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to refuse to go to PILs until DH talks to them about racist remarks?

(17 Posts)
chillie Tue 28-Dec-10 19:36:30

We went to PILs for xmas and whilst there MIL called ds2 a brown piggy in a teasing way. ds2 is 3. i am asian, dh is white. children 1 and 2 are white looking with green eyes and mousey brown hair. child 3 ds2 is lighter than me but still brown with dark brown hair and eyes.

MIL has over the years(10) asked me amongst other racist questions/ remarks, if - i am allowed to vote?, does ds2 like spicy food more than the others as he is browner?, where are the english children during the queens speech? ( are her own grandchildren not English?) etc.

Over the years I have just passed it off as ignorant racism as someone who doesn't know any better but my dd is 7 years old now and I don't want her to start noticing and questioning her gran. My PIL are always nice to me , at least to my face. (xmas card was written to dh and kids but my name was not on it, i'm treating it as an oversight of people getting on)

I am not actually angry with my PIL but with my husband as i feel that he should pull them up on it as and when it happens, but he never does. I have told him that if they are truly so ignorant to what they are doing then they are bound it be doing it when we are not around and what must other people think of them. I would hate other people to think badly of my parents and feel bad that others must be thinking badly of them when he could tell them but chooses not to.

I have now said that i will not go to their house until he talks to them but do feel bad as they are his parents and they are nice people who treat us well.
Anyone have any ideas on what to do or is it me who is being over sensitive?

Pantofino Tue 28-Dec-10 19:40:09

YANBU! When I read the OP, I had my nan in mind and was going to say, oh just ignore them, silly old twunts. But they are directing this at you and their own grandchildren! That is unforgiveable! Your DH needs to be having a very strong word. I am totally with you on refusing to go there whilst they behave in this way.

Lonnie Tue 28-Dec-10 19:40:47

YANBU to not want your children to have to listen to this. I think YABU over wanting your husband to deal with it when you wotn deal with it yourself.

Present a united front. speak w him about it and then if something happens then say something and then expect him to back you up.

as for being allowed to vote I am white but not British and I am not allowed to vote so that I dont think is nessesarrily a racist remark more likely genuine curiousity.

Personally I would go and next time there is a comment say very calmly "I dont think that you are aware of it but you are comming accross as very raciest here is that your intention?" then see what they say. (likely watch them back off and then hopefully it wont happen again)

JaquelinehydeAllThePresents Tue 28-Dec-10 19:43:10

shock angry shock

You are completely right to not wqnt to go there until something is said. I would be furious!!

If your DH doesn't speak to them then I would go nand talk to them yourself. Either way this can not be allowed to continue.

Oh and stop deluding yourself they are not nice people who treat you well, they re treating you and your children horribly!

DelphiSwimsLate Tue 28-Dec-10 19:44:59


Thoae comments she has made to you are offensive and disrespectful and I would be very hurt if my partner did not talk to his parents about it. They are certainly not the kind of thing I'd want my child to hear. I would not go to their house nor would have them over.

Very sad for you I am so sorry.

Madinitials Tue 28-Dec-10 19:47:39

YANBU!! I am incensed on your behalf and I think that if your DH is there when these remarks are being made, he should say something. However, the fact that she continues to say these things makes her completely ignorant and in need of educating so the next time, you should say "do you mind keeping your racist comments to yourself?" Pull her up on it, I would.

greenbananas Tue 28-Dec-10 19:49:26

I don't think you're being oversensitive - you sound very reasonable. There is a case for saying that ignorance is no excuse and I think you're right to want to protect your children from this kind of attitude.

Not sure how you should handle it though. I kind of agree that it would be better coming from your husband - certainly I have found that my in-laws are much more willing to listen to their beloved son than they are to me, even though they are always very nice to me.

gingerjam Tue 28-Dec-10 19:50:54


It is absolutely not right, very backward and not fair on your children. You are right to stand up for them and your DH should be made to understand. If he loves you, it comes as part of the deal.

MadamDeathstare Tue 28-Dec-10 19:54:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DelphiSwimsLate Tue 28-Dec-10 19:58:31

Actually I think that Lonnie has it right - present a united front and expect your DH to back you up and support you.

Ephiny Tue 28-Dec-10 20:08:21


Being generous I might say it's ignorance on their part rather than deliberately trying to insult you and your children, but in that case your DH needs to say something. If they really are nice people who just didn't realise how offensive their comments are, they'll be glad to be put right and will be horrified to have upset you, and hopefully apologise and never do it again.

If they do actually mean it, and have some problem with your heritage/colour, your DH still needs to tell them it's unacceptable - even if they won't listen he needs to stand up for you here.

SilkStalkings Tue 28-Dec-10 20:12:44

Yes they are ignorant but they won't stop being ignorant until somebody stops them and explains it is a problem. Sad to say but they might not believe it from you, you def need your DH to step up and show his support. YANBU.

MadamDeathstare Tue 28-Dec-10 20:20:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chillie Tue 28-Dec-10 20:21:56

Thanks everybody! It is really nice to know that i am not just trying to cause trouble which is how i feel.

Lonnie, I was willing to tackle them myself but my mum says that all parents are much more likely to listen to their own child and resolve the situation with him rather than with 'an over sensitive partner'. His parents are rather formal people and its really hard to say how they will react to a confrontation, no matter how small.

MadamDeathStare, I am catholic and i wasn't actualy too bothered about the piggy bit as i could see it was just teasing, it was more the 'brown' bit that got me.

Thanks again everyone, I have showed this thread to dh and he has said he will do 'something'.

ragged Tue 28-Dec-10 20:24:58

Why is it offensive to call a child a piggy?
Ours get called sausage face all the time (in a nice way).

Part of me thinks OP shouldn't refuse to go. It would be quite nice if OP's DD Did start to question her grandmother exactly what she means, and why is she saying that? Direct questioning to the Granny would be best. Truth out of the mouth of babes and all that - might be just what they need to realise the daftness / ignorance of their assumptions.

And otherwise the interaction presents opportunities to discuss with the DD how good people can have strange ideas -- lots of "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" tactics in there. If the DD is mixed race she's going to have to deal with the choppy interface between both cultures all her life, anyway.

curlymama Tue 28-Dec-10 20:29:20

I think you have been far too reasonable for putting up with this for as long as you have done.

Ignorance is no excuse for comments like that.

MadamDeathstare Tue 28-Dec-10 20:30:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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