I love the blog “Stuff White People Like.” The site promotes itself as a “tongue-in-cheek comprehensive list of everything left-wing, upper-middle-class Caucasians enjoy.” The list is pretty accurate based on what I know of my White liberal friends, they love listening to Black music that Black people don’t listen to anymore (No. 116), publicly screaming about how they hate their parents (No. 17) and of course Facework (No. 106). Recently, Christian Lander, the blog’s creator, was being interviewed on “Lopez Tonight” and joked about how in his mind Obama is a “White liberal” president. The reason? Obama has the one accessory that all White liberals want—cute Black children. I couldn’t help but think of this last week when Sandra Bullock was on the cover of People Magazine with her newly adopted Black baby boy, Louis. It’s nice to see another White celebrity get exactly what they like, and not have to answer any tough questions about it.
Bullock is one of those “America’s sweetheart”-types in Hollywood like Jennifer Anniston, Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz. Nominally talented, fawned over and always liberal enough to sport whatever red, pink or blue ribbon is needed to support the cause du jour. Bullock’s star power has been on a stratospheric rise over the last several months due to a series of highly publicizes events. First was her Oscar win for “The Blind Side,” a movie where she played a Southern wife who takes in a homeless Black boy who turns out to be a successful football player. If you missed the movie don’t worry, just rent “The Green Mile,” “Radio” or “The Legend of Bagger Vance” and you pretty much know the plot (Confused White person + Black person who shows them love = Hollywood success!) Just days after the Oscar victory a tabloid story broke that Bullock’s husband, motorcycle enthusiast Jesse James, had been cheating on her. She subsequently filed for divorce and then last week revealed to the world that she and James had adopted a Black baby boy from New Orleans whom she had kept secret from the press until now. Now Bullock can be both the female victim icon and the liberal White heroine at the same time. Christian Lander should add her to his list.
In the midst of this praise fest what is being ignored is the obscenely racist and vile underbelly of this transracial adoption. Bullock’s husband wasn’t cheating on her with just anyone, his fling was with Michelle McGee, a neo-Nazi pin-up girl who sports White Power and swastika tattoos all over her body. His ex-wife, and mother of his three children, porn star Janine Lindemulder, is active in the skinhead movement and James himself has been known to cavort with known White supremacists and Nazis in his motorcycle shops. One racist ex is a fluke but several racist exes suggests that James was awful cozy and comfortable with the White power movement in America and Sandra Bullock didn’t have too much of a problem with it either. Maybe she tolerated his ideology quietly but methinks that’s taking the “Miss Congeniality” role a bit too far. Essentially we have a woman being praised in the national media for adopting a Black child and attempting to raise him for a time with her neo-Nazi husband.
It’s bad enough that neo-Nazis have been mainstreamed in shows like “Justified” and “Sons of Anarchy” but now even mentioning the fact that this woman was perfectly comfortable with raising her son with a Nazi sympathizer is swept under the rug. It wasn’t his vile political associations that ended the marriage, it was his adultery. I’m pretty sure the press would go crazy if Woody Allen adopted a teenage Asian girl, or R. Kelly adopted a kid, period. Yet no one can look through the worship of Sandra Bullock to point out that maybe this story is a bit more sordid than is being acknowledged. Just because someone is White and rich doesn’t mean they know what’s best for an African-American child, especially when they clearly aren’t too concerned with sharing a bed with White power fanatics.
In the last year we’ve seen Tea Party fanatics burn a Black president in effigy, increases in campus violence against minority students and transracial adoption become the hottest thing for Hollywood celebrities. Maybe it’s time we publicly point out White Power attacks when they are staring us in the face, especially when an adopted Black baby is being used to cover them up.
(Dr. Jason Johnson is an associate professor at Hiram College in Ohio,)