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AIBU about racist IL when I'm jamaican??

(21 Posts)
poppingkoalas Sun 18-Sep-11 01:03:09

Right me and DH are expecting first DC in Nov.
And because it is important I'm White Jamaican

Now my DH parents have always been racists (you would have to have a conversation with them in which it came up to know this) And actually have over the years been made some scathing comments about me and the caribbean specifically Jamaica and Trinidad&Tobago

Now over the years I have blanked out their views and comments about me, my heritage (both parents are also White Caribbean) etc. I have become use to bizarre comments over the years (speaking with a still thick accent will do that to you). And though I hate them for it, they live far away from me and DH and DH is their only child so I will put up with it to some degree.

But being pregnant and with both parents still in jamaica their comments have become more scathing about it all. Amounting to them saying that 'we would be very stupid and ignorant to expose DC to such a culture' and that doing so 'would confuse the poor child' as they should 'be aware of their white culture not the bizzarreness of mine'
I have told them how hurtful such things are to me but frankly they don't 'believe me' as I'm white so 'I am not like those other people'

I don't want DC around such people (even if any of our DCs will be their only GC) that insult me, my parents and my wonderful mix of cultures and heritage and therefor insult by extention DC.

So I have had enough. DH knows this (and obviously doesn't share their views) and to some extent understands but equally at the end of the day they are him parents and they do want to be involved with DC

AIBU to tell them to just stick it where the sun don't shine and inform them that I wont have DC around them? Because frankly I have had enough.

ZhenXiang Sun 18-Sep-11 01:11:45

YANBU I am white, DH is of black caribbean descent, we have a DD and another on the way.

Even before I met DH I would have not spoken to any relatives I had that were racist, let alone exposed my kids even if they weren't mixed race to their toxic views.

If my parents were like that my kids would not see them either, they would be entitled to there opinion, but would not give them the right to see my kids or expose them to their racist views.

To be honest I would not want to see them either if they had been racist about my husbands culture.

RueyBoey Sun 18-Sep-11 01:48:43

Well I'm shocked that you have put up with it for so long.
Who cares if DC will be their only GC.
They are racist.
I would never want any of my (future) DC around anyone who made scathing comments about my culture.
Inform them that you will not have your DCs around them unless they change. Frankly that is what you get for being racist.
They would be making these comments against their own GC - tell them that. If they don't understand and think culture is based purely on the colour of your skin then don't have DCs around them.
This is more than just having racist inlaws it directly effect you and DC. Stand up for yourself, and don't just blank it out.

whackamole Sun 18-Sep-11 02:16:09

I'm with you all the way on this one, and agree with everything RueyBoey says.

It truly does confuse me how people can have these horrible views though - simplistic and naive I know but what the bloody hell difference does it make to their lives just because you are black/white/Indian/Chinese/whatever the bloody hell?

Sorry, just really makes me so cross.

AlpinePony Sun 18-Sep-11 03:26:49

I really don't get what your 'bizarre culture' might be! Would they also behave this way towards white south Africans do you think?

I'm sorry, I just don't get it at all. I mean obviously they're hurting you and that's not on, but wtf?

savoycabbage Sun 18-Sep-11 03:55:54

I agree with the others. I wouldn't want my children around people who didn't like me and said horrible things about me.

Off topic slightly, I live in Australia and one of my friends told me last week that she had been watching a British tv programme and "there was a chinese woman on with a British accent" I was confused and flabbergasted. She seemed to have no idea that Britain was made up of people from many cultures. I think she thought everyone was like the dad out of Mary Poppins.

CompleteMug Sun 18-Sep-11 06:46:54

OP, I feel for you and wouldn't blame you for a second for turning your back on these people. Have you ever pulled them up on this behaviour though? They sound very, very ignorant. Have you ever asked them if they know anything at all about your culture?

purplepidjinawoollytangle Sun 18-Sep-11 07:25:24

They need to respect you as their daughter in-or-out of law, regradless of race. Would they feel the same if you were Irish or French? Fwiw, DP is of black Jamaican heritage (born here, I apologise for not knowing the right way to put it!) and apart from one family shindig where I suddenly realised i was the only white face in the room (awesome learning experience grin and it was only me noticing, not anything pointed out iyswim) it isn't an issue. But then the only "racists" in my family are of the Daily Mail variety, and it's been made quite clear to them that they shut up or piss off!

Faithless12 Sun 18-Sep-11 07:33:35

Yanbu- Thier view is odd, so you should never take them to see your parents? Why does you DP not say something to them?

Dozer Sun 18-Sep-11 07:36:46


You need to get your DH onside: it's his parents causing this problem, he needs to deal with it. If he won't - sounds like he expects you to carry on putting up with it so that he has an easy life - then he's part of the problem. Also, there's a big risk that you'll become the bad guy. He needs to fully agree with and be active in whatever approach you take. This issue need dealing with before tackling the parents.

If you were being generous - you sound it- you could (together, or DH alone) explain that their racism is totally unacceptable and won't be tolerated when your DC arrives, and give them a chance to change, making clear the consequences if they don't. Your DH could outline exactly what isn't acceptable. If they get angry, and make out like this is you being unreasonable, then he'll need to go through the " broken record" technique rather than seeking to justify your decision. If they cut you off in a huff, that's then their choice, but the consequence is they don't see the DC.

Triggles Sun 18-Sep-11 07:45:47

I'm curious why your DP doesn't say something to them? DH would lay down the law - treat my wife and her family with respect or don't be in our lives. It's really not any more complicated than that.

Mitmoo Sun 18-Sep-11 07:58:01

I can understand your dh is in a difficult place with his parents. YABVR if you don't try to stop him having a relationship with his parents BUT you don't allow those toxic GP to have a relationship with your child. They will be insulting who he/she is and his entire background etc.

They will lose out and end up the sad lonely people they deserve to be.

Congratulations btw.

chelen Sun 18-Sep-11 08:07:13

Congrats on your preganancy! I think YANBU. My grandfather had issues with my father and made unpleasant comments. The comments really hurt me because he was criticisng half of me. So I would say lay down the law categorically and get your DP to say if they want to see their GC they have to be polite and respectful to them and about you. Then you'll have to follow thru.

All the best with your baby.

HardCheese Sun 18-Sep-11 08:12:17

OP, you need to act, if only to get your husband to make the position very clear to his parents before a small child grows up seeing his/her mother's culture denigrated, and thinking that racism is normal. It will no doubt be desperately uncomfortable for you, but - especially given that the remarks have intensified since you became pregnant - the alternative is far more horrible. They sound as if they are trying to remove the 'taint' of your original culture from you, so that they don't need to deal with the fact that their grandchild isn't 100% 'culturally pure' as far as they're concerned.

(*Purplepid*, I'm Irish and living in England, and have encountered a small but persistent trickle of hostility and ignorance towards my nationality for as long as I've lived here. For some people - and they've included people at Oxford High Tables and the relatives of close friends - I am clearly not quite 'white', and assumed to be feckless, dirty, dishonest, drunken etc etc. )

Mitmoo Sun 18-Sep-11 08:31:52

Hardcheese I am sorry that you have experienced incredibly stupid people. I do have to say though, coming from a family of Irish parents, aunts, uncles etc. all living here no one has ever made those assumptions about my family.

I was once accused of being a racist by a girl I'd interviewed who was Irish but didn't give her the job. Her mother was furious, came to see the Director about my racism, I was called in to explain myself, only to let her know my heritage is Irish.

Out went one extremely embarrassed mother who was about to Im sure, give the daughter one rather loud gobful. grin Other than that it's just not a problem here but I do live in a city highly populated by second generation Irish people.

pigletmania Sun 18-Sep-11 10:34:44

I don't know why on earth you tolerate this behaviour. I certainly would not allow them to be near my child which shares my heritage, and be insulting towards it. This behaviour is not tolerated in civilised society, unless they want to see their gc, they should keep their view schtum.

maypole1 Sun 18-Sep-11 10:40:52

My mil has big issues with me being black have posted about this before, personally I leave oh to have whatever relationship he carers t have with them but I dint have anything to do with her nor do the children

And the was she treats me oh rarely shes them
And you don't want to mil to make your child ashamed of bring half Jamaican

slavetofilofax Sun 18-Sep-11 10:47:01

When they are racist towards you, they are being racist towards their own GC. He/she will be half of you, and by slagging off a child's heritiage, you are effectively slagging off a child. I wouldn't let my child be exposed to that.

Your dh needs to tell them to put a very big stop to it, and mean it when he says that the merest hint of racism any time from now onwards, will result in them losing their GC forever.

jollygoose Sun 18-Sep-11 10:49:35

your in laws are behaving in a totally ignorant way and your husband should spell it out to them that if they want to be part of your family they must treat you with respect and courtesy or they will be in danger of losing contact with their first gc.
Wishing you joy with your first baby

Iliketothinkimnumber6 Sun 18-Sep-11 12:29:12

OP surprised you have put up with it for so long - for god sake, even if DH is their only DC then you shouldn't put up with it. DH can decide how much he wants to be involved with them seperatly but he and them need to be clear that you will not have anything to do with them and will not be allowing them to have anything to do with DC.
I do wonder though if you have had to 'prove' your culture, generally? Perhaps they think that as you are white you where born pre-jamaican independence? As in don't identify with being Jamaican. In away that goes beyond racism. It also shreaks of never having to gotten to know you at all.
Tell DH that he will have to speak to them about it and you do to - you sound very reasonable about it (that made me think maybe you have to go out of your way to prove where you come from) tell them they either change or no GC.

bringbacksideburns Sun 18-Sep-11 13:08:26

No of course YANBU.

Has your DH explained to them at length why their views are unacceptable? I think he needs to again. He needs to support you fully on this, they sound horrible.

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