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

(131 Posts)
TastesLikePanda Thu 03-Jan-13 20:40:16

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

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

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

WIBU by not challenging her choice of language?

DontHaveAtv Fri 04-Jan-13 10:15:26

I would have said something to her. I've got mixed race children and I would never in a million years say something like that. I know mixed race adults who have major issues because of their parents attitude towards them.

trapclap Fri 04-Jan-13 10:15:48

'nig-nog' makes me fucking rage

LookBehindYou Fri 04-Jan-13 10:18:38

The term is odd and unpleasant but the girl seems to have been using it in a kind of jokey ironic way. You might not have enjoyed the joke but I think you need to let it go. I assume if she used the word seriously towards her partner he'd have put her straight.

DrRanj Fri 04-Jan-13 10:24:19

Damash - "mixed race" is the correct term. I doubt you would have seen the term half caste in newspapers, but fairly certain you will have semm "mixed race'".

trapclap Fri 04-Jan-13 10:33:21

No look racism is never ok, not in a 'jokey' way or otherwise

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 10:36:50

Id be amazed if a white woman in a relationship with a black man wasn't aware that nig nog is a racist term and wholly unacceptable.

LookBehindYou Fri 04-Jan-13 10:44:12

I know racism is never okay trap but maybe this girl had just received a ton of racist comments and was reacting to that. It's impossible to know out of context.

Theicingontop Fri 04-Jan-13 10:45:39

I'll bet it's something that's used behind closed doors between her and her partner, in a jokey way, that she thought was acceptable because her partner uses the word in jest. Obviously very stupid.

My OH calls our DS his little chocolato chocolate chip... he has a million different nicknames hmm but he wouldn't dream of uttering them outside the home. Just like he wouldn't call me his favourite nickname in public. People would be offended. Very offended. Keep it within the confines of the home if you find it funny. Someone should give her the memo.

trapclap Fri 04-Jan-13 10:51:56

It will not be ok for a mother to call her child nig-nog in private, if the child is expected to have any self-esteem

VitoCorleone Fri 04-Jan-13 11:37:03

Fucking hell, ive heard some bad shit in my time, but calling your unborn, mixed race child a nignog?!?!

I'll be honest with you, when i was growing up i was told that it was nasty to refer to somebody as being "black" and that "coloured" was a nice way of saying it, so as not to offend anyone - my mum hates racism. Maybe i should inform her.

Ive heard the term nignog used before and it is bloody awful. Ive also heard worse come out of my DP's nans mouth.

yfuwchhapus Fri 04-Jan-13 11:46:47

I have never heard that word...but it's obviously just awful!

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 04-Jan-13 14:21:05

trapclap I agree re self identifying.

Alwaysasking Fri 04-Jan-13 15:03:40

This reminds me of when I was pregnant with my mixed race ds and an ex of mine (who was jealous of my new relationship and pregnancy) referred to ds as a 'niglet'. I was livid, and cannot understand how this woman used a similar term for her own baby!

Grr I'm angry now. So many ignorant people out there.

ToffeePenny Fri 04-Jan-13 18:30:50

toffee in what context do you think a pregnant mum would refer to her unborn child as 'daftie" or "silly billy"?

I wasn't attempting to defend or justify her usage - her meaning was clearly the racist one (she would have questioned the OP's reaction or her sister's demand for an apology if she knew the meaning only as equivalent to 'silly billy') hence my agreeing with the OP as the opening to my reply.

I was (pedantically) answering the earlier poster's question of:

When has Nig nog ever NOT been racist?

The answer being potentially with the older (wartime) generation. That (obviously does not include this mum)

TastesLikePanda Fri 04-Jan-13 18:39:06

Within the context of my work, I deal with many people who are in the older age range of pensioners - 80, 85 plus. These folks regularly use language that is 'incorrect' however mostly you can tell that they mean no offence, but it is simply that they have not (or cannot) keep up with modern language changes.

I don't correct their language but for entirely different reasons. I simply cannot cause offence to people who are simply mistaken and might become very worried about being corrected - it's not my place to do so. However, if I thought someone was deliberately saying something in our very public building to cause offence, then I absolutely would speak up.

Mu1berryBush Fri 04-Jan-13 18:44:56

my xmil used to refer to herself as coloured. it's the label she is comfortable with and I can understand it.

soontobeburns Fri 04-Jan-13 20:33:58

I always say half caste I never knew it was wrong and never been pulled up on it confused blush

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 20:40:08

Every day is a school day!

trapclap Fri 04-Jan-13 21:44:55

This thread has got me thinking; I like the term 'mulatto' to describe mixed race, black and white. I like it because it is one word, its not 'half' or 'mixed' or 'dual'. I think its empowering. I would never use it, because of the historical context and I know it is controversial.

I'm interested to hear what others think?...might be worthy of another thread though

Mu1berryBush Fri 04-Jan-13 21:48:42

well, I used to know a un venezouelan and he wouldn't have tolerated mulatto, it was used by other venzuelans in a derogatory way. i wouldn't have known that though if he hadn't hisssed at somebody for saying that.

TastesLikePanda Fri 04-Jan-13 21:59:19

I've never heard the word mulatto. I'm intrigued but I would be worried about using it as I don't understand enough of its background to know whether it is a derogatory term.

I understand what you mean about it being 'one word' though.

Mu1berryBush Fri 04-Jan-13 22:04:48

That's a word from latin american spanish really isn't it?

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 22:08:50

Mulatto is used by some but widely known as offensive.

Think about where the word comes from and what it means.

Mule meaning offspring of two different species.

I think not.

squoosh Fri 04-Jan-13 22:10:22

Mulatto is a BIG no-no.

squoosh Fri 04-Jan-13 22:12:46

Also mulatto is a word mostly associated with American slavery.

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