Ben Johnson


Whites who adopted black children rally to disprove Democrat’s racially charged abortion comments

Ben Johnson

MONTGOMERY, AL, April 10, 2014 ( – More than 100 people rallied at the Alabama State House in Montgomery yesterday afternoon to disprove a Democrat's controversial remarks that whites do not adopt black children and prefer to see interracial babies aborted.

In March, state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, said during a debate over a fetal heartbeat bill that “99 percent of the whites who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion. They ain't gonna let her have the baby.”

In the same March 4 debate Holmes, who is black, added, "I will bring you 100,000 cash dollars tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama.”

His words inspired Joy Portis of Montgomery to post a picture on Facebook of the Portis family's children: three biological white children, three adopted black children (including two daughters from Ethiopia), and an interracial son with Down syndrome.

The family is in the process of adopting another son from China.

“Meet our family,” the accompanying message said. “We see people, not skin color, and there are many families like ours here in Montgomery and all over the State of Alabama!”

"Life is precious. We are all created in the image of Christ,” she told local media. Regardless of “your skin color or your ability or disability, their life is valued and precious and we need to be here to open our homes when they're not wanted."

Soon, a new group began on Facebook: Faces of Families in Alabama. As of this writing, more than 7,500 people have liked it.

One of the families behind it, led by Beverly and Jeromy Owings, spoke at Wednesday's rally with their four adopted children.

“Families are not adopting children because of their color. They’re adopting children based on their love and commitment to those children,” Beverly said.

Havin Owings, their 14-year-old interracial daughter, said Holmes “ should be ashamed for making the statements he made about families like mine.”

Another adoptive child, Joseph Kemp, said simply, “I love my family because my family loves me.”

Rep. Holmes said he would “commend” the families involved, but he was unmoved by the rally – and he would not be tendering the promised $100,000 any time soon.

"I know they had a little group up there at the Capitol," Holmes said. "But you've got four million people in the state of Alabama. You can get a small group to take a position on anything."

Beverly Owning said, "I would like for him to 'man up. He's made the statement. He needs to put his money where his mouth is."

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Holmes' comments made national headlines last month, shortly after he said on the state House floor that he doesn't like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas “because he is an Uncle Tom.”

At least one person at Wednesday's event hopes to personally end the string of racially charged comments emanating from Holmes. His challenger, Republican nominee Tijuanna Adetunji, condemned his original comments last month, saying, "Pro-life is loving babies whether they're inside the womb or outside of the womb, whether you're black or white. It doesn't have a color."

“Too many of our youth are falling through the cracks while Mr. Holmes seems to only want to divide people by continually making racial slurs on the House floor,” she said. Holmes was elected to the House in 1974 and has served nearly 40 years.

After yesterday's display, Holmes remained steadfast. “The majority of white people in Alabama are against interracial marriage and they are against adoption of black children,” he said.

He clarified that he personally favors interracial adoption. “If anybody says Alvin Holmes is against interracial adoption, they are just as wrong as Adolf Hitler,” he said.

Abortion supporters and the media often present pro-lifers as racist. However, white racial activists support abortion, even mandatory abortion in some cases.

Beverly's husband, Jeromy, said his family worked to ease racial tensions, and Holmes' comments helped “tear down everything that we've worked hard for.”

Beverly agreed. “We will never move forward away from racism as long as we have leaders holding on to the past and turning everything into a race issue,” she said.

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