National Review’s David French is a good man. But not quite good enough to overcome the fact that he and his wife are white, it would seem.

Last week, French wrote about the the hatred and vitriol he and his wife have faced from the Left and the Alt-Right over their daughter Naomi, whom they adopted from Ethiopia when she was just two years old. He concluded by sharing his concern about what the persistent bigotry means for the future:

We love our daughter more than we love our own lives. But the idealism of 2010 is gone. Then, we thought our family reflected the future. Now we know that was naive. Now we know that while the promise of Galatians—the promise that we are “all one”—is true in the Kingdom of Heaven, in America it does not yet apply.

But Slate’s Kaylee Domzalski — herself adopted from South Korea and raised by white parents — doesn’t think French is in any position to complain. Because he’s white, of course:

Domzalski concludes:

In describing his family’s experience, French says he’s noticed a key change:

In 2010, before we left for Ethiopia, the primary response from friends and acquaintances reflected the hope and joy of the moment. “Are you so excited?” they asked—offering the cheerful rhetorical question always asked of expectant parents. Since then, I’ve seen the question posed to adoptive parents change: “Are you ready?”

That’s actually the right question. Not, are you ready for how society will treat you? It’s more: Are you ready to teach your adoptee how to think about race in a way that acknowledges the privileges inherent in transracial adoption? Are you ready to help her navigate being a person of color in a predominately white family? Are you ready to help her accept the conflicting feelings of love, abandonment, guilt, and pride toward her birth family, culture, and you? Are you ready to acknowledge that even well-meaning adoptive parents can make it harder for an adoptee to understand and form her own identity?

French approaches these questions with hostility–and I fear that means he has not really grappled with what adoption means not for him, but for his daughter. Race and identity are not things to overcome.

A loving couple opens their home and their hearts to a child in need, and you shame the couple because they happen to be white? That’s your angle?

Scratch a liberal, find a bigot. Works every damn time.

You really wanna go down this road, Kaylee?

She should. How can a gay couple raise a straight child if they don’t know what it’s like to be straight?


With all due respect, Slate —and honestly, none is due — kindly follow this parting piece of advice: