During their post-Oscar discussion yesterday, the ladies of "The View" and guest Vanessa Williams talked about Sandra Bullock's win for her role in "The Blind Side"--the true story of the impoverished upbringing of Michael Oher, now a Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman playing the NFL. The story follows Oher's adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a suburban Tennessee couple who raise Oher as he becomes one of the nation's leading college football players.
I could leave the synopsis of this inspirational story at that, but apparently there's a larger picture my limited caucasian vision doesn't allow me to see: Oher is black and the Tuohys are white.
Thankfully, the glaring ramifications of this situation weren't lost on Vanessa Williams who noted that this scenario "brings up a theme for black folks. Here's another white family that has saved the day... another black story that has to have a white person come in and lift them up."
Williams' assessment is utterly disturbing and, if I may be so bold, racist. This is a heart-warming story of people helping people. It takes a true racist to look beyond all that and see only whites and blacks.
Williams seems resentful of the fact that a white couple helped Mr. Oher and gave him opportunities to improve his life that apparently were not otherwise available to him. Somehow I doubt Oher is resentful of these opportunities, and I can't imagine that he looks back on the love and caring the Tuohys showed him through a lens of divided racial lines.
I have to agree with Barbara Walters' reply (I know, what are the chances?). As Walters notes, "I would hope we could get to the day where a black family could adopt a white, or that a white family could adopt a homeless black child and it would be applauded by all the races..."
Aside from the race issue brought up here by Williams, Elizabeth Hasselbeck makes the conservative case: the all-caring government agencies (schools, government, social welfare groups etc.) favored by liberals to solve society's problems failed Oher.
Bottom line: It took a caring family--just doing what's right--to really make a real difference in his life. This is what we've abdicated to the almighty welfare state and Oher's situation is an great portrayal of what happens when the goodness of individuals and groups is valued.