21 August 2008

Wow. Just. Wow.

"Is that your son? How old is he?"

"Yeah, he's 2 1/2."

"He's so tan! Is he out in the sun a lot?"

"Oh, well, not really. He's half black, so it's not so much a tan as he's just that color."

"Really! I would never have guessed with those blue eyes and that blonde hair!"

"Yeah, well, he obviously takes after me, coloring-wise."

"Were you surprised? When he ended up being that fair I mean?"

"Well, yeah I guess. He certainly wasn't the baby I pictured in my head when I was pregnant."

"And blonde! Where did the blonde come from?"

"Oh I dye my hair darker; I'm a natural blonde."

"Why? I mean, I can't imagine doing that."

"Uh....I dunno, something different I guess."

"Yeah, well you're son's really beautiful. You must be so happy that he turned out the way he did."

"Well yeah...wait. What do you mean?"

"It's just going to be so much easier for him looking the way that he does. And he won't have to associate himself with all of that cultural negativity. This way it will be easier for him to identify with you, and more positive future possibilities, y'know?"


So, um. Appropriate responses? By the way, we were cornered in the grocery store parking lot, so my response was just to leave. But this lady? Totally normal looking articulate lady.


  1. My favorite thing about these folks is the entitlement they feel -- especially indicated in believing that they have the right to say these kind of things aloud to you -- as if you want to hear it, as if anyone wants to hear it.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for november -- I am not sure we can change the minds of people like her -- but having someone in charge who isn't secretly or unabashedly saying these kinds of things would be a nice start.

  2. OK - story from the past. The year - 1969. The place, Huntsville, AL. The people involved - my shy, quiet, country-raised mom (really country - she gardened, cooked, canned, sewed and raised cows) and a very rude lady at the grocery store.

    My mom was 25 when she had me. I was her first - I was about 2 months old and she was already pregnant with my brother. She is very pale with dark brown hair - you would never guess that there is native american blood in her. A lady started following her around the store "Where did your baby get that dark skin?" Wouldn't let it go. Now, I was a very dark baby - black hair and olive skin. Mom tried to ignore her. Went on for about 15 minutes. Finally, the woman asked "Is her dad Chinese?" Mom couldn't believe it. Remember - 1969, Huntsville - there were a lot of Asian people in Huntsville working at the space station. But what gives this lady the right to inquire? Who cares if my father was yellow, black, purple or red? Finally mom just told her that I got it from the milk man and turned and walked out. For my mom, that was a huge step.

    I say all that to say this: people are just to damn nosey, entitled and rude.

  3. I can't believe someone would say that. I probably would have had the same reaction.

  4. Wow. Just wow. I'm not sure what to really say in this situation. It's narrow minded and so short sighted but from someone who thinks like that, there's nothing you can do but nod and walk awayk.

  5. Sadly, blatant ignorance and racism don't surprise me at all anymore. WTF??

  6. Um, ignorance? You just can't say anything to that. I mean, they are ignorant, they wouldn't get it anyway.

    But hellz yeah that kid is good looking, at least she had the brains to see that, despite being an obvious idiot.

  7. On NPR yesterday they said that scientists have proven that biracial kids are cuter.

    Maybe you should start saying that to these people. Does this sort of thing happen alot?

  8. @Sara: it happens all the time. I'd say a stranger approaches me to ask me why my son looks the way he does at least once a week.

  9. At least she was acknowledging that gabriel was unusually beautiful! Right?
    one of my friends is just generally unnattracted to most people, but is constantly begging me to adopt a black or asian baby, based on the fact that she thinks they are unspeakably cuter than other kids, and is scared she'll never find someone of a different race she wants to breed with?

  10. wow, that's special... she could have just been cultureally unaware- i said loads of things to kimate that offended him just cause i didn't know any better... but then again, she could have just been a bitch.