I stumbled across this article in Asia One, which was discussing the appointment of Fleur Pellerin as a minister in the new French government. The article states concerning the Korean-born Frenchwoman:
Newspapers in Seoul on Friday splashed frontpages with her picture and carried stories about her life while the ruling New Frontier Party expressed hope her appointment will help cement friendly ties between Seoul and Paris.
The article sums up so much about the relationship between our source countries and the First World in terms of “making it” and what it means to “do good” by your place of origin. Here the place of birth is reclaiming and acclaiming someone it let go in the first place: the class of the local comprador finds common ground with the class of the adopter.
The idea that France in any way has managed to integrate its minorities is ludicrous, as seen by the suburban riots of a few years back, as well as the rise of the right-wing National Front and their success in the recent elections. I remember when I lived in Paris how they would set up their tables and yell at us “nègres” and “bougnoules” to “go back to where we came from”.
This local identification with the receiving country explains, then, how some of us who return are rejected wholesale by this same class for not measuring up to its view of itself; for criticizing this collusion between trafficker and purchaser; for being critical of the myriad other ways in which the local kowtowers define themselves by those who oppress them. We become the abject to be feared and rejected.
So I want to know: Is there really any soul searching going on in Korea? Taiwan? Guatemala? Russia? Lebanon? Spain? Etc.? How do we as adoptees fit in inadvertently or otherwise to the grand charade of the emigrant narrative by simply “rising to the top”? On the flip side, what hope is there for those who resist this in any way? Can adoptive parents really remove themselves from this differential of power and its consequences?