Sandra Bullock Adopts African-American Child Despite Racist Allegations Against Her Husband

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Yesterday, People Magazine reported that not only is actor Sandra Bullock divorcing her husband, reality star Jesse James, but she has also adopted an African-American baby boy.

It had been widely reported that James cheated on the recent Oscar winner with at least four women and had entered a rehabilitation facility (exactly what his addiction was is still unknown). Because many people in the public eye have been open about their impending or recent adoptions, the news of a divorce and a new baby is a revelation.

After the reports of infidelity came the allegations -- mostly originating from celebrity sites like Us Weekly and TMZ, though supported by a photograph and testimony from a family member -- that James holds questionable beliefs about race, beliefs that bring up concerns about the upbringing of Bullock's son. Though Bullock now plans to raise the child as a single parent, James was still in the house when Louis Bardo Bullock was adopted in January, and it's safe to say that James had a substantial role in the adoption of the little boy, who was born in New Orleans.

Sandra Bullock adoption People cover

The questions about James' views on race surfaced when one of his alleged mistresses, Michelle McGee came forward. Among other things, McGee is a model and porn actress who has posed for Nazi fetish magazines and is a rumored white supremacist. Despite having "WP" (which often stands for White Power) tattooed on her thighs, she has explained that it really stood for "Wet P$%sy." (If it really meant that, wouldn't it be around her crotch? Just sayin'.)

Rumors swirled that there were sex tapes in which James was dressed up like an SS officer performing sex acts. The existence of sex tapes hasn't been proven, but a picture of James with an SS officer hat, giving the Nazi salute, has definitely surfaced.

Gossip site TMZ posted a video in which James' father Larry, who has been estranged from his son for six years, talks about his son's childhood fascination with Nazis, and his own friendship with a neo-Nazi, who gave the family "Nazi literature." Jesse "started getting really interested in it, so I destroyed all of the information that I had been given and didn't let him pursue it any further," Larry James said:

In the People story (which will hit newsstands on Friday), Bullock distanced herself from her soon-to-be-ex, the photo, and his alleged beliefs:

"The photo shocked me and made me sad," Bullock tells People. "This was stupid, this was ignorant. Racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia, anything Nazi and a boatload of other things have no place in my life."

While many blogs and websites are commenting on the divorce announcement and that Bullock was able to keep her son out of the public spotlight, a few have looked at the comparisons between art and real life. Bullock won her Oscar for portraying a white mother who takes in a black teenager in The Blind Side.

Lori from My American Meltingpot investigates Bullock’s decision to keep the adoption quiet:

I mean you have to wonder if the story of Leigh-Anne Tuohy, the woman Bullock portrayed in the movie, inspired Sandra in any way to adopt a Black child. People.com reports that she and James began the adoption process four years ago, so maybe this was in the works before Bullock ever heard of Tuohy, but I still have to assume that playing a White woman who gives her heart and opens her home to a Black son made a deep impression. How could it not?

She also raises the question: Is it a blessing in disguise that James is no longer in the picture because of the allegations?

Not that I suspect Sandra Bullock is a secret fan of The Melting Pot, but I do wish her luck on this journey of being a single mother to a child of color. She is going to need it amidst the grief of the dissolution of her marriage. And while I also suspect Sandra Bullock would never come to me for parenting suggestions, I will offer my unsolicited advice and tell her to keep that baby away from her ex. He cheats with women who proudly wear Nazi paraphernalia which makes me think he can't be too racially sensitive. (Eww.)

A black child will be raised in a white family -- and, unlike what a lot of people think about trans-racial adoption, love is not enough. I have questions, not only about James' alleged attitudes about race, but also about Bullock's. Why would she let a man about whose views she, after five years of marriage, must have known something, adopt a black child with her? What does that say about her? What or how will she comprehend when her child has to deal with negative racial remarks? If she can live with a man who has these attitudes, is she really capable of understanding when her child has to face those attitudes?

Clutch Magazine created a poll asking whether Bullock's adoption is a problem. While many are ambivalent, one commenter said this:

I don't have a problem with her adopting an African-American baby. I have a problem that she was adopting an African-American baby with a man like Jesse James.

From personal experience, I believe that for trans-racial adoptive parents, it is imperative to ensure that their children be raised surrounded by people who accept them as family -- regardless of their cultural ethnicity -- and in an environment where there is no racial bias. If what has been reported about James has even an ounce of truth, the child is going to suffer with a parent who was willing to put up with her soon-to-be ex-husband's views. How is she going to raise a child to be proud of his heritage if she isn't?

So what do you think? Do you think that Bullock's having had James in her life is relevant in the upbringing of a child? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Also, for more information on trans-racial adoptions, please check out Love is not Enough.

Contributing EditorRace, Ethnicity & Culture

Blog: Writing is Fighting: www.lainad.typepad.com

Writer: Hellbound: www.hellbound.ca



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