• Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts as President Donald Trump introduces her as his Supreme Court nominee. (AAP)Source: AAP
Barrett, a conservative Catholic, is reportedly a member of the religious group People of Praise, which advocates men are the head of the family, and has seven children, including two adopted from Haiti.
SBS staff writers

28 Sep 2020 - 1:46 PM  UPDATED 28 Sep 2020 - 2:40 PM

Conservative American Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's blended family has sparked a discussion online on the politics of inter-racial adoption.  

Barrett has been picked by Republic president Donald Trump to succeed the late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal feminist champion who passed away earlier this month. 

Barrett, a conservative Catholic, is also reportedly a member of the religious group People of Praise, which advocates men are the head of the family. 

The Louisiana born and bred Barrett said she "hit the jackpot" when she married her husband Jesse with whom she shares seven children -  including two - a boy and a girl, both adopted from and born in Haiti

The pair adopted their son John Peter when he was three years old after a earthquake devastated the country in 2010. Their teenage daughter, Vivian was adopted at the age of 14 months, but was so sick, doctors told the couple she might not be able to walk or speak. 

"Vivian is our miracle... she weighed 11 pounds. She was so weak we were told she would never walk or speak. Today Vivian is a track star and I assure you she has no trouble talking...she is also thirteen years old," she told the Senate committee nomination hearing in 2017, filmed by C-SPAN. 

Race activist Ibram Kendi's tweet attracted controversy online, after the author contested the idea that people with close relationships with people of colour are automatically progressive.

Some argued that close familial relationships or proximity between those of different races is a boon for diversity and tolerance.

Others argued, this was a not a get-out-of-jail-free card, with a 'white saviour' complex still rooting some  relationships in certain power dynamics. 

"The disingenuous outrage over this tweet is why this space can be so insufferable. The original tweet, now deleted, said that Amy Coney Barrett can't be racist because she has Black kids. Kendi pointed out that racist white people have, in fact, sometimes adopted Black kids," writer Jill Filipovic wrote. 

"Do you believe that any man who has a daughter cannot be sexist? Clearly that's not true, considering how many men (and women) uphold sexist traditions," Filipovic continued. 

Others wrote that people can make great parents, but still not fully understand the experiences of adopted children of colour.  

Kendi made it clear he was making a hypothetical point about race in general and not specifically talking about Barrett in particular: "And whether this is Barrett or not is not the point. It is a belief too many White people have: if they have or adopt a child of color, then they can't be racist," he wrote. 

"I’m challenging the idea that White parents of kids of color are inherently “not racist” and the bots completely change what I’m saying to 'White parents of kids of color are inherently racist.' These live and fake bots are good at their propaganda. Let’s not argue with them."

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