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Comments re race

(17 Posts)
BabyAlexander Mon 26-Dec-16 21:08:07

My DH niece (my niece too but for context his niece) has her first boyfriend. She's been the subject of gentle teasing by the family, not by me I hasten to add. Poor girl is holding her own but really does seem a little embarrassed.

Lots of questions about this young lad. Then someone pipes up, is he white? I kept it buttoned, small children around, but seriously?

Is this question normal? Reasonable? It's really not is it?

My BIL is African, my niece and nephew are mixed race. I simply don't see the issue if he's not white? Or am I being touchy because it made me wonder what they're thinking about my family?

My DH was not the questioner and I'm inwardly debating whether this needs raising or to simply leave it but be sure to bring it up if it arises again.

HecAteAllTheXmasPud Mon 26-Dec-16 21:12:26

Bloody weird question i agree.

quencher Mon 26-Dec-16 22:46:08

Op, it's not a nice question but do think it's normal for black people to ask. It does not mean it's right either. When i say normal, I mean it as something that occurs often. If you say they are African I can think of lots of reasons why they would want to find out and none of them are good reason.

Did they ask why because they wanted him to be white or black? Or was it out of curiosity based on her previous relationships. What where their comments on boyfriends and what race where they?

Guavaf1sh Tue 27-Dec-16 00:35:40

It's a curiosity issue not a racist issue usually and these things shouldn't be taboo. If a child is a different colour it's a natural thing to ask. It has the great possibility to be done insensitively but it shouldn't be a banned topic. Banning such things is how genuine racism occurs

Guavaf1sh Tue 27-Dec-16 00:36:47

Sorry. Late. I didn't read it properly and I see it's family asking now in which case yes it is weird

Atenco Tue 27-Dec-16 02:37:24

I'm with you, OP. It's a weird question to ask.

Out2pasture Tue 27-Dec-16 03:11:15

certainly not pc but common to ask silly (inappropriate) questions to try and draw out details about the fellow. i'm sure a generation ago the question may have been similar but about religion.

876TaylorMade Tue 27-Dec-16 04:22:28

As a black women when I started dating my husband my sisters and mum all asked questions about his race. He is white. But I've also dated other guys outside my race.

I don't think it's a racist thing, but more to get details about the relationship.

Unless your family will have issues with her dating a white guy, I wouldn't think too much on it.

mimishimmi Tue 27-Dec-16 04:27:54

It's a weird question ...

december10th Tue 27-Dec-16 04:58:52

how is it weird? it's just curiosity to ask what he looks like

BabyAlexander Tue 27-Dec-16 06:59:41

Sorry all, I've not made myself clear in terms of who is who. DH family is white. It's my sister (my BIL) who married a black man.

I guess it could be trying to find out what he looks like. I think I'd go with asking to see a photo, they're teenagers, the phone is surgically attached.

SixthSenseless Tue 27-Dec-16 07:19:40

So a white family asking if the boyfriend is white?

It all depends. Could be simple curiosity , where I live it would be equally likely that any boyfriend would be either black or white, but then the question would be 'is he black or white?'. That would be simple fact, no big deal.

You were there, heard the tone, know the family: was it checking that he was white ? (Racist), checking to see if they could add race to the basis for teasing (racist), or just asking (not racist).

Manumission Tue 27-Dec-16 07:27:15

Very crass.

Not necessarily betraying seriously racist attitudes (it could be more trying to draw out a description type thing) but really, who asks that?

Bundao Tue 27-Dec-16 07:40:51

I think it would be an odd question to ask unless something about her description or her previous crushes made them think about race. Otherwise it does come across as racist. If they'd said black or white, it would be normal, but "is he white?" Just sounds racist.

JJbum Tue 27-Dec-16 07:45:23

I'd say it's an odd question. Why not just ask "what does he look like?" Okay so the answer might end up just being "oh, he's gorgeous" (in whatever way teens say that) and so not very descriptive. But then "can I see a photo?" works nicely as a follow up.

Manumission Tue 27-Dec-16 07:48:14

Although of course, if you're asking all of that^in a covert effort do discoverbthe BF/GF's race, it's time to ask yourself some searching questions anyway.

SixthSenseless Tue 27-Dec-16 07:48:50

I can't see how asking what he looks like or to see a photo is any different if the aim of that is to see what racial background he has.

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