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Racist Family

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

When my child was born I received a call from my father while in the hospital.

 

Me, "Hello."

 

Dad, "Hello, how are you?"

 

Me "Good."

 

Dad, "So... what color is he?"

 

Suffice to say I don't really get along with my father.  So, anyone else out there from multicultural families deal with ignorant family members?

post #2 of 17

yes, one of my sisters and myself married "foreigners" ....so,yes, it's sad to have to cope with that type of reactions ....

post #3 of 17

My grandma is the only one who's made any comment.  When we adopted our son, she was worried that our older girls would be given a hard time for having a Black brother.  That's just the issue she's mentioned with race, nevermind all the ignorant adoption comments I've had to put up with from her.

post #4 of 17

i have a friend who has a daughter and adopted a little boy from Africa ... i've been wondering if there's any way it's possible to discuss what the situation might feel like for each child WITHOUT sounding racist ... am just curious about how things might play out in that family .... do i sound racist the minute i open my mouth just to discuss the issue (out of curiosity .... would you consider such curiosity "out of place ?" )

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaFrench View Post

i have a friend who has a daughter and adopted a little boy from Africa ... i've been wondering if there's any way it's possible to discuss what the situation might feel like for each child WITHOUT sounding racist ... am just curious about how things might play out in that family .... do i sound racist the minute i open my mouth just to discuss the issue (out of curiosity .... would you consider such curiosity "out of place ?" )

I can't really answer that without know why you mean.  I'm not sure what you mean by "how things might play out"?  What things?  (Please don't read that as thought I'm saying it with a snarky tone, I'm not.  I just don't know what things you are referring to.)  As far as how it feels for each child to be in a family with members of different races, I can only speak from the point of view of their mom.  My almost 5-year-old talks about it though.  She will point out other people in public and tell me that their skin looks like her brother's skin and such.  We have a very open dialogue in our home about race and skin color as it's important to me for my children to understand that discussion of race and color is completely acceptable, it's attributing value judgments to a particular skin color that is problematic.  In the case of my grandma, the concern was offensive to me because she is pretty openly racist, so I knew the intention behind the questioning.  

post #6 of 17

My husband and I are older parents (he's 51, I'm 42, and our daughter is almost six months), and we haven't had to deal with racist family members simply because they were all elderly and died before they could object to our getting married or say anything about our little one! The succeeding generations of both families are more accepting of our multicultural family. However, we have had to deal with ignorant reactions from strangers. As Seth is multiracial, he's dealt with this nastiness his whole life; it's newer and rawer to me, even after 18 years of marriage. (our daughter is our miracle/rainbow baby). 

Most recently, a clerk at the local thrift store remarked, upon seeing my daughter's light brown face next to my pale Irish face, "Wow, she's so dark!" Then my husband came out of the dressing room and I could see the mechanisms of her thought process turning: "Oh, *that's* how that happened..." Geez.  

post #7 of 17

english not being my mother tongue, am not always as able to convey my meaning ... but yes, i mean the sort of discussion you seem to be having in your family and am just curious because my friend's daughter hardly talks (to her parents, she does, but rarely to other adults) and i've been wondering what's her "general" though process ... & how she feels about her little brother being another color than herself (am sure she must be the only one in her class, at school, .... does she "feel different"?  ... or is it simply "her normal" since she's might not have many recollection of the time before she had a little brother ...)

 

am glad to see that you make a disctinction between talking about race and color vs attributing value judgements....

i often feel that if i want to discuss race, i usually censor myself one way or the other, for fear that my comments might appear racist or been seen as offending

 

i was hosting a meet up one day, years ago and one of the guests was a pharmacist from Haïti, single, childless, and very keen to have a child (before it got too late for her) and then she started talking about being quite interested into having a white partner so as to have a lighter skinned child ... with the people standing next to me, we were all mouth open, ni idea what to say, what to reply, how to continue the conversation ... that's when i realised that i was so used to censoring myself that i couldn't think of anything to say in that conversation ....

post #8 of 17

I am from a small, small town- all white people. I was eight years old when I saw a "real live" minority- I remember because my autistic brother, who was 12 at the time wouldn't stop staring. I married a man from India and my children have non-American names that are "different' but not "difficult" to pronounce. My mother refuses to spell OR pronounce my kids names correctly. My oldest son is 5 years old and she still doesn't say his name right. I always calmly corrected him, but in the last few months it has affected their relationship. My son gets very hurt when she doesn't say his name correctly (all the time) and doesn't want to talk to her anymore. 

 

I know she does it to be passive aggressive. My 90 year old grandpa can pronounce his name correctly and he has never been exposed to any other language. She also comments on my kids' skin color often. The older one has a darker skin tone than the younger one and this comes up in conversation ALL the time. Due to these things, we've had to severely limit contact with my mom and she still doesn't understand why :(

 

When I was pregnant with my second son, and my firstborn was 2 years old, my sister made a comment that my son was "half Black" I said no, in America the term black refers to someone of African origin, he has dark skin but he is considered "Indian-American" She turned it around and said that I was racist from getting annoyed that she called my son black! I just wanted her to use the correct term- I don't really like labels at all... She was probably drunk and hasn't made any other comments like that.

 

I really expected more hostility/ignorance from my family that I have seen.. they've all been great for the most part, aside from my mom

post #9 of 17

I have some racist distant aunts and/or uncles, but luckily I don't have dealings with them in general and haven't for years.

My mother once said to me, "Selissa, you know your aunt will have a cow if you get into a serious relationship with a black man?"

 

I said, "Mom, I literally could not care less, what that mean old drunk thinks about my love life."

 

 

             that was the end of that.

 

 

My mom has not been exposed to many minorities so she asked a lot of thoughtless insensitive questions initially. We got through the awkward part. She's really excited that she's hopefully gonna get a new grand baby soon.

post #10 of 17
I'm glad I found this thread. I am blk and my SO is white and I've really been having a hard time with his family. For the interest of brevity, I won't go into details but I've lost an infant and no one cared or batted an eye. A few of the them mentioned basically that no one gave a shit about my "nigger" problems. We have tried to reconcile but it doesn't seem to be in the cards. I am currently preg now and due any day. I know how they feel about me and I'm more than happy to cut them out of my life and the babies life but the reality hasn't quite hit my SO. I don't tell him what to, do but I have told him how I felt and he agrees its wrong. I just feel badly that he won't be able to share the baby with his family.
post #11 of 17

If they such things about the child you lost, you have nothing to feel bad about as far as i'm concerned. If it were my family that was talking about my husband and my baby that way...i'd write them off without a second thought. I'm not even sure if I would be that sad about it, honestly.

post #12 of 17

i wouldn't see anything to be sorry about when cutting them off as well.  good riddance i say.  they don't seem like very nice folks anyhow and definitely not someone i'd had my child around.  you are so right to let your SO come to it on his own. congrats to you! 

post #13 of 17
For us it has come from my husband's annoying family. when our first son was born, the only comment we heard...over and OVER...was "he's SO white." (I'm white, husband is Mexican) Finally my husband was like well, my wife's white so it's not really surprising. smile.gif
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaFrench View Post
 

i have a friend who has a daughter and adopted a little boy from Africa ... i've been wondering if there's any way it's possible to discuss what the situation might feel like for each child WITHOUT sounding racist ... am just curious about how things might play out in that family .... do i sound racist the minute i open my mouth just to discuss the issue (out of curiosity .... would you consider such curiosity "out of place ?" )

I'll tell you how it feels for each child...it doesn't feel like anything...it just feels normal.  I'm from a family of 8 kids.  The first 3 are white, the next three are bi-racial and the two youngest are black.  It is not an issue.  My siblings and I have a bond because we grew up together, because we played together, because we shared our childhoods together.  We don't notice our color.

 

My family has never been offended by people's curious questions.  But we are surprised when people act like our act as if we should be having difficulty because of our different colors.  Don't be surprised if your friends also just feel like a normal family (because they are) and don't understand the things you think could be issues.

 

Quote:

she started talking about being quite interested into having a white partner so as to have a lighter skinned child

By the way, I'm one of the white one's in my family.  as a teenager, I hoped to marry a black man, so my kids would be bi-racial.  at that time I thought that there could never be a baby cuter than my bi-racial little brother, and hoped my kids could be almost as cute as him. Maybe your friend also thinks bi-racial babies are adorable.


Edited by MrsGail - 12/12/13 at 2:05pm
post #15 of 17

thank you for offering your experience

= it will help me NOT to broach the subject with my friend !!!!!

post #16 of 17

I'm the colored one who married into white...

When I gave birth to my son (dark hair, dark eyes), my MIL told me... "well, he certainly won't be mistaken for a sibling of his cousins (all blonde and blue eyed)" and I said, "yeah. That's a good thing"

I blame my post partum mama bear hormones. LOL

post #17 of 17
What a witch, was she trying to be courteous cuz if thats the best she can do then that's sad.
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