that blacks excel at sports because their physiology is closer to that of animals.  At other times pseudo-scientific theories are promulgated, claiming as Canadian psychologist J. Philippe Rushton once quipped:  "You either have a big brain or a big penis but you can't have both."  [ I have discussed some aspects of this concept known as "sexualized racism," in my latest book, Straightening the Bell Curve: How Stereotypes about Black Masculinity Drive Research on Race and Intelligence. ]

If straight males can have such an uneasy relationship with notions of black masculinity, some members of the gay community will not escape the trap either.  And this is where the issue of adoption comes into the discussion. American society now finds itself saddled with 100,000 kids waiting for adoption, half of whom are African-American.  These youngsters are also the hardest to place.   Homosexual couples can be good, even great parents.  Serious research studies have made that clear, over and over again.  As a consequence, I believe in gay marriage and support homosexual adoption, but with one vital exception.  Call me what you like.  But I do not believe in the adoption of black boys by gay males of whatever race. Pedophilia affects all ethnicities, religions, classes, and professions equally.   But it is also true that young black and white boys  are not created equal, at least not yet.  From birth, black males carry the invisible burden of society's as yet unexamined sexualized racism.    And too many lives have already been destroyed by an unwillingness to face the special circumstances that young African-American males find themselves in on account of those lurid stereotypes.  

In 2009, the associate director of Duke University's Center for Health Policy, Frank Lombard was convicted of offering up his adopted 5-year-old African American son for sex to an undercover cop. Lombard had, according to one witness, performed sex acts on the child over the Internet. He then invited the under cover officer to travel to North Carolina to rape his already-molested adopted son. Lombard is now serving out a twenty-seven year sentence in federal prison.  In another case, a gay man named Mark Moellendorf was arrested for molesting young boys in Haiti after the earthquake that devastated their country.  I can find more anecdotes.  But that is not the point.  American society needs to wake up and acknowledge the special vulnerability of young black boys to the sexual fetishism of pedophiles.  

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