To have thought this was racist

(206 Posts)
turnip2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:30:45

Ex was dropping off my ds earlier, at which point ex and dp were talking and it became a little heated. Dp kept getting cut off by ex interrupting him, at which point dp said "you're not even listening to me, maybe if you get your bloody afro out your ears you'll hear me better" (ex is part african). Dp is saying he felt ex wasn't listening as was responding with unrelated points. I felt the reference to his afro was racist, AIBU?

mrskeithrichards Sun 18-Nov-12 20:32:13

Sorry that made me laugh! It's not racist, it was a dig at his hair.

piglettsmummy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:51

Yes yabu!!! It actually made me laugh a little!! I'm sure no one else thought it was racist! smile

MolotovBomb Sun 18-Nov-12 20:33:58

YANBU

Totally unnecessary, out of order and playing on a racial characteristic. Not nice. If I were you, I'd tell him how unhappy I was about his racist slur. I would want an apology, and I'd want him to apologise to my ex.

mrskeithrichards Sun 18-Nov-12 20:36:36

Saying that the fact it came from your new partner to your ex partner doesn't quite sit right.

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 20:40:25

I guess you'd have to know that full context to know if 'it' (meaning DP, rather than what DP said about afro in ears <stifles snort of laughter>) was or is racist. You're a better judge of that than a bunch of strangers with only your OP to go on, surely, turnip?

Everlong Sun 18-Nov-12 20:40:28

Racist? No. Rude. Yes.

NoraGainesborough Sun 18-Nov-12 20:40:58

Yabu. Dh (white British) has an afro if he lets it grow.
His mother also has thick wirey hair as does dd. Its not a trait only 'black' people have.

Did your ex find it racist?

mrskeithrichards Sun 18-Nov-12 20:43:17

Was his hair in his ears?

Everlong has called it correctly.

MrsDeVere Sun 18-Nov-12 20:43:33

It was childish.
It sounds like your ex was being a prat and was digging around in his brain for something to piss DP off.

If that is the best he could come up with.. no wonder he is your ex..

It might have been racist. If your ex has an issue with your DP being mixed race, it probably was. If he is the sort to come out with 'if your ears weren't so big...' or 'if you had a smaller arse' etc... he is probably just a twat.

Devere - i read that it was the ex being insulted.

turnip2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:46:30

Thanks everyone, me and dp are sat here reading responses together, he currently has a smug grin on his face. Because it was said in a heated discussion, I guess I found it racist. Ex didn't really get the chance to say one way or another before I ushered him out!

MrsDeVere Sun 18-Nov-12 20:47:14

Ooops
You are right there. blush

So OP, your DP is a bit of a twat then?

WhenShallWeThreeKingsMeetAgain Sun 18-Nov-12 20:51:42

FFS there is ALWAYS someone who will turn ANYTHING into 'was this racist'.

No, it wasn't racist. Funny, yes - racist, NO.

squeakytoy Sun 18-Nov-12 20:54:23

Racist? Not if he has an afro, no. Rude and immature? definately.

AmberLeaf Sun 18-Nov-12 21:00:29

Id say it was racist.

Its not something he'd say to a white man is it?

Im surprised you are even questioning it TBH.

AmberLeaf Sun 18-Nov-12 21:03:29

I bet it was heated, peoples prejudices usually come out in the heat of an argument IME.

AmberLeaf Sun 18-Nov-12 21:06:55

My 16 year old mixed race son, has just asked me to point out, that if your DS is mixed race, hearing stuff like that or even having a step father who holds those views won't be good for his self esteem.

MolotovBomb Sun 18-Nov-12 21:08:48

I thought that, too, Amber

turnip2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:15:31

Thank you for your reposes, quite a mixed bag. We are still arguing amongst ourselves over it and I'm unsure what to think. I agree that because it was in the heat of discussion to me it came across as racist.

AmberLeaf Sun 18-Nov-12 21:18:15

It came across as racist because it was racist!

MolotovBomb Sun 18-Nov-12 21:21:55

I think that even if it wasn't intended as racist, I find it impossible not to infer any racially pejorative comment based upon the fact that your ex partner is part African.

Its a bit of a rude thing to say but not really racist. People are always saying "wont miss them in a crowd" about my children because they have red hair (so do i) I dont get upset its just a jokey comment.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sun 18-Nov-12 21:27:26

YABU

AmberLeaf - White men can and do have so called Afro hair. Unbelievable - are some of you just so desperate to find a bit of racism for the day? Do you get a prize when you find it?

AmberLeaf Sun 18-Nov-12 21:30:38

Badgersbottom, how predictable! we were just saying someone will come along and say something about white men with afros soon!

White men are not known for afros are they?

Oh yes, we are desperate to find racism as it enriches our lives so much. what a stupid thing to say.

Meh. I think your diktat that this was racism was stupid. Incredibly stupid. Actually.

MrsDeVere Sun 18-Nov-12 21:33:47

Hair is quite a big deal badgers

And Amber is right. Do you want your children hearing pejorative remarks about a feature they may share? A feature that is part of their ethnic make up?

You could call someone a n*** c**n sa**o gollywog and a there will be people on MN saying 'oh ffs some people will look for racism in every little comment'

AmberLeaf Sun 18-Nov-12 21:36:44

Yes MrsD, there will always be someone to say that its the fault of the victim of racism for being offended! if only they could just take a 'joke' eh hmm

OneHandWavingFree Sun 18-Nov-12 22:03:49

He was trying to win an argument / demonstrate his superiority by making a derisive comment about a physical trait associated with your ex's race.

On what planet is that not racist? It's not the most offensive thing a person could say, but as other posters have pointed out it is still a big deal, because he's living with your DS who, I presume, is also mixed-race.

Your DP needs to realise that scoring points by putting down someone's ethnic features is completely unacceptable, and is likely to undermine your child's confidence and potentially make him (your ds) resent you for making him share his childhood home with someone who does not respect his racial identity.

whistlestopcafe Sun 18-Nov-12 22:09:29

I think it was a racist remark. Substitute Afro with turban. That doesn't sound too good does it?

I'm amazed that some posters found the remark funny. hmm

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 18-Nov-12 22:18:25

Does x actually have an Afro?

greenplastictrees Sun 18-Nov-12 22:42:57

Yes I think it was racist. The reason is quite clearly your ex's hair (I'm guessing) wasn't in his ears therefore stopping him hearing. Your DP was using a characteristic of him being black as an insult.

I also agree with Amber's very wise son. It's comments like that which could lead to your son feeling insecure about his colour, especially if you, your
partner and any other children are white.

Your partner probably didn't mean to be racist though but it is something to be aware of in future.

turnip2012 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:48:12

His hair was in his ears, and it is afro but not a "tight" afro if that makes sense? Quite unkempt and was around his ears. Ds has my (very flat, fine!) hair and is white (mixed race but looks Caucasian), although that of course doesn't make the issue any less serious.

LastMangoInParis Sun 18-Nov-12 22:52:54

So if DP had said 'take your hair out of your ears' then you'd not have had to start the thread, turnip?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 18-Nov-12 22:56:25

Yeah, I think it was racist and very unpleasant.

GanglyGiraffe Sun 18-Nov-12 23:01:18

I would class that comment as casual racism that ignorant people try and pass off as a 'joke'.

VolumeOfACone Sun 18-Nov-12 23:07:14

I think it was clearly racist.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 18-Nov-12 23:19:13

I would twitch if someone said that in my hearing in an "oh my god I can't believe s/he said that" kind of way. I would if it was substituted for turban or even comments made about ginger hair. Those kinds of comments are inappropriate and offensive. They are intended to as such by the person saying them.

Regardless of how it was meant,your DP really shouldn't be speaking to the father of your children or indeed anybody in such a way. He is an adult not a child.

hmc Sun 18-Nov-12 23:29:20

It was a racist comment. And BadgersBottom "stupid, incredibly stupid" right back at you

I definitely regard it as a rude AND racist comment op.

are some of you so desperate to find a bit of racism for the day

Oh yes, us 'PC lot' don't have jobs or bills to pay, or children to feed or washing to put on...hoh no, we spend hours on the net or stalk the streets looking for a 'bit of racism'...because it's sooo fulfilling. confused

Bogeyface Mon 19-Nov-12 01:22:13

Just asked H, who is Jamaican and he said that he wouldnt have been happy if somone said that to him.

He said that the minute you resort to insults and any sort of "ism" you have immediately lost your argument.

Then he called your DP a wanker, but I think the irony was lost on him tbh grin

TiredBooyhoo Mon 19-Nov-12 01:26:51

does your EXp have an afro?

Bogeyface Mon 19-Nov-12 01:27:02

"Take your hair out of your ears" would have been fine, everyone (well most people) have hair.

Referring to his afro is referring to something only black or mixed race people have, and therefore is a race issue.

Bogeyface Mon 19-Nov-12 01:27:30

Yes he does Tired the OP has explained above.

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Mon 19-Nov-12 01:28:30

Id be more concerned about why DP and exh were rowing in front of DS than what they actually said tbh.

TiredBooyhoo Mon 19-Nov-12 01:29:47

sorry, i see that he does.

i agree with amber and mrsd etc. i think it's racist and not good for your child to be hearing this.

suburbophobe Mon 19-Nov-12 01:44:13

Even if your DS looks caucasian, he will be aware that he has African blood, so yes, a comment like that will make him very uncomfortable (eventually - you don't state his age).

I have a half African DS myself.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 02:02:47

An afro is a hair style.

OP's ex has this hair style.

It covers his ears.

'if you get your bloody afro out your ears you'll hear me better' is therefore rude, but not racist.

If the OP's ex didn't have an afro then I could see why it could considered racist.

If OP's ex had a long Justin Bieber style fringe and he'd said 'if you get your hair out your eyes you could see me better' would that be racist?

What is OP's ex had dreadlocks or pigtails or one of those hats with bits that cover your ears? Would it be racist, no. It's descriptive and rude, but not racist.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 02:56:37

Cheeky post from 'DP' here:

Wont address all your points but just wanted to put a word in. I appreciate some of you like to make statements such as 'this shouldn't be going on in front of DS" and "act adult" etc but that is getting a bit off topic, and a little presumptuous. Just for info it wasn't exactly a fully fledged row it probably lasted about two minutes tops of heated debate and DS (DP'sS) was not with us at the time (wouldn't have happened if he was).

I'll stand by the fact that it's not racist for the simple reason that it is not racist. The whole replacing words game doesn't exactly work because the last time I checked sikh's didn't grow their own turbans(even in the context you imply its still not racist) and gingers aren't a race. If he had not been part african I'm sure my sentence would have gone a little something like "...maybe if you got your bloody mop/dreadlocks/frizzy hair/combover/toupee out your ears..." so which ethnic group has a monopoly on each of those?

The misinterpretation and representation of racism, along with the taboo of religion, are two of the most ridiculously blown out of proportion subjects of today. I will not be a part of this (excuse my language) pussyfooting around when dealing with these issues. To make an isolated comment about his hair, which happens to be an afro, being in his ears is in no way racist. It doesn't imply that because he has an afro he can't hear properly and thus as an extension all people with afros have lesser hearing abilities (which even though it sounds like it still does not constitute racism, just ignorant stereotyping). IMO its by trying to avoid the correct word that you create the racism - e.g if you want your coffee without milk guess what that's black! If I had said "...maybe if you got your bloody hair out your ears..." by being less specific coupled with the fact that he is part african with an afro allows scope for the idea that it could have been racially directed.

Sorry for the ridiculously long post, got interrupted a few times having to see to DP'sS and lost my train of thought. I think I got my point across and I hope you can see where I'm coming from... Either way I know there'll be some interesting reading in the morning :p

Thanks for your responses so far!
-Original 'DP'

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 03:01:05

HolyBrrrrrrBatman

We must have been writing at the same time but thats exactly the point I was making with my previous post, in an albeit roundabout manner! :D

-Original 'DP'

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 19-Nov-12 03:01:17

Well said smile

LDNmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 03:30:28

Yes and I am sure that if your ex was white with straight hair he would have said "get your straight hair out of your ears" hmm

It was a racial comment.

LDNmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 03:32:12

And I also second what Amber said WRT your DC hearing this type of thing. I say that as a person of mixed heritage with a child of further mixed heritage.

LDNmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 03:33:33

And yes, there are loads of people on MN who excuse what I like to call 'mild racism'.

I remember a thread where there was a lot of justifying the use of the term 'chinky' for example.

TheBirderer Mon 19-Nov-12 06:25:45

"The misinterpretation and representation of racism...are two of the most ridiculously blown out of proportion subjects of today."

No. It's not.

All comments on afros aside, I really hope you aren't one of those "the world is too bloody pc today" brigade that roll their eyes at modern society and it's attempts to treat everyone equally rather than let racist comments, jokes and other assorted behaviour slide. I can tell you that the UK is far better today for us calling out racism, however mild. It's not blown out of proportion, it's getting the attention it deserves to stamp it out and I'm glad. It's good that we look at ourselves and attempt to analyse our behaviour rather than falling back on the old ways of "It was just a joke", "I didn't mean anything by it" or "You're too sensitive" that used to let Paki jokes and comments about foreigners flow (and all the rest). Racism is still present in the UK and it used to be a hell of a lot worse, and the reason it gets so much attention is so we can continue the fight against it.

Sorry, but unless you've experienced it and grown up with it then you don't really know what you're talking about. It's really bloody easy to say it's overblown when you're not the target of it yourself.

OP it's up to you to decide whether or not what your partner said is racist. But I personally find it troubling that he thinks racism is blown out of proportion as a subject. I think racism is a very important issue that needs as much talking about as it can, because we certainly haven't reached the point today where we can pat ourselves on the back and say "Job done, racism defeated, everyone can go home now".

mynewpassion Mon 19-Nov-12 06:48:47

It raised my eyebrows but I was willing to give the OP's DP the benefit of the doubt but after reading his post, it was thinly veiled racism.

And, yes, your DP's attitude toward racism would worry me, especially having a mixed race child.

MrsDeVere Mon 19-Nov-12 07:31:50

Yeah. You did yourself no favours with that post.

MrsDeVere Mon 19-Nov-12 07:33:21

I wonder if you would have made the same little jokey to a black man in a different environment?

I am sure much hilarity would ensue

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 07:40:43

greenplastictrees, wise son says thanks smile

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 07:43:34

Doesn't matter if DS heard or not, being around someone who thinks like that has wider reaching consequences.

TandB Mon 19-Nov-12 08:24:28

I think there were some racist undertones to this.

You wouldn't say to someone "If you get your curls out of your ears" or "If you get your asymetric bob out of your ears". You would just say "Get your hair out of your ears."

What he said has a hint of "bloody stupid afro" about it. Yes, white people can have afro hair but it is relatively unusual - it is a physical feature heavily associated with people of afro-carribean heritage.

Just saying "Get your hair out of your ears" would have been a neutral, if rude, thing to say. Focussing on it being an afro suggests an underlying dislike/prejudice.

If he genuinely doesn't have racist views then he needs to think a little more about how he words things.

I am not prone to seeing racism everywhere and I do think people sometimes seek offence where there is none, but I would be unhappy if my DP came out with something like this.

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 08:38:51

Was it balls racist. Just because he has a sodding Afro an it was mentioned in an argument doesn't mean it was a racist comment.

Gunznroses Mon 19-Nov-12 08:54:07

I'm sorry but this would make me laugh so hard and i'm black! So is his afro growing out of his ears then hmm ?

I'm trying to see this from a different side, so, if i was trying to get pass someone who seemed to be ages getting through a door and i said "maybe if you cut your bloody mohawk you'd be able to get through"! to me i'm taking the micky of out of his/her hair i wouldn't have thought i was being rascist confused am i ?

MadeInChinaBaby Mon 19-Nov-12 09:22:51

It's not the same as saying 'hair', though, is it? He said 'bloody afro.'

Compare 'If you opened your eyes...' to 'If you opened your bloody slant-eyes...'.

Excellent post from TheBirderer above.

GanglyGiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 09:26:17

No, because a Mohawk isn't a racial characteristic hmm

I really don't understand why people are confused about this.

WilsonFrickett Mon 19-Nov-12 09:30:52

oh OK OP's DP. You don't think you made a racist comment. That's fine then hmm

Gunznroses Mon 19-Nov-12 09:32:42

Gangly - no need for the face, i asked a simple question, what's rascist to one person msy not be to another. A mohawk is not a racial characteristic, neither is a bloody afro!

Kalisi Mon 19-Nov-12 10:02:04

I usually hate it when people try to bring unnecessary racism accusations into arguments but on this occasion and especially after reading DP's responce, I would definately say there is a casual underlying racist attitude there.
If he had not been African, I'm sure my sentence would have gone something like.....
So you are admitting that you adjusted your insult/comment to fit in with his ethnicity? hmm sounds like a racist comment then and makes you seem rather unpleasant.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 19-Nov-12 10:16:31

Er OP's "DP"

I'm not sure whether anybody else mentioned ginger hair or if it was just me. In my comment I said it was clearly offensive,even if it wasn't racist,in a similar way making negative comments about ginger hair can be. If you're saying it was just about his hair and not his race. So either way...you were offensive. Or offensive and racist. I would feel uncomfortable overhearing what you said. It is inappropriate.

Well spotted that "gingers" aren't a race though <claps>

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:00:25

I really didn't want to get drawn back into this but some of you have a little trouble adjusting your views when presented with clear valid reasoning.

Mrsdevere
"I wonder if you would have made the same little jokey to a black man in a different environment?

I am sure much hilarity would ensue"

Forgive me but it sounds like you are making a pretty broad assumption of a persons reaction based on their ethnicity... That, unfortunately, is racism...

Yes I am 'one of those people', Thebirderer, however my scope isn't solely UK based as it seems yours is. I agree racism is wrong and measures should be taken to eradicate it (FYI i have lived in Tonga, Pakistan, Fiji, and visited various other countries and had plenty of friends of differing races both in the UK and abroad so I do confidently say that I am no racist) but its misinterpretation IS a massive problem, as this thread highlights. [Kalisi i think the next bit addresses your point too] The thing is that I actually am all for people being treated equally and that to me means not just omitting details to pay homage to some ridiculously founded insecurity - he has an afro, its nothing derogatory, nothing to be ashamed of, its just what he has! (Unfortunately the skin issue is still being ridden on. It would be nice if you could actually call a black person black, just as you would a white person white, and not have to feel like someone somewhere is taking offence - i mean its ridiculous since when did facts become subjective!?[and no i don't need the whole 'slave trade' story as that refers to the N word being used specifically as derogatory]).

Gunznroses haha no its not actually growing out of his ears it just kind of sits over them somehow despite being a pretty small afro[it is pretty unkempt]... Tbh if it did grow out of his ears I wouldn't have drawn attention to it because, well, that would just be harsh :p

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 12:33:31

It would be nice if you could actually call a black person black, just as you would a white person white, and not have to feel like someone somewhere is taking offence - i mean its ridiculous since when did facts become subjective!?[and no i don't need the whole 'slave trade' story as that refers to the N word being used specifically as derogatory

Its not offensive to call a black person black BTW.

But this wasn't about calling him black was it? so that is a pointless argument.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:44:44

No but he has an afro...

HullyEastergully Mon 19-Nov-12 12:46:34

really?

really?

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 12:52:31

Yes he has an afro, but IME afro hair doesn't affect the ability to hear, so it was clearly a poor attempt at belittling him based on a characteristic of his ethnicity.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 12:53:50

I'm usually exasperated by the "professionally offended" but there's something in that comment that niggles me, although I can't articulate what it is.

Same way that it would niggle me if someone said to a Jewish person "don't stick your big nose in.." or to a muslim "don't get your turban in a twist".

I dont know... it just sounds like a "cheap" seemingly innocuous comment with an nasty undertone.

NameGotLostInCyberspace Mon 19-Nov-12 12:59:42

OP. you live with DP. You will know from previous comments and converastions whether or not he is racist. They always give themselves away.

GetorfsaMotherfuckingMorrisMan Mon 19-Nov-12 13:01:24

Christ, you wouldn't want to sit next to it on a train, would you.

And on a more serious note, wouldn't really want your mixed race child with that as a potential stepfather.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:07:10

'Compare 'If you opened your eyes...' to 'If you opened your bloody slant-eyes...'. '

You can't compare hair style to a physical feature such as eye shape. An afro isn't a racial characteristic it's a hair style choice. Not the same as eye shape at all.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:09:20

'No, because a Mohawk isn't a racial characteristic'

Neither is an afro! It's a hair style ffs. Do you honestly think all black people have afros? Or are supposed to have afros? Of course they don't. They choose a hair style they like, just like every other person.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 13:09:48

"An afro isn't a racial characteristic it's a hair style choice"

Come on... this is disingenuous at best

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:16:29

It's true.

I don't know where you all live where every black person has an afro. I'm in London and the vest majority of black people don't have afros. They have shaved, or short, or corn rows. The women often have extensions so have it long/short/curly/straight. The only people that have afros are the people that have chosen that hairstyle. They obviously didn't got the memo that they must have an afro because they're black.

MrsDeVere Mon 19-Nov-12 13:20:04

Bingo! I get called a racist for objecting to racism
Wha a load of toss.
If you were presented with lets say, for the sake of arguement, my OH.
I would put money down that you wouldn't have made that comment.
Because you would not have been in the position of knowing how he would react.
You did it because you thought you would get away with it.
Nothing to do with my racist assumptions, more my knowledge of snarky types who lash out with the first thing to hand. In your case the first thing was a racial characteristic. What's that about then?

Really, you are not as ethnocentrically all-knowing as you think you are.
It is generally DM reading arses who maintain you are not allowed to say 'black' because it offends the pc brigade.

You would also have a better understanding of how a person's hair can be a very important statement regarding their cultural identity. You and your 'unkept' hmm

It doesn't. Black is a perfectly acceptable word to use.

I think your issue is you just don't get how much of a tit you really are.
HTH

MrsDeVere Mon 19-Nov-12 13:24:26

Ffs the fact that it is a choice is the issue.
People make a conscious choice to have an Afro, usually because it is 'natural' and isn't bowing to the social convention that black people should process the fuck out of their hair to westernise it.

The looks I get because I won't shave, straighten and generally muller my children's beautiful hair.

Kalisi Mon 19-Nov-12 13:27:00

Oh no mrsdevere you are wrong! He can't possibly be a racist as he knows people of different races wink

EuroShagmore Mon 19-Nov-12 13:28:55

I don't think it was racist.

If you said to a (white) teenage girl with a long fringe "You'd see a lot better if you got all that blonde hair away from your eyes" is that racist because a black person wouldn't have floppy blonde hair? Of course not.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:29:46

'bowing to the social convention that black people should process the fuck out of their hair to westernise it'

The social convention to 'process the fuck out of your hair' is not unique to black people. I straighten the fuck out of my hair, because frizzy really isn't in at the moment. A lot of people with ginger hair dye the fuck out of their hair because of the stigma of being ginger.

Commenting on frizzy hair/long hair/ginger hair/afro hair/bald patches etc is nasty, but it's not racist.

'The looks I get because I won't shave, straighten and generally muller my children's beautiful hair'

How can you tell that the looks you get are specifically in relation to your children's hair?

NigellasGuest Mon 19-Nov-12 13:30:55

did the Ex take it as racial abuse?
not sure what the ex made of it.

GanglyGiraffe Mon 19-Nov-12 13:33:23

Afro is a hair type. When booking an appointment at the hairdressers and asked about my hair type I reply 'Afro hair' however I do not have 'an Afro'. Having Afro-hair is a racial characteristic of being Black.

The point of this thread imo and the reason that I see the comment as casual racism is because it was said as an insult. If you use a racial characteristic as an insult, it is racist.

Anyway this is just going around in circles <backs out of thread>

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 13:36:51

yes, that is racist

all this comparison to altering ginger hair/ blonde fringes/ 'frizzy' hair hmm can be immediately dismissed as being utterly irrelevant and the person having no clue about racism in any useful context (usually along lines of my best mates cousins, brothers wife saw a black man once; his afro was in his ears. he told me he wouldnt be offended by this)

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:38:40

I see your point Gangly and that's why I think if the OP's ex didn't have an afro that covered his ears, it could be considered racist because he would be commenting on hair type, not style. As it is, the OP has said her ex does have an afro that covers his ears and the DP was commenting on this style. He could have said the same to a white person with an afro covering his ears.

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 13:40:22

He could have said the same to a white person with an afro covering his ears

What are the odds, seriously.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:41:38

'all this comparison to altering ginger hair/ blonde fringes/ 'frizzy' hair can be immediately dismissed as being utterly irrelevant'

why?

'brothers wife saw a black man once; his afro was in his ears. he told me he wouldnt be offended by this'

You can be offended by something that isn't racist. What he said was offensive, no question. It wasn't racist though.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:43:11

'What are the odds, seriously

I don't know the OP's DP, so I couldn't comment. Maybe he is a racist. As a general point I don't think commenting on someone's hairstyle choice is racist though.

MrsDeVere Mon 19-Nov-12 13:44:58

Are you comparing your frizzy hair 'not being in at the moment' with centuries of Eurocentric fashion and beauty ideals?
And I know because the looks at accompanied by comments asking me when I am going to cut, plait, straighten their hair.

To make it all nice and acceptable.

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 13:47:31

holy i have no interest in debating this with you. I have learnt that it is a complete waste of time when faced with someone starting at such a low level of comprehension of the issues, who is only interested in reasserting their viewpoint

It is really important that these discussions take place. But I havent the time or the patience to be one of the people broadening awareness and understanding (hats off to those that do)

My intention in posting was to add my voice of support to those calling 'racism'

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 13:50:08

Actually it really doesn't matter, because as Kalisi commented the OP's DH already confirmed the comment was racist:

He said:

If he had not been African, I'm sure my sentence would have gone something like.....
So you are admitting that you adjusted your insult/comment to fit in with his ethnicity?

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 13:50:59

'holy i have no interest in debating this with you'

fair enough.

'I have learnt that it is a complete waste of time when faced with someone starting at such a low level of comprehension of the issues, who is only interested in reasserting their viewpoint'

This is unfair.

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 13:54:53

OK

IMO^it is a complete waste of time when faced with someone starting at such a low level of comprehension of the issues, who is only interested in reasserting their viewpoint^

SushiPaws Mon 19-Nov-12 13:55:23

Oh dear, I joke about dh's afro blocking his hearing when he's not listening to me. I wonder if anyone thinks I'm racist. He's white by the way but has a tight afro, very thick hair. blush
Nobody likes to be called racist, I think op's dh is trying to compensate and digging himself into a hole.

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 13:56:18

IMO and IME

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 14:00:55

'IMO^it is a complete waste of time when faced with someone starting at such a low level of comprehension of the issues, who is only interested in reasserting their viewpoint^ '

I'm sure you're right. What is unfair is you inferring that about me. How do you know I'm not open to listening to your viewpoint? You've refused to tell me your view.

anklebitersmum Mon 19-Nov-12 14:10:18

I'm just sitting back and waiting for the OP to say actually my current DP isn't (as everyone has automatically assumed) white but is in fact Jamacian and therefore entitled to say get your bloody afro out of your ears because he has a tidy one.

<stands back and stirs pot>

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 14:12:29

OP has said her dp is MR hasn't she?

TiredBooyhoo Mon 19-Nov-12 14:12:45

where does the term afro come from? i am completely ignorant of it's history but it sound as though it may be related to the word african. apologies if i'm wrong.

TiredBooyhoo Mon 19-Nov-12 14:15:05

i think OP said her EX is part african. not sure about her current DP.

HolyBrrrrrrBatman Mon 19-Nov-12 14:16:15

grin @ anklebiter

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 14:40:57

"Because you would not have been in the position of knowing how he would react."
Quite right, just as you don't know how ANY stranger is going to react to a comment that clearly has a point to it. Then add to this the taboo and eggshell walking that must be done around black people, which exists purely because of this misconception of racism, and there you have fear of offending a person when talking about ANYTHING associated with them purely because they are black - THAT is what I am saying is ridiculous.
You did it because you thought you would get away with it."
No. I did it because he wasn't listening....
And btw the word... is unkeMpt - It does infer a slightly different meaning and maybe this is why you think I am being racist by implying that untidy afros make you unable to hear? If this is the case then please re-read my posts (Also i invite a lot of you to reread the post at some of your comments make it clear you didn't fully understand what I have said).

"If he had not been African, I'm sure my sentence would have gone something like.....
So you are admitting that you adjusted your insult/comment to fit in with his ethnicity?"

NO - You are confusing the causality. His ethnicity doesn't come into it. It is because he HAS an afro which was in such a state that it was covering his ears! My hypothetical situation is this: If he was, say, Caucasian with fluffy hair that was in a mess and covering his ears the comment would have been related to that! The race thing doesn't even come into the decision to mention what style of hair he has.

Internet froze and gave me chance to see this last page of comments so sorry if what i wrote above seems late. Haha that would turn a few stomachs on here (and for no racist reasons ugh) if i was indeed jamaican :p but alas no I belong to the pasty brigade of caucasians :p

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 14:48:10

Then add to this the taboo and eggshell walking that must be done around black people, which exists purely because of this misconception of racism, and there you have fear of offending a person when talking about ANYTHING associated with them purely because they are black - THAT is what I am saying is ridiculous

That exists in your head and the heads of others like you only.

You are digging yourself deeper and showing your true colours TBH.

Kalisi Mon 19-Nov-12 14:52:47

How can you claim that ethnicity doesn't come into it when you said in your own words that if he wasn't part African you would have said something different? If you had instead said " lf he did not have an afro, I would have said something a little different" then this attitude would not have shone through quite so clearly in the post.
Maybe you are the one getting confused? Maybe you did not intend to word it that way?
The point that many people are trying to make is that descriptions and phrases are not necessarily in themselves racist. Coupled with a certain attitude however (as poppy explained very adequately in a previous post) gives these 'casualitys' a different meaning entirely.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:14:43

Yep better address that part - that was a mistake. I meant if he had not had an afro then i wouldn't have said it. Fair enough I didn't see that I'd written just about him being african, DP just pointed it out after reading it back to me (i'd thought you were paraphrasing my words and leaving out the 'and had an afro' which I thought i'd put in)

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 15:16:34

see, there is no taboo and eggshell walking to be done, unless you have racist thoughts, is there?

you were in an argument and you used the mans racial identity to attack him

you can argue all you like that you would have said the same to a white guy. We cant prove otherwise can we. But I know, and you know that you wouldnt have.

if you are a decent guy and this was a genuine mistake, then I would advise you look deep and hard at the impact throw-away comments like this might have on your step-son. I am presuming that you love him and care about his sense of identity/ self-esteem

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 15:18:41

this misconception of racism

can you explain why you think racism is a misconception?

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:21:23

I think its pretty obvious thats what i meant by later posts but yeah saying that had he not been part african i wouldn't have said it would have been racist i agree as that would infer the causality. For all my meticulous writing i missed what was probably the most vital bit to miss. Apologies! but still many of my other posts have unreasonable responses to them so please make sure you read it all because a lot of stuff is getting regurgitated here that isn't relevant.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:24:29

takataka: When one person, usually a third party, thinks they know what racism is and usually point out that something is racist when it in fact isn't. Like this example: Telling someone to get their afro out of their ears is not racist but a third party, or in this case my DP, thought it was and so brought it up - and now we have this debate (which has caused heated feelings for some it seems).

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 15:25:35

if you are talking about the impact it has on your stepson being irrelevant because he didnt hear this incident, you are wrong. You can be as sure as shit he will pick up on your general attitude of 'racism is a misconception'

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:27:20

This is exactly what i mean by people not understanding what i am saying - the way you phrase that- "an you explain why you think racism is a misconception?" implies that you believe I think racism doesn't exist... No offence but that's a bit degrading considering we are quite obviously discussing racism as an entity...

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 15:28:08

I'm fucking scared of saying anything these days in case it's misconstrued.

My friend gets shit all the time because she has ginger hair. She deals with it. If you receive a comment about Afro hair, you've got it so deal with it. It's not racism. Just because its specific to one race doesn't mean it can't be mentioned.

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 15:29:39

your DP thought it was racist. Many people here agree with her.

you used the mans racial identity in an argument to attack him

you did not use his hair...hair does not hinder hearing. It would not occur to anyone to tell someone with long hair to pull it away from their ears so they could hear properly. Do you use mens appearance to attack them in arguements usually? I doubt it.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:31:33

and furthermore to add to your earlier comment - about there being no taboo and eggshells over racism. I am pretty certain your scope (as i have encountered before here) is limited to only the UK. If you had an idea of the racism issue in the US then you really wouldn't be saying that it only exists in my head.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 15:33:48

A few people, including the OP's DP mentioning "fear of saying anything"...

Funnily enough, I can honestly say I have never felt that fear you speak of, but that's because I know I would use a racial slur.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Nov-12 15:34:27

eeek! worst kind of typo

I know I wouldn't use a racial slur.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:36:28

OK so I briefly play off a quick comment about him not being able to hear me as his hair is a mess (which happens to be an afro so I say it as such) and now I'm the one "us[ing] the mans racial identity in an argument to attack him"!? and you have the audacity to say there is no taboo or eggshells?

I very much may well have said, or might even still in future say, that a guy with long hair should move it aside if he kept interrupting me and not hearing me..

I don't think you have the capacity for valid reasoning. If your next comment is an illogical i will consider it your open admission of surrender from this debate as you have offered all you can.

turnip2012 Mon 19-Nov-12 15:38:06

Seems the typos are coming out now- must be getting tired.. If your next comment is AS illogical...

Pendeen Mon 19-Nov-12 15:43:38

The OP's new DP had an argument with her ex DP which, as has been admitted, was heated. Lots more involved there than just two men arguing...

Reasoned debate very likely flew straight out of the window so it's very hard to determine if the OP's AIBU is valid or not.

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 16:07:15

ok then

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 16:16:26

MrsTurnip

you may find the following website interesting;

www.intermix.org.uk/homepages/homepage_default.asp

The forums on this website have become very quiet over the last year or so; but there have been some very thought provoking discussions on being mixed race/ racial identity/ being raised in SP families/ being raised by white step parents etc etc

afterdinnerkiss Mon 19-Nov-12 16:26:27

YANBU
more than covertly racist.

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 17:08:18

Do you seriously think that hair affects the ability to hear?

You only feel like you are walking on eggshells because you are being hesitant about revealing your true racist feelings.

anklebitersmum Mon 19-Nov-12 18:24:22

No taboos or eggshells? Yeah, thanks for that hmm

I refer to the earlier, sarcastic comments made as regards 'not being racist because they have mixed/black friends'.

If accused of being racist how does one prove one isn't?

Perhaps by making tea for the screaming hoards with pitchforks? brew

brimfullofasha Mon 19-Nov-12 19:00:43

I think in this context he was being racist

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 19:19:02

If accused of being racist how does one prove one isn't?

If you are accused of being racist even if in your mind you are not, then my advice would be to listen to the explanation of why what you said was indeed racist and learn from it ie don't continue to do it, or you can just carry on being racist.

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 19:20:29

I refer to the earlier, sarcastic comments made as regards 'not being racist because they have mixed/black friends

Its a well known cliche that people use when they have been shown to be racist 'Im not racist, some of my best mates are black'

takataka Mon 19-Nov-12 19:24:19

Yep, I agree with amber. If I was accused of racism or anything like that, is be very concerned. If more than 1 person agreed, then I would be listening very carefully to the explanations and taking a long hard look at me and my opinions

anklebitersmum Mon 19-Nov-12 20:19:37

Its a well known cliche that people use when they have been shown to be racist 'Im not racist, some of my best mates are black'

That must by why my family have so many friends..they're all keeping us handy for when they're accused. hmm

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 20:48:14

I hate how its a cliche and condemns anyone who mentions that they have black friends.

People aren't allowed to retaliate to racist claims, they're expected to sit down and accept it.

anklebitersmum Mon 19-Nov-12 20:55:17

No no Ghostship apparently they're/we're/you're supposed to;
"listen to the explanation of why what you said was indeed racist and learn from it ie don't continue to do it" or "just carry on being racist".

sad angry

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 21:06:06

So can't win either way then grin

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 21:20:27

Ghostship

I hate how people attempt to prove that they can't be racist because they have friends who are black.

Its bollocks and means nothing IME, I have known racist white people with so called 'friends' who are black.

I find it sad that in this day and age, some people feel they need to put up with racist friends, but there you go.

anklebitersmum

Why the sad/angry faces?

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 21:23:08

I find that people who truely aren't racist, don't need to mention the ethnicity of their friends.

They just don't come out with racist crap.

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 21:36:20

If someone's trying to back their point up they're going to use something that's relevant, ie bringing up their friends ethnicity.

But obviously some people don't want to accept that and claim its a moot point and often used by racists...

Or maybe its actually used by those who aren't racist but are being accused of it? Thus why it's seen so often by those doing the accusing...?

I don't really know. But I think it's silly to completely pooh pooh it.

anklebitersmum Mon 19-Nov-12 21:49:33

I hate how people attempt to prove that they can't be racist because they have friends who are white. Its bollocks and means nothing IME, I have known racist black people with so called 'friends' who are white. I find it sad that in this day and age, some people feel they need to put up with racist friends, but there you go.

hmm food for thought anybody?

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 21:55:41

I've been accused of racism before, so that must mean that my friend who is black, musnt really be my friend. I'm just friends with her so I can use it as back up for when I'm called racist hmm not the fact that I've know her since she was tiny and defended her many a time...

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 22:01:03

Nope.

Haven't seen that myself. Ever.

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 22:03:06

ghostship, doe's it not occur to you that maybe you were racist?

Do you really believe having a black friend means you can't be racist?

I know of a white man that is married to and has children with a black woman, didn't stop him calling another black woman a nigger though...in the heat of the moment of course.

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 22:07:18

No I'm not saying that having a black friend makes me not racist.

And no I wasn't racist, I was wrongly being accused of racism. But I don't like the implication that, because ive been accused of racism, that I must only be friends with her because she is black and its sort of my back up.

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 22:09:21

I think what I'm trying to say is that when someone says 'I've got friends of different ethnicities' its not always a racist using a cop out; it could be someone who's genuinely being accused and trying to make their point.

Because once you've been accused of racism and the lynching starts, there's not much you can say really.

chipmonkey Mon 19-Nov-12 22:14:11

The word "afro" comes from "African" so quite clearly does refer to an African person's hair as opposed to some white bloke with curly hair. So whether or not it was intended to be be racist, it certainly sounds racist.

mynewpassion Mon 19-Nov-12 22:21:05

No one is perfect and good people do say dumb, offensive, and borderline racist comments. Most people acknowledge that it could be viewed as racist even if it wasn't meant to be racist. Learn from it and move on.

However, the DP misses the point that his partner thinks his comments at best was inappropriate and at worst racist. He doesn't have to care about what we think but he should care about his partner's thinking.

Maybe the OP is sensitive to issues of race because she has a son who is of mixed race background and do not want him to hear these types of comments in what is suppose to be a safe place, his home.

anklebitersmum Mon 19-Nov-12 22:23:38

Don't waste your breath Ghostship, you have already been judged (as, I have no doubt, have I).

And so will my friends and my family.

That's why the sad and angry for the record.

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 22:33:40

Good point smile

I hate it when people debate trivially about racism, picking at little things that weren't meant in a racist way but obviously someone will find it racist because there's always someone.

Nothing like what happened to my friends husband the other day in the post office. He is white, so obviously their child is mixed of them both. A little old lady came cooing at the pram, saw the baby and said with horror, 'eurgh, what is it? It's brown!' Honestly I couldn't believe it when he told me, I can't believe someone could be so ignorant spiteful and hurtful.

I know there's subtle racism (unlike that incident), but I think in cases like this where it wasn't meant that way and probably not taken that way, we should be concentrating on the 'real' racism that's going on out there, not the overly politically correct balls that its generally spawned by white people anyway

Shelby2010 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:34:18

This thread has been on my mind all afternoon (yes, it's been a dull day). At first I thought the comment was not racist as a long afro is a hair style choice rather than something intrinsic to black/mixed-race people. And also was a correct description of the exP.

However, the DP clearly was making the comment in a derogatory manner, and therefore it was racist in that afros are normally only associated with black people. In the same way that if you said 'Get your grey hair out of your ears' to an elderly person it would be interpreted as a dig about their age. The fact that it is true that their hair is grey is irrelevant, as is the fact that some young people have grey hair. If the dig wasn't meant to happen there would be no description of the hair.

It sounds like the DP did not mean to be racist, but if he uses a racial characteristic (ie hair type) in a negative manner than he should expect this to be open to misinterpretation.

TiredBooyhoo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:35:10

but ghostship what point does having a black friend make in proving you aren't being racist? it doesn't prove that something you said isn't racist at all. it's just a fact that you have a black friend. I know loads of sexist men who are married to women they say they love. do you think them saying "i cant be sexist i'm married to a woman" proves that they can't possible have said a sexist thing?

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 22:51:45

And no I wasn't racist, I was wrongly being accused of racism. But I don't like the implication that, because ive been accused of racism, that I must only be friends with her because she is black and its sort of my back up

That isn't what I'm saying.

My point was that it is a common cliche that people who say racist things use when they are called on their racism.

This is interesting

AmberLeaf Mon 19-Nov-12 22:57:56

Ghostship all racism is real racism.

Allowing the so called casual racism to stand means the more in your face kind can happen.

I hate it when people debate trivially about racism, picking at little things that weren't meant in a racist way but obviously someone will find it racist because there's always someone

It may be trivial to you, but it isn't to me or my children or anyone else I know who has been affected by it their entire lives.

OurPlanetNeptune Mon 19-Nov-12 23:12:01

Amen Tired. I honestly do not get that. I can tell you that my DH (white) has never used me as an example of his lack of racial prejudice, nor have any of my white best friends because (and yes I have discussed this with them) it has never come up. They have never said anything likely to be construed as racist.

I'm fucking scared of saying anything these days in case it's misconstrued.
No, none of my friends would ever come up this pile of bollocks either. As PoppyAmex said so well in her post of 15.33
Funnily enough, I can honestly say I have never felt that fear you speak of, but that's because I know I would [not] use a racial slur.

Not all racism is overt, I would even suggest that the subtle kind expressed by the the OP's DP is just as damaging because it is patronising, constant unaware and the casual racist is convinced that they are not racist thus giving themselves carte blanche to continue espousing their prejudice riddled nonsense.

I know black people who continue to have close friendships with people who display these prejudices. I personally do not understand it. But hear this an acquaintance with a black person DOES NOT nullify a person's racism. Do not kid yourself.

As a mother of mixed-race children I feel very sorry for the OP son to have this man as a potential stepfather.

GhostShip Mon 19-Nov-12 23:18:59

The thing I was called racist for was because I used the term 'half cast'. I didn't know it wasn't right anymore, especially when my black friends used it. That's what I meant by what I'm saying being misconstrued.

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 01:04:46

And ghost, are you interested to hear why most people do consider that term offensive?

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 01:46:34

John Agard - Half Caste

Excuse me
standing on one leg
I’m half-caste.

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when Picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas?
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather?
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem don’t want de sun pass
ah rass?
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony?

Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen
half of mih ear
Ah looking at yu wid de keen
half of mih eye
an when I’m introduced to yu
I’m sure you’ll understand
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu must come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
an de whole of yu mind.

an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story.

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 01:47:51
takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 02:10:02

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTnxJdxhU7o Bi-Racial Hair Zora Howard]]

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 02:11:09
LDNmummy Tue 20-Nov-12 02:21:05

If you want a relationship with your DP OP, that is fine and no one can tell you otherwise, its your right and choice.

But as a mixed heritage person, I would say keep him away from your child before he damages your child's self esteem and self perception. Its hard enough to be of mixed heritage without having an in denial racist hanging around your home.

GhostShip Tue 20-Nov-12 08:32:42

Takata- I've already been educated to why its not used anymore. But the fact is using it didnt make me a racist. People had always used it, including my black friends. So it's that sort of things I'm worried a obout happening.

Just like 'coloured' was once the done thing and people thought it was polite.

You can say things that people might think are racist without being a racist.

MadeInChinaBaby Tue 20-Nov-12 08:53:25

takataka grin at 'england weather/ nearly always half-caste'.

MadeInChinaBaby Tue 20-Nov-12 09:04:38

OP's DP:

I'll repeat my comment from earlier:

If I was in an argument with someone and they said 'open your eyes', that would not be racist.

If they said 'open your bloody slant-eyes', can you see how that would be racist? If not, I give up here. If so, why? How is it racist? Can you explain it, OP's DP?

GreatOdinsRaven Tue 20-Nov-12 09:12:20

As a fellow afro wearer, I wouldn't have found it racist but a personal dig about a style choice I've made, which is fair game in an argument I'd say.

Surely if you have an ostentatious hairstyle then there will be comments...

Is your dp racist? Surely you would know? Assuming he's a step parent to your (mixed race?) children.

Maybe I've got the wrong end of the stick?

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 09:22:44

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrK_HVGOnUo Doc Brown]

Couldn't find the reality programme where the big, black Liverpudlian went to a party in a KKK outfit.

hmm

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 09:23:56
takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 09:27:03

ghost you were called on using a racist comment; took on board the reasons why it is not acceptable and decided not to use the term again because it is offensive?

If you had dismissed the reasons why the term is now considered racist and teh people who are offended and continued to excercise your rights to say whatever you like, because you dont deem the term racist; then you would be racist huh?

madeinchina grin its a great poem i think! And Zora Howard is so powerful; she is only 15 years old I think in that clip shock

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 09:27:51

grin GreatOdinsRaven

I don't think so but (and here's the irony) I'm in the minority [mirth]

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 09:31:34

takataka so were the black friends who used half-caste in her company equally racist or is it ok for them to use that term? Or is that skin tone dependant?

<genuinely confused re double standards that even Grandma doesn't get here>

MadeInChinaBaby Tue 20-Nov-12 09:33:46

But, GreatOdinsRaven, is it a style choice? Genuine question, btw. Is is an 'ostentatious hairstyle', or is it hair in its natural state?

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 09:35:54

mixed race people experience prejudice from black people.

No it is never ok to describe someone in a way that they find offensive. people define themselves

there are some people who arent offended by half caste. They are in the minority, and it is widely accepted that it is an out dated and unacceptable term. So wouldnt you just want to avoid offending someone and not use it?

AmberLeaf Tue 20-Nov-12 09:38:14

Anyone who uses the term half cast is at best out of touch/ignorant of why it is offensive and at worst racist. That goes for anyone of any ethnicity

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 09:41:42

it is disingeneous to suggest that there arent politics/identity involved

there is sooo much written about the subject; from newspaper and magazine articles, academic papers, books, films.....

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 09:43:42

prejudice not racism I note.

Ghostships point was/is valid. She was accused of racism , not using an out-dated and sometimes with some people unacceptable turn of phrase.

tjah04 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:46:41

Hmmm I work in a shop and sell Afro wigs as Fancy Dress. Never heard anyone feel an afro as racist otherwise the whole of the 70's was racist.

If he has an Afro then your DP used the correct term for his specific hairstyle. As said I also know caucasian people with Afro's too.

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 09:47:18

ok...racism, if that reads better. I dont like using the term 'racism' for black on white prejudice, because it isnt the same. It has completely different origins and completely different impact

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 09:56:33

yeah, the 70's was pretty racist hmm

i will hide the thread bow out now, I wasnt going to get involved was I

I actually find covert racism harder to deal with than out and out nasty shit its all smoke and mirrors.

Blu Tue 20-Nov-12 10:01:34

It was completely out of order.

What MadeInChinaBaby said. (about the difference between 'open your eyes' and 'open your slany eyes').

Jins Tue 20-Nov-12 10:15:06

GhostShip, The appropriate response to being called racist for using a seriously outdated term is to apologise profusely and say that you didn't realise you were being offensive surely?

How can anyone under the age of 50 or so NOT know it was an offensive term?

I fail to understand how a bit of hair in front of someone's ear would cause them to struggle to hear. It was just an excuse to take a pop at the ex and using a racial characteristic is a double whammy of offensiveness.

Scanned the thread and it's good to see that the message is still not getting through despite the best efforts of some posters. Seriously, we have a racist type discussion on MN a couple of times a week and it's pretty clear how we should all behave in a multicultural society. Why do some people completely fail to get it? It's been over thirty years since Rock against Racism brought things to the fore. How are people still thinking it's OK to use racial characteristics to insult someone?

tjah04 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:41:57

JINS. Without wishing to start a debate I would like to offer an honest response to you.

It is because of the resentment that is caused by trying not to be racist. The best example I can give was my younger brother when repeatedly called "you white people" by a black teacher at school and was told that it was acceptable because it was prejudice and not racist.

Well here lies the problem as it still caused offence to many in the class and who on earth decides whether or not it is acceptable.

For me personally, I have no deference over skin colour. I do however note various differences between cultures and I resent being called racist for that. However, the problem is that many people (mostly uneducated and ignorant) seem to note a cultural difference and resort to racism because of this.

I live in East London and it is very noticable here. Cultural practice for many African people here (I believe) is to link their church with there family church at home. So if a new church opens, many of the congregation will move close by. We have a very large African population here. The cultural differences become more apparant. New shops will open focused on the African market and many caucasians have a problem with this as their local butchers are shutting done and as a result resort to insulting individuals for their colour rather that seeing it for what it is. The general consensus is that white/british are being "pushed out". If people state that are they being racists? To want to move to an area that can provide for their own needs and to resent being pushed out of their own? I am asking rhetorical questions as have no real answers.

For this reason, I do not believe that people do or will in the near future accept or behave in a multicultural society which I find rather upsetting as certainly around here as racial segregation still exists even within the schools despite the government ignoring this fact.

GhostShip Tue 20-Nov-12 11:08:40

I'm 21, not over 50 and didn't know it was offensive. Why would I when my black friends used it?

How do you know I wasn't apologising? I stopped doing that as soon as people wouldn't accept that I wasn't a raging racist. Because people like to get their pitchforks out and won't accept that someone genuinely isn't racist.

Jins Tue 20-Nov-12 11:12:30

21 is well under 50 which is what I said. There is no excuse for someone of your age not knowing that term was offensive. Offensive terminology is discussed in schools quite a bit.

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck..

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 11:44:43

Ghostship What black friends? We all know you're making them up to hide your racist tendencies. There are no black people who use that term anymore.

None. Do you hear me?

hmm

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 12:09:48

oh, grow up anklebiter

imnotmymum Tue 20-Nov-12 12:14:14

Not rascist at all and it is this kind of Oh me we have to think what we say that makes people all edgy and play the rascist card.

imnotmymum Tue 20-Nov-12 12:14:28

racist*

HullyEastergully Tue 20-Nov-12 12:19:11

How about:

Ghostship, you may not be a deliberate and intentional racist, but that term is deemed racist and so if you use it people will call you racist.

GreatOdinsRaven Tue 20-Nov-12 12:31:05

Well, I do think having an afro is a style choice, because you choose to wear your natural hair in that way, which is fine.

If everyone just wore their hair in it's totally natural state then most people would have dreadlocks down to their ankles.

It's ostentatious in the way that it draws attention- I'm talking the kind of afro that occupies it's own airspace (as mine does). People have asked to touch it, and ask all sorts of questions about it (some frankly ridiculous!)

smile Anklebiter brilliant!

The point is the op's dp was making a comment about a true feature of her ex, being a bit derogatory and choosing an aspect of his appearence to pick on. OK, it's probably a bit of a dig on the 'fro but not racist IMO.

OP would you have posted this if your dp was black? (assuming he's white or not black)

LDNmummy Tue 20-Nov-12 13:21:09

If the OP's DP was black, I doubt he would have made that sort of comment.

Especially as a black person who is aware of their own community would be aware that hair is a complex and sensitive issue within African/ Caribbean circles.

There is also the point that a black person who would make that kind of comment is the type who has self loathing tendencies. The type who would think an Afro is ridiculous as it looks scruffy because natural hair should be tamed to fit in with an Eurocentric view of what is considered attractive and smart.

mynewpassion Tue 20-Nov-12 15:40:16

I think ghost is still very naive. Just because her black friends use it within their little group it doesn't necessarily mean that it's okay to use in the wider community.

Give her a break. She's still learning.

The dp and the op said that dp is Caucasian.

GreatOdinsRaven Tue 20-Nov-12 15:54:30

I don't believe that all black people are in the same "community". Sorry but that's bollocks!

If it's racism, which it isnt, then it doesn't matter who said it to whom, it's still racism surely?

Are you saying that for one person to mention antother's style of hair is self loathing?

If a white person said to another "Well if you got your mullet out of your ears you'd hear me better" would that be self loathing?

He wasn't saying the afro was offensive or even putting it down. He was in an argument/ heated debate and used a reference about his hairstyle to have a dig. That is all.

anklebitersmum Tue 20-Nov-12 16:13:27

smile GreatOdinsRaven "Well said."

takataka Tue 20-Nov-12 16:25:18

Of course it matters who said it to who

AmberLeaf Tue 20-Nov-12 16:39:14

If a white person said to another "Well if you got your mullet out of your ears you'd hear me better" would that be self loathing?

No, but I think we all know that wouldn't happen.

OurPlanetNeptune Tue 20-Nov-12 17:37:33

Amberleaf has posted measured, insightful and intelligent comments. Brilliant. I wish I had her patience and eloquence.

Some posters on this thread have demonstrated a willful ignorance that is really quite profound.

AmberLeaf Tue 20-Nov-12 17:50:54

Thank you OurPlanetNeptune

Vaginald Tue 20-Nov-12 18:05:29

I'm mixed, I find it racist.

Jins Tue 20-Nov-12 18:35:56

Amberleaf posts brilliantly on all these threads. She has more patience than I do. I hide many of them

AmberLeaf Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:46

Thank you too Jins smile

GreatOdinsRaven Tue 20-Nov-12 19:55:55

Well, all I can say is I wouldn't be offended by someone having a jab at my hair in an argument and struggle to find racism in that comment. smile

OP asked for peoples opinions and I gave mine, everyone is entitled to theirs.

LastMangoInParis Tue 20-Nov-12 22:32:08

If the OP's DP was black, I doubt he would have made that sort of comment

LDN it's actually exactly the sort of thing XP (black) would say.
He may be a bit of a tosser in some ways, but he's not 'self-loathing'.

TBH I'm quite taken aback by your referring to 'the self-loathing type' of black person (that said, though, I can't help drawing inferences about the 'type' of white person who categorises people in this way). See, that comment of yours, to me, looks a tad dubious in terms of ignorance, arrogance and racial stereotyping.

LDNmummy Tue 20-Nov-12 23:42:24

I wrote that last comment quite quickly so did not elaborate well what I meant to say. I will come back to explain tomorrow as too tired to do so now.

There was also a lot I left off the end of that comment so I will explain later.

It was a very poorly written post.

I think I am getting too old for all this MN debating, especially on the more emotive topics.

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