white privilege killed devonte hart: we must stop letting white women get away with bullshit

April 13, 2018
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“They got it all backwards. You have people here, loved ones, to take them in. Instead you take them away.”

In the residue still collecting following the tragic deaths of 15 year old Devonte Hart and his 4 other adopted siblings, the words of his Aunt Priscilla Celestine are echoing across platforms, as the many layers of this incident uncovered a widely ignored, highly practiced phenomenon: WhIte sAvIoRsHiP!!!

There are multiple things wrong with this whole situation from top to bottom: to begin with, Devonte and his siblings were shipped from Texas to Oregon, away from capable family and loved ones, because CPS deemed those available incapable- and placing him in the hands of two white women instead. Despite a history of reported abuse by the two mothers, their  saviorship was more valuable than a black family unit. Apparently. MIND YOU: though the crash happened over a month ago, the biological parents of Devonte and his siblings weren’t informed of their deaths until this Wednesday… how does that make sense?
Besides, the adoptive white mothers had a well-documented history of abuse towards Devonte and his siblings. Yet the children remained in their household for years, right until their deaths.

It’s no secret that the internalized and rationalized narrative about the innocence of white women has allowed them a ‘get out of jail free’ pass in myriad ways; from an immediate prescription of harmlessness to an predestined assumption of good will. But now, Devonte and 4 other black children are dead, and as authorities grow in their belief that the crash was intentional, I can’t help wondering when the system will start to value black families more than they do accommodating the fulfillment of white women.

Moral of the story is, “We know what it looks like when Black people are being used as a tool of performative allyship and white liberalism”, and the more we dive into the case of Devonte Hart and his “accident”, the more this trope seems to be the culprit.



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