Alvin Holmes, a Democrat in the Alabama House of Representatives from Montgomery, has been in hot water lately for his blatantly racist comments about Clarence Thomas, abortion, and adoption. Holmes referred to Thomas as an "Uncle Tom," said that his white Republican colleagues in the House would force their daughters to abort a mixed-race grandchild in spite of their pro-life views, and that whites in Alabama do not adopt black children.
"I will bring you $100,000 cash tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama. I will go down there and mortgage my house and get it cash in 20 dollar bills and bring it to you in a little briefcase," Holmes said.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, white families in Alabama who have adopted black or mixed-raced children were not too pleased with Holmes' rhetoric. A Facebook page "Faces of Families in Alabama" was quickly founded in response and now has over 6,000 "likes." Yesterday, organizers behind the page as well as other adoption advocates and parents rallied outside of the Alabama State House to prove to Holmes that families like theirs do exist in the state.
Despite the horrible nature of Holmes' comments, adoption workers and families hope that a silver lining of increased awareness could come from all of this.
Kai Mumpfield, a regional coordinator for Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections, a collaborative effort between the Children's Aid Society and DHR, said race is not a main concern when trying to match a child with adoptive parents. She said the children's needs are considered first. Mumpfield said there are 265 foster children in Alabama's whose parents have had their parental rights terminated and are in need of permanent homes.
"We want this to be an opportunity to recruit more families, more Caucasian, African American and Hispanic families," she said.
Holmes, who has served in the legislature since 1974, stands by his comments. He also claims that "99 percent" of older white Alabamians are racists who are opposed to interracial marriage and adoption.
It has not been reported if he has held up his end of his bet and paid $100,000 to the adoptive families present at the rally yesterday.