Friday, November 16, 2007

Ethiopian Jungle Crud

What is "Ethiopian Jungle Crud?" Beats me but on an adoption board this phrase got thrown out and I was sent an email about it from another PAP. It looks like I have become the Diaspora Adoption Diversifier (for a lack of a better term). This particular family was pretty annoyed about this email that was going back and forth from this family that just picked up their daughter from Ethiopia. Apparently the husband got sick and the family said he got the "Ethiopian Jungle Crud." Well, the PAP that emailed me said Addis is not in the jungle...true...and was concerned about what they would teach their child about Ethiopia--truth or fiction?

I was curious so I went to board and read the email. I felt bad that the man got sick but I was disturbed by what he called his sickness and really wondered why he would call it the Jungle Crud? Ummm...anyway, you know I sent the board an email and did I get backlash. Probably, many are reading this blog this morning...oh excuse my impoliteness...GOOD MORNING! :-)

So, this is what I said:
What is this Ethiopian Crud? Is this what the doctor called it (because I looked it up online and couldn’t find any medical definition for it) or is this what you and your husband have decided to call it? I can tell you it does not sound very nice to me and I am offended by it. Addis is not in the Jungle so to me this has a very negative connotation of what you believe Ethiopia to be and your understanding of Ethiopia. Furthermore, when I saw the word "crud" and I saw “hassle”… like see what I had to go through to pickup this little baby. Traveling anywhere and simply getting on a plane can be a hassle. When I travel across country I get sick so again, this just didn't sit well with me (you can say it is just me but this was brought to my attention by someone else on the board.). I have said this on other boards, I say this on my blog, and I will say it on this are now stepping into a new world where you are not only adopting an Ethiopian child but you are adopting a Diaspora. You now must think about the subtleties of the words in which you speak and write. Those things which may not seem like such a big deal to you are very offensive to others. Selam

Guess what happened then? Someone threatened to call my adoption agency on me! They said I was ridiculous! It was just a few words and yes maybe they were not the right words but this was simply ridiculous. Who is this Tami person...I sent them to my blog. This was my response:

My name is Tami. The purpose of my email was to let you know exactly what I said, how words come across to people and how they can come across as racist. This is a forum for learning and trust me you better learn some of these lessons now, while your babies are young. Race is a very touchy issue and people don't like to hear it or discuss it, I force people to see it and talk about it...many people don't like me because of it...sorry. I live it daily. I am actually pretty friendly, I talk about this, I can laugh about it...many others won't. If any of you feel the need to call Gladney about me please do but I think you are over reacting. Trust that they read my blog just like everyone else. Selam.

Just another day in Happy Blog Land for Me! Happy Friday!


Anonymous said...

“Well, the PAP that emailed me said Addis is not in the jungle...true...and was concerned about what they would teach their child about Ethiopia--truth or fiction?”

A good question needs to be answered.

“What is this Ethiopian Crud? Is this what the doctor called it (because I looked it up online and couldn’t find any medical definition for it) or is this what you and your husband have decided to call it? I can tell you it does not sound very nice to me and I am offended by it. Addis is not in the Jungle so to me this has a very negative connotation of what you believe Ethiopia to be and your understanding of Ethiopia.”

WA--W, you put it perfectly and there is nothing left to add.

I like your personality and writing ability.

Tasha said...

You ask a question, make a comment and someone wants to tattle on you? Tsk tsk Tami. You need to hightail it back to Cleveland! Oh.. before you come, you'll need to be vaccinated against armpit-of-america-sludge. It can be nasty with the Browns run, or Erie revenge.

Anonymous said...

No doubt you are uncovering a nasty side of Ethiopian adoption where the majority wants to silence anyone who calls them on their behavior.

Whether subtle or blatant, many of us who have dared to make a point or take a stand find ourselves ignored on the message boards.
I personally find such behavior amusing and petty.

Most of us will not be around years from now when these parents find themselves attempting to navigate a difficult situation with their "brown" children wishing they had been more receptive to us and less ignorant.



haze said...

Tami you were absolutely correct, of course. I can not believe the AP to an Ethiopian child used that language. What a great way to portray Ethiopia to their child, their family & friends. Embassadors for sure! I'm guessing they meant it to be funny but have they learned nothing from their paperwork/ seminars/ readings?? Good Grief!! It seems they have not yet learned any sort of racial/ cultural sensitivity and I hope, for their child's sake, that they hurry up and do so.

I would be curious if they 'reported' you to Gladney as I suspect the agency would be smacking them upside the head for their stupidity and insensitivity.

p.s. speaking of 'hassles' - Tasha has the cure to those on her Nov 13th blog entry, if anyone hasn't seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

Make that "members of the majority." I would not want to generalize.


teresa said...

I posted something on the message board. I got your back. ;-).
And thanks for speaking up.

Carol said...

OK, Tami - I left a message on the board and I'm leaving one here. I think it's OK to call us out for what is perceived as hurtful. But please remember I think most people are operating with the best intentions and want only the best for their kids. Most of us have uttered a remark we wish we could take back. I enjoy your blog, and rest assured, if you lived in my part of the states I'd be stalking you and your (someday soon) new daughter as well - let's get to building our kids support systems!

Tami said... was lot's of fun on that board. If they could have killed me with darts I'm sure they would have! LOL

MM said...

I have to agree with you! The comment was ignorant. Anti-Racist parent reminds us...ZERO TOLERANCE and I have to say that I believe white parents of brown children have an especially STRONG obligation to be sentinals of ourselves.

Ted and Lori said...

Someone on the board made some reference to the likelihood that you were the only one offended by the "jungle crud" comment, which is SO NOT TRUE. I cringed when I first read it and was so beyond embarrassed that this term was used...and then so saddened by the hard-headed response that came to your pointing out its offensive tone.

I agree that people who use terms like this might not be as bad intentioned as they come off sounding, but it's sad that it seems they aren't trying to learn sensitivity either. If an African American tells me something is offensive, I'm going to believe them. Period.

Just wanted you to know there's more of us out there who applaud your stance.

Ted and Lori said...

I just added you to my sidebar.

Malia'sMama said...

Oh my! I think the answer you gave is awesome. Give me an email for those people, or better yet, an address so I can slap 'em silly- I spent nearly 10 weeks in Addis- no jungle there and their "humour" (the posters') is offensive!

Jocelyn said...

You did make me laugh...but sorry we can't change the meaning of Parker...I asked and they said no (they would be me:-)Thanks for your support this week. I still can't believe it has been a week really tough week:-(

Anonymous said...

I think, adopting the brown children that many in Ethiopia and US are supporting is going to stink before completely stopped because of few unfit individuals so called parents are involving with it.
This is the mistake US adoption agencies and social workers responsible for by allowing these small minded with dark spirit to adopt an African child to make joke and also abuse the children this way.
Addis Ababa (AA) may not look like cities in US because of it has not much stones and cements. But remembers it is the city US has two embassies, EU, and many other international agencies offices are there, too. it has more than 100 embassies and many more consuls. It is not only the capital city of Ethiopia but also Africa too as AU, AEC and many other African institutions/org headquarters are located there.

How can you disrespect the 80+ million Ethiopians and the 4+ million Addis residents after you allowed to take a Habesha child to love and raise him/her to become a good person?
This is a kind of behaviour from a failed and disappointed person not from a parent I assume you think you are parents which is wrong/false. You are not parents, but you are a child….
Don't underestimate Ethiopians because of what you think off them. you have no idea who really they are from inside. Read about their history that will tell you everything who really they are.

I think the US and also Ethiopian adoption agencies and parents that are adopted/adopting the Ethiopian children have to condemn the kind of act these particular so called parents are doing (disrespecting a nation after they took a child from there.) For what reason are they adopted the child? is it for love or for hate? It must be re-examined this particular case and the child safety must be guaranteed before it is too late.

A US adoption agency and the social workers processing this particular case are the first to blame for allowing these kinds ignorant to the world to adopt a child that needs love and respect.

Remember, this is a particular case. Try not to generalize others that are the loving and caring parents doing their best to raise the child.

Tami, Would you marry me? Because I love what you are doing. You are a fine woman with strong character. The marry thing is just for fun.

Tami said...

Everyone, thanks for your support on this! Oftentimes I take a stance and open up my big mouth but it is good to know that at least a few do feel the same as I. Stay tuned to the next throw down! LOL

Tracey said...

I am offline a coupe of days, an I come back to read this?! Using teh term Jungle Crud is bad enoug, but you are telling me you got grief for pointing out how offensive it was? What board is this, so maybe I can open up a cn of whup a$$ on it?

Tasha said...

oh my god.. you got a marriage proposal.

dammit.. why can't i get one? i even have my boobs hanging out on my frigging blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Awesome response! I am mortified that someone who has been given the privilege of parenting an Ethiopian child would say such a thing! Thank you for holding that family responsible for what they said.

She is... said...

It's becoming way to easy for too many families to adopt from Ethiopia.

Danyell said...

How petty are things becoming???
Perhaps you should read back on your own blogs and then rethink what racist might be. If you choose to speek freely and use allow the same of others you are not kind in your remarks to those white folks...
The things you say pass judgement on more than yourself. You tend to take the stance that you speek for a majority.

We might better break out the apologies for Mexico for all the dicussed cases of Monozumas revenge.
Pick your battles wisely creating an issue where there is one is foolish.

Tami said...

Danyelle- Wow, I had to reread the post because I forgot all about that one. I still think it was a pretty good response that I am quite proud of. Nope, I don't change my stance...sorry. I don't speak for every just myself, that is what people come to my blog ..02. Funny though, there were others that felt the same as I. As I always say, race is a funny thing and very touchy...Not every black or Ethiopian person saw what I saw, I just did so I mentioned it, that is the beauty of opinions and the beauty of my blog...I don't mind sharing my opinion even when I get emails like this. Selam.