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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 19:36:57

Salmotratta of course you are right but I think my question I suppose should be more, is ignorance an excuse?

Salmotrutta Tue 30-Jul-13 19:37:09

Oh, and plenty of adults who should have more sense refer to the ground as "the floor".

Which is ridiculous.

Salmotrutta Tue 30-Jul-13 19:39:47

Well, maybe not an excuse but if his education is lacking its a reason why he doesn't know theses things.

And a lot of education comes from the home - as do attitudes.

If he is a decent, hard working bloke who gets on with people then that's all that matters.

Salmotrutta Tue 30-Jul-13 19:41:23

these things.

Sorry if I sound grumpy but I loathe people being labelled as thick/ stupid and so on.

I hoped we'd progressed beyond that...

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Jul-13 19:44:01

ahahahaha smile My mum has a medical condition that means that he skin is brown, like a "black" person - not so much now but when she was younger she would practically worship the sun, i would often say "but mummy, you are brown enough already" smile A black person probably has more protection from the sun than a white person so maybe you should turn your DH's comment around! Also, is the only reason people go to hot places on holiday to get a sun tan?? It was a particulary daft faux pas, but not racist imo

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 19:47:58

I don't think you sound grumpy and you put a very good point across.

I don't feel terribly bad for do but as I say that's a whole other story.

And of course dp is bloody fantastic at some things.

I'm just not sure at times that he even attempts to think outside the box but I'm in danger of analysing my entire relationship and his entire self.

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

LEM we had this whole thing on holiday, dp is from the life where you holiday twice a year lie in the sun all day and wear your tan like a badge of honour, I however think cooking your skin twice a year is a bad idea and would prefer to be in the shade reading my book.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 30-Jul-13 20:11:58

smile When we went to greece on holiday i used factor 50, when we got back my mum was mortified and told me i looked like i hadn't even been away hmmgrin

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 20:22:29

Hmm, do asked why I'd only bought 'kids' suncream. I said most factor 50 says kids on the bottle.

cjel Tue 30-Jul-13 20:43:29

OP I don't think the wayne and waynetta thing was meant offensively. I think it was because Waynetta was always telling wayne off for not having given her a brown baby like all the other girls on the estate.

Agreed cjel. Poor Trinpy was just remembering a funny sketch.

elinorbellowed Tue 30-Jul-13 20:59:46

There is a lot of ignorance around the suntan/burn issue. I once had a ridiculous conversation (with a science teacher FGS) who was not a racist, but was puzzled that a black colleague had sunburnt her arms on sports day. Just daft and saying things before thinking. And a black friend of mine (get how right-on I am grin) said that a doctor told her that her kids never needed suncream, at least not in England. Which she ignored.

stripeyspots Tue 30-Jul-13 21:02:57

Ah, sorry if I misunderstood, I am very tired and grumpy today.

cjel Tue 30-Jul-13 21:03:13

I think I'm a bt like OPs DH in that i say things and don't know that it was an un pc thing to say. I have no racist/sexist views and so things don't occur to me as wrong. I think that there may be some processing strangeness though as with the floor thing.
Think hes harmless!!

KirjavaTheCat Tue 30-Jul-13 21:07:57

My mum asked me if OH had gotten darker since she last saw him, and was genuinely surprised when I said yes, he'd caught the sun. She thought black people just stayed the same colour all year round.

My mum had never met a black man before I brought OH home, and told him as much... It was an awkward first meeting. "Err, I'm honoured?" grin

funkky Wed 31-Jul-13 05:05:34

Lol@ comments. Shows some of the ignorance black people put up with everyday!

coffeewineandchocolate Wed 31-Jul-13 06:06:18

Op. why don't you just discuss the comment with him?(and ask him why he calls flat surfaces the floor).

GruffBillyGoat Wed 31-Jul-13 06:30:50

Sounds innocent but dim, just remind him it is not appropriate. Reminds me of when we were younger and my little brother asked "you know how dark colours absorb heat, does that mean that black people get hotter during summer than white people?"

Though the joke about bob would leave me a bit hmm and I might have a few words.

chocoluvva Wed 31-Jul-13 10:20:04

I don't think I'd ever seen a black person in 'the flesh' till I went to uni.

There was one Chinese family in the place I lived (Scottish island). No Hispanic, Indian or Arabic (looking) people either.

I'm in my forties by the way.

As far as I know there is only one black - as in very dark-skinned - child at DD's secondary school, which is in a 'leafy suburb'.

Perhaps like me, your DP has a short mouth-brain connection and says things as soon as they enter his head before he's thought about them and realised there's more to it than that.

DD and I - we're in Scotland, have commented on how nice it is to see almost everybody looking tanned, after the heatwave. People look healthier. (even if they're not). We're both proud of our slight tans! Apart from anything else it slightly conceals our blotchy translucense!) But we wouldn't bother to use fake tan or sunbathe. It's a bonus.

We don't have holidays abroad, but I imagine that it's nice to have someone comment on your tan and ask if you've been away - nice to tell people you had a lovely holiday I suppose.

stripeyspots Wed 31-Jul-13 10:21:36

I have asked him why he says that and other things but he either insists he's right or makes out I'm attacking him and gets upset.

I must admit I'm a bit shocked at some of the thoughts people have, it's as though some people think black people are from another planet.

But with dp, it's not so much asking a genuine question that bothers me, such as can black people get a tan. It's the 'why would he come to a place like this' it hadn't even occured to me, I don't look at somebody and see colour.

Reminds me of the time I was out with a black mate from work and somebody asked him where he was from, and he said Sandwell Birmingham and the guy was like no where are you really from.

It's crap behaviour imo and nit because I'm PC

stripeyspots Wed 31-Jul-13 10:33:10

Choco yes it's lovely until you end up with skin cancer or crocodile skin from sun damage or fair skinned children with sunburn (not you btw) but many of the people I see each year on holiday.

I don't think so had quite never seen a black person until his 20s although he did grow up in a different place to me.

I'm glad people don't think it's too bad what he said but I do wonder if I'd started a thread 'aibu to wonder why a black nan went to a place like this when he already has a tan' the responses would have been totally different.

Aibu to wonder why an Asian family went for a curry when they already eat it every day?

chocoluvva Wed 31-Jul-13 10:38:42

Your DPs joke about the jogger - perhaps he thought for a split second that he was your neighbour (he was in your street after all), thought to himself, 'I'd be surprised to see Bob jogging' and decided to play a little trick on you by getting you to jump up to catch sight of your neighbour jogging only to be 'disappointed' that it wasn't him after all. IYSWIM

chocoluvva Wed 31-Jul-13 10:42:30


Totally agree with the skin-cancer risk foolishness. And crocodile skin - I try to console DD by telling her she'll be glad she didn't 'sunbathe' a lot when she's older and still has lovely smooth skin.

I see what you mean about it being a 'thing' for him about noticing people's skin colour whereas you would barely register it.

Chocovore Wed 31-Jul-13 10:45:45

It was a flippant thought which he dismissed but you pushed him to voice out loud. You say you know he is not a racist so I don't understand why you are analysing it so much. We all have ridiculous thoughts pop into our mind sometimes don't we?

I asked my black friend if/how much her skin burned. If you don't ask, you don't know.

stripeyspots Wed 31-Jul-13 10:47:19

Yes, it was funny in the sense I wanted to catch a look at the neighbour jogging, which is pretty sad in itself! Had he said its just another 'tall man' or just another 'short guy' wouldn't have seemed the same.

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