racial discrimination or AIBU???

(282 Posts)
hollowsorrow Wed 21-Sep-16 21:30:06

Hello everyone, so dh is white, i am brown and we have a 7 month old ds who looks completely white too, blonde hair, green eyes. So when i am out and about with him people(all women so far) start talking to me about my ds and then ask me if i am his nanny/caregiver. The first time i was asked i was taken aback till that time i had never actually thought about the colour difference between my ds and I. I am actually very offended and hurt when people ask me this question and I keep wondering is it just because of the skin colour or are there any other signs. Have other people had this experience and what happens if the colours reversed white women and coloured child? Anyways AIBU or are people just being racist???

manyathingyouknow Wed 21-Sep-16 21:32:34

I don't think it's racism unless there's intent.

They're being thoughtless

AntiHop Wed 21-Sep-16 21:32:38

Yanbu. At all. They are being ignorant and racist.

totalrecall1 Wed 21-Sep-16 21:33:20

I don't think they are being racist. My daughter is blonde and the rest of us are very dark haired and people say the same to me i.e. Is she one of yours. Sometimes people say the presumed her friend was mine because of the hair. As we are all white that can't possibly be racist. I don't see how your situation is any different.

AndShesGone Wed 21-Sep-16 21:33:43

They're not racist confused

They're assuming you're not his mum as you're a different colour. Loads of people don't understand dna. Just say you're his mum.

pinkdelight Wed 21-Sep-16 21:37:30

Coloured is an out of date term and no one's being discriminated against. Which shows what a minefield this is already, that you've put your foot in it without thinking / knowing. That's what they're doing. Just corrrect them nicely. We all make mistakes but it's no biggie. Save it for real racism, there's plenty of that around, unfortunately.

RunningLulu Wed 21-Sep-16 21:41:26

My sil gets this even though her kid's not mixed race (like a lot of Indians he passes for white, while she's the stereotypical brown girl people see on TV). Some people are thoughtless and ignorant, but I wouldn't call it racism.

I've had this for 17 years, 3 kids all blonde with brown eyes - all look like me but blonde and I am dark (mixed race). Since they all look exactly like me only blonde it can only be racism and whilst I used to explain now I just put them back in their box. People don't look further than the end of their noses most of the time but some are just rude.

hollowsorrow Wed 21-Sep-16 21:45:11

Thanks everyone for your reply. to me it felt like racism, but if majority of people think its not then may be its not, does not make me feel any better though, still very hurtful and offensive. if you get asked the same question everyday makes you wonder how people see you.

I'm a childminder and people often comment on Joe my children must take after their dad. It's just something stupid people say.

WhateverWillBe Wed 21-Sep-16 21:46:28

That's not racist hmm

You don't look like your dc. People ask. That's it.

How not Joe!

WhateverWillBe Wed 21-Sep-16 21:49:33

Since they all look exactly like me only blonde it can only be racism and whilst I used to explain now I just put them back in their box

That's ridiculous. Hair colour makes a huge difference and if your dc have startlingly different hair colour then it just encourages questions.

OliviaStabler Wed 21-Sep-16 21:50:48

YABU. It is not racist. You do not look like your ds so people are trying to figure out your connection.

Yorkieheaven Wed 21-Sep-16 21:50:49

I think it totally depends how it's asked.

People are curious and not always tactful but that doesn't mean they are racist.

I was a cm and had s mixed race child in my crew and got shouted at 'you slag! By a bloke from a car, that's racist!

People do talk to people with babies as babies are cute. Yours sounds gorgeous op. Maybe see it that way flowers

Chikara Wed 21-Sep-16 21:52:11

Of course it isn't racist. If you saw my DD you'd say she looked like me - everyone does. My DS however!! Nothing like me in height, weight, build, colouring. Everyone says that. And because I am an older mother people frequently also asked if I was his mother. I am sure if you saw the three of us together you would make a similar comment.

How can it be racism?? (And is it only white people who say it or do other races say it too?)

As pp said - save your indignaiton for peopel who really racist.

VladmirsPoutine Wed 21-Sep-16 21:52:27

It's not racism and you might or might not be aware that the term 'coloured', which you have used in your OP, is outdated. I assume you aren't racist, so please give others the benefit of the doubt too smile

GunnyHighway Wed 21-Sep-16 21:54:27

I have experienced quite the opposite.

I am white, married to white and my dp has a mixed race dc. I have found people go to extraordinary lengths to basically find out that I am a step parent with out just asking the obvious. Lots of comments on skin tone, hair style etc (from other white people)

PaulAnkaTheDog Wed 21-Sep-16 21:55:05

It's not racism.

That's ridiculous. Hair colour makes a huge difference and if your dc have startlingly different hair colour then it just encourages questions.

I am as pale as them, just different hair colour, skin is the same and they are mini me's feature wise. It's more how it's said IYSWIM, and it's mostly said in quite a rude way. When I say nope they're mine, they ask if they are adopted and just keep on going, if it was just the one question no problem, it's the way they won't believe it. It's rude at best.

MothersGrim Wed 21-Sep-16 21:57:12

Maybe people think you're very calm and engaging with your son and look smart?

No one would mistake me for a mother, even if I didn't have my children with me. I have the wild frazzled eyes, stained top and dry shampooed hair!

Sorry it's upsetting you, it can't feel nice flowers

hollowsorrow Wed 21-Sep-16 21:58:21

Chikara i think its racist, because i would not be asked this question, if i was white or my ds was brown. to me the only obvious difference is the skin colour, which represents my race, hence i think its racism.
I have had this question asked from pretty much everyone not just white people.

justilou Wed 21-Sep-16 21:59:34

People are stupid. Those comments are hurtful, ignorant and insulting, but not deliberate.... My eldest daughter has long blonde hair, dark blue eyes and golden pale skin, my youngest two are a girl with light blonde hair, pinky pale skin and pale blue eyes (like a rabbit) and a boy with honey coloured hair, golden pale skin and hazel eyes. I get asked about his "mixed" (really!) parentage and if they have different fathers. They're twins, and my husband and I are both white. And yes I know twins can be fathered by different people and can therefore be of different racial backgrounds, but it's not the case with my two, and I roll my eyes at the stupid questions I get. I don't care myself, but they say this in front of him! (Fortunately he's old enough to realise that he's basically a clone of his dad, so he doesn't get upset anymore - but he did.)

DownWithThisSortaThing Wed 21-Sep-16 22:01:00

I don't understand why people ask it to be honest. DP gets it a lot because he is dark and DS is quite fair, it does get on his nerves a bit.

I chat to other people quite a lot in the park while our kids are playing and it's never occurred to me to ask 'so are you the mum/nanny then?' Even if the kids look a different colour to the adult they're with. Why would I need to know? They could be the biological mother, adoptive mother, step mother, foster parent, nanny, childminder, auntie, sister, there's no reason why I would ask.

I've been to the doctors/HV before and they've asked 'are you mum?' Which I presume they just ask everyone for clarification, it's never bothered me and DS does look a lot like me so I assume it's a standard question so they know I'm the parental guardian.

Chikara Wed 21-Sep-16 22:02:17

Can't believe you talked about "coloured" children in a post about racism. Not sure what you mean either - Black? Asian?

I usually object to people being pulled up on language but it seems that you are looking for offense. Pity.

Your baby sounds beautiful and people like babies - beautiful babies attract attention and comment and really there is only so much to say. ("Isn't he / she lovely! What gorgeous eyes/hair/smile. Doesn't he look like mummy/daddy" etc)

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