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AIBU to look at dp in a completely different light after he said this?

(127 Posts)
stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 16:50:05

First of all just to say that dp comes from a small town where the population are predominantly white, I'm from a diverse and multicultural city.

Dp is one of the most laid back, placid people you could meet, never really has a bad word to say about anyone and has never been racist in front of me.

Recently came back from a beach holiday abroad with dp.

While we were there we briefly met this guy who was there with his young daughter, he happened to be black.

One day dp and I were lounging around by the pool, this guy was sitting over at the other side reading a book while his daughter played.

Dp went to say something to me and then stopped, he said he wasn't going to say it as I'd think he was stupid. Of course I was like 'no go on you have to say it now'.

He turned round and said 'well, see that black man over there sitting in the shade reading his book, well if you were black, woud you really come to a place like this?'

I almost burst out laughing and asked what on earth that was supposed to mean. And he went on to say 'well he already has a tan, if he just wants to relax would he really come to a place like this'.

I was astonished, I of course pointed out that the guy was doing exactly what everyone else was doing, come on holiday and that (a) I wasn't there to get a tan either and (b) black people can still sunbathe and get a tan if they want to and (c) the guy can come on holiday exactly where he pleases for whatever reason he chooses whether it be he wants to relax by the pool, swim in the sea, taste the local cuisine and that it was a completely bizarre thought to even have.

Dp agreed he was being daft and no more was said about it.

But I keep thinking about what he said.

I have told a few people two being my dad and bil who can both be a little bigotted at times and even they couldn't get there breath when I told them and just think he's thick as two short planks.

But it reminded me of another comment dp made about a year ago which I thought was strange.

One of our neighbours is black, I'll call him Bob, it doesn't really even enter my head which neighbours are black, white I just don't see it iyswim. But one day dp was looking out of the window and said 'look Bobs going jogging'. I got up to look purely because dp had mentioned it and Bob isn't really the jogging type, and dp burst out laughing and said 'ha ha it's not really Bob it's just another coloured man'. He thought it was hilarious. Firstly I said I just don't get the joke, so you see a black guy and pretend it's Bob?? And also people haven't really used the term 'coloured' since the 80s and it's not something people really like to be referred to as.

Dp said he didn't realise and just thought he was messing around. His jokes are terrible at the best of times.

But seriously? Am I in a relationship with a racist or just a daft idiot who has lived a bit of an enclosed existence?

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 17:19:03

Thanks for replies.

I kind of do know deep down he's not racist and certainly not intentionally, and yes I suppose I should know the answer. He's certainly never experessed any racist views just perhaps a lack of understanding but that is due to where he's lived and his upbringing.

In fact a thought is coming back to me of when we were going to my friends birthday party, she is British Indian and there was loads of South Asian food and I remember him being excited like a little kid and telling his friends how we were going to this party and about all of the food people who were going to be there.

I think even though we've been together years I feel as though there's bits of him I still don't know.

He's not much of a talker, but he's like that with everyone, he's generous and helpful but sometimes it's just as though there's not much going on in there as horrible as that probably sounds.

Bu after years I know that's the way he is.

OrmirianResurgam Tue 30-Jul-13 17:21:19

Daft idiot.

maja00 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:26:23

Not racist, but maybe not the sharpest tool in the box, and unfamiliar/uncomfortable with people who aren't white?

I think I would look at a partner in a different light after those comments too though! Sounds like the kind of jokes/comments a 12 year old would make.

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 17:27:37

Sorry I think I'm replying a bit slower than questions, sorry if I haven't answered got to go and make dinner now though too.

Just to answer no he's certainly never made anti gay jokes.

I don't 'think' he'd be bothered at all if ds had a non white partner, but the discussion has never come up.

A few months ago in a shopping centre there was a couple with two little baby twins and ds asked if when he was older he would have a brown baby. Dp went all red and got really embarrassed and started checking to see if they'd heard. I simply said to ds that when two people have a baby the baby usually looks a bit like their mummy and a bit like their daddy.

Xihha Tue 30-Jul-13 17:29:54

I grew up in a small predominantly white town and I have to say the comments your DP made do sound like things my Dad would say, just be glad he said it quietly. I can remember a black family moving in to a house near my parents a few years back and my Dad trying to describe them to my mum as 'dark chocolate flavour rather than milkybar or dairy milk' because he thought that would be nicer then calling them black hmm

I don't think it comes from any horrible racist intent, just being a bit dim.

maja00 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:30:23

To be fair I think lots of people would be embarassed if their child asked if they could have a brown baby grin

NotYoMomma Tue 30-Jul-13 17:33:46

I did wonder if black people got sunburned when I was young blush

I also thought black people must never need to wear foundation or get spots as you never got darker shades round here in the shops (in a v white area).

I thought my Nigerian friends tribe would have consisted of 7 people and a cow... but apparently it has the same population as the UK shock (igbo) - he still laughs at me over this.

I think its more sheer ignorance lol. and I do totes holiday to get a tan blush

I do ask a lot of questions though

LyraSilvertongue Tue 30-Jul-13 17:41:15

Chocco, that's not such a silly question. The darker the skin, the harder it is to burn but it does happen. That's the purpose of the pigment, to protect the skin from the sun.

Faithless12 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:54:01

From those comments I wouldn't say he's racist but I wouldn't say simply sheltered either, ignorant maybe. Yes, black people can burn and some even want to tan as plenty of my friends who are currently on the beach envy somewhere tanning can attest to.

Faithless12 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:55:42

LyraSilvertongue, thats not always true my mixed race friend burnt more easily than her white grandparents.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 30-Jul-13 17:57:14

I think your friend is probably an exception. Generally, the darker the skin the less likely to burn and fairer skins burn more easily.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Tue 30-Jul-13 17:57:25

Huh, I didn't really think of black people getting tanned... It never really occurred to me, as it were. In fact, both of those sound like dimwitted things I would say (particularly the latter as I am incapable of recognising anyone, even good friends, I just have a rubbish memory for face! I recognise people by how they walk / clothes / etc).

I'm not a racist bigot, so I'd give your dp the benefit of the doubt...

CatDogAndMouse Tue 30-Jul-13 18:06:19

I think your DP was a bit daft. However, I think yabu to have told people about it and laughed at him behind his back. I would hate it if my family ridiculed my DP. I have far too much respect for him for that. Surely we can all say things that are daft sometimes.

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 18:57:19

Well ds is 4 so asking if he'll have a brown baby is a reasonable question. Perhaps I'm thick skinned

As for telling my family, well I don't feel bad about that but that's a whole other thread.

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 19:02:39

Mrsrajesh, regarding finding so calling everything the floor worrying, can you elaborate?

Trinpy Tue 30-Jul-13 19:11:52

The thing about the brown baby reminds me of Wayne and Waynetta Slob.

Capitola Tue 30-Jul-13 19:14:52

Agree - he's just a bit dim.

Spartacus101 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:15:50

Why would you say floor when you mean table? confused

valiumredhead Tue 30-Jul-13 19:23:44

I don't think he's racist, just very thick! Sorry!

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 19:24:54

Trinpy, what a horrible thing to say, ds is only 4, he genuinely does not know any better which is why it was an opportunity to explain.

How dare you compare a 4 year old child's innocence to Wayne and waynetta slob.

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 19:28:24

I've no idea but do says a lot of strange things like that and I was hoping someone could shed some light.

Spartacus101 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:31:04

i think they just meant the wording 'i wanner braaaawwwwn baby' not anything offensive towards your dc

OfficerMeow Tue 30-Jul-13 19:32:54

Is his name Tim, you know nice but dim?

Salmotrutta Tue 30-Jul-13 19:33:35

I'm actually feeling a bit bad for your DH here.

I'm sure he'd be delighted to know that people think he's "thick" and "dim".

I come down like a ton of bricks if I hear pupils referring to others as thick/dim etc.

He sounds like he is uneducated rather than "dim" OP

Have you heard of Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences?

Your DH probably scores high on something other than academic performance - e.g artistic, emotional etc.

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 19:33:47

I hope so! Because it would be bizarre if people thought a 4 year old describing a brown baby (which was explained) worse than a 35 year old man asking why a black person goes on holiday. Perhaps I'm in a parallel universe where the table I'd the floor!

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