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About a mother-to-be using racist language about her baby?

(131 Posts)

Met a friends sister recently, and she mentioned that she was pregnant. She is white and the father of the baby is black. Several times throughout the evening she referred to her unborn baby by using a racist term.

I found this very uncomfortable but decided not to say anything about it as I didn't want to cause an argument, however my friend noticed and asked her to apologise to me - which she did but half-heatedly.

Normally I would always challenge someone using language which I consider offensive, I didn't on this occasion as if she is in a relationship with someone of a different colour then surely she cannot actually be a racist, maybe she was just making a poor decision of a joke? She is definitely still in a relationship with the father of the baby, as she was arranging to meet him later that evening.

WIBU by not challenging her choice of language?

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 03-Jan-13 20:41:33

You know you have to tell us what she said?

Euphemia France Thu 03-Jan-13 20:42:39

I'm guessing half-caste?

Snusmumriken Thu 03-Jan-13 20:52:10

I don't see why the OP would have to tell us what the woman said. Suffice to say she used a racist term.

OP- I often find it difficult to confront people when they have said something racist, but I think it is a very important thing to do.

The fact that this woman is in a relationship with a person that is racialised differently does make the racist term she used acceptable.

So my long winded answer is, I think you should have challenged her.

No, not half-caste ... I find that expression uncomfortable.

The mother was referring to her baby as a 'nignog'

That felt very bad to type out.

Shelly32 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:53:11

Oh dear.. Not a very intelligent mother...

Snusmumriken Thu 03-Jan-13 20:54:00

Please let this not turn into a thread where everyone has a guess at the term that was used!

Snusmumriken Thu 03-Jan-13 20:54:39

X post

Euphemia France Thu 03-Jan-13 20:54:56

It sounds like she made an ill-judged joke. To be racist, she would have to be judging someone, or preventing equality of opportunity for someone, or bullying, etc. based on the colour of the person's skin.

I assume she won't be doing any of these things to her child?!

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 03-Jan-13 20:56:01

Because what one person considers racist another may not.

I would have said something about that word though.

Shelly32 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:56:45

Or she's thick and doesn't realised this is an out dated and offensive term.

squoosh Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:05

I wonder what the baby's Dad would make of her terminology.

Shelly32 Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:21

realise !

Nixea Thu 03-Jan-13 20:59:24

RE: asking what the word was. I'm embarrassed to admit that before I joined mumsnet I thought that half caste was the 'correct' term to use and had no idea I was being rude. I do now, and would never dream of using it but I can understand that some people (like me) are actually just very out of touch and have no IDE the terminology has changed.

That said, I dont think the word the Woman actually used has ever been ok has it?

LouisWalshsChristmasCloset Thu 03-Jan-13 20:59:54

Depends what it was. Is it a word that some find offensive and not others or is it the one we are all.thinking of?

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 21:01:07

Horrible word, but she clearly doesn't see it as offensive or racist, and her boyfriend probably doesn't either.

I don't think YWBU to say nothing, it's none of your business.

gordyslovesheep Germany Thu 03-Jan-13 21:01:24

if it was a 'joke' it was a shit one - is she a bit thick op?

Wow! haven't heard that term since the mid 70's when one of my mothers (very ignorant) friends used to use it shock I honestly thought it had disappeared form the language! Very 'love-thy-neighbour' I would have been struck dumb to be fair.

LouisWalshsChristmasCloset Thu 03-Jan-13 21:03:10

Is she a bit dim perhaps and sees it as some strange term of endearment? Not a nice word at all she shouldnt be using it but it depends on context. Did she mean it in a nasty way? Does she resent the fact she will have a mixed race child?

Nixea Thu 03-Jan-13 21:03:23

And now I'm worried that I shouldn't have put the word in my post. So very sorry if it offends and I can report my post. Sorry again.

HollyBerryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 21:03:49

I'm guessing half-caste?

Hijack moment. See i thought that was an out dated very 60/70's term that had given way to more PC speech - i pilled my DS17 up for using it - only to be told by DS16 that it is commonly used by dual heritage children at his grammar school when talking about themselves.

HollyTheHedgehog Thu 03-Jan-13 21:04:43

You know what, I think there is a difference between being racist and being offensive.

For example I saw in the Wail today a father 'blacken up' his sons face and give him a mowy like his favorite football player. The fathers had to appologise for being racist.

But IS it racist when he likes and respects the man? Is he not rather stupid and offensive as opposed to racist?

What your friend said could be offensive, certainly to you. But racist? I dont think so.

She was laughing as she said it, her sister and her boyfriend were kind of embarrassed laughing but looking at me as I squirmed. Which is why they told her to apologise. I didn't want to cause a scene but I did want to ask her how she would feel if someone else used that kind of language towards her and her future child?

She is maybe early twenties I would guess.

I was ashamed of myself for not speaking up, but otoh I was worried about upsetting my friend, I didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable.

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 21:05:42

Being in a relationship with someone from a different race doesn't mean that you can't be racist. If she's going to bring up her child well she's got a bit of learning and thinking to do.

DoubleYew Thu 03-Jan-13 21:05:42

If you don't know this woman you really don't know if she is racist or not.

In the same way that gay people have reclaimed queer etc some black people do adopt racist terminology about themselves. I think she was stupid to use this term infront of strangers but you have no idea if the father and his family also use this term about themsleves/ the baby. This woman's child will no doubt (sadly) suffer racism in its life and it may be that she is finding her way around this area.

Or she could be an arse. I don't think you can decide on one meeting.

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