Sunday 25 August 2019

Kristin Davis describes horror at racism shown to black adopted daughter

The actress said it showed her how institutionalised the problem is.

Kristin Davis (Ian West/PA)
Kristin Davis (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Kristin Davis has said she was “horrified” over the “institutionalised” racism her black adopted daughter faced, even as a baby.

The Sex And The City actress is mother to Gemma, seven, whom she adopted in 2011, as well as a son she adopted in 2018.

Discussing on Jada Pinkett Smith’s chat show, Red Table Talk, what adopting black children has taught her about white privilege, she said: “This is what I want to say, from a white person adopting (black children): You absolutely do not fully understand. There’s no doubt.

RTT takes on the controversial topic of interracial adoption. Jada & Gammy are joined by “Sex and The City's” Kristin...

Posted by Red Table Talk on Monday, July 8, 2019

“There’s no way you could, because you could understand you live in white privilege and that’s a theory but it’s one thing to be watching it (racism) happening to other people and another when it’s your child.

“And you haven’t personally been through it. It’s a big issue, it’s something I think about every day and every night.”

Davis appeared on the verge of tears as she spoke about the racism Gemma experienced, saying: “I was horrified, it’s hard to put into words really.

“There has been so many things over the years. Gemma is seven now.”

Recalling people remarking that her baby girl would become “a great basketball player” someday, she said: “How dare they limit my child and how dare they make that assumption and how can they just say it it like that, so casual?”

“I was like ‘Please, don’t let it be everybody’ but our country is built on this and it is institutionalised and that is what you come to realise as time goes on.”

She also recalled a visit to a playground where a young white girl was holding a swing for her friend across the playground, even though Gemma had been patiently waiting her turn.

When Davis went to staff about the issue, they told her: “We just see them all the same. We don’t see colour.”

View this post on Instagram

I had the honor of sitting down at the Red Table with @jadapinkettsmith and @adriennebanfieldnorris to discuss my experience and journey as an adoptive mother to two African-American children. Join us on Monday for the all-new episode of @redtabletalk. I have endless respect for Jada and her mom ( and @willowsmith 💜) for starting #rtt as a way to build bridges in our fractured world. We discuss my ongoing journey to be the best mother I can be to my two children , and we try to address misconceptions about the adoption process. I can only speak about my own journey, and each person’s story is different. But my wish was to have an honest dialogue with two powerful woman who are part of my children’s community. I cannot thank Jada and Gammy enough for their warmth and fearlessness , I admire them so much. It was such a special experience. I hope you tune in on Monday.

A post shared by iamkristindavis (@iamkristindavis) on

Davis said: “It was a very harsh moment of understanding. I don’t know how every person of colour has gotten through this. I don’t understand how you could take this every day.”

“It lit a fire under me where I couldn’t be relaxed or casual (about racism).

“But I will never be black, no matter how hard I try … That is the truth, and we have to accept it. And therefore I will never be able to say to Gemma ‘I understand how you feel because this happened to me’.

“That’s what’s painful and hard. It made me on a mission to find a place where she was exposed to everything.

“It made me on a mission to put her in situations where I was the only white person or maybe there was no white person.”

Davis added that she was influenced to adopt her son by requests from Gemma for a brother.

“She said ‘Mommy, I would really love a black little brother’. And I was like ‘I totally understand, baby’.

“And then one day, there he was. And I tell you, my daughter didn’t bat an eye. She was like ‘There he is’. So beautiful. And then she held him and fed him. She’s just the best big sister.”

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