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AIBU - no idea if this was racist?

(289 Posts)
thisIsMyNewUserName Wed 29-Mar-17 16:24:18

I'm narrowing myself down to a few hundred people (in theory) so want to be careful with identifying myself in real life.

Someone made a complaint about a colleague. During a meeting, babies were discussed. He said something like "Well, Asian ones are by far the cutest". Someone made a complaint and he has a meeting with HR next week about it. They suggested he contact a union rep should he wish as well as including a pdf of various policies within the company which I think points to bad news.

He's white, BTW. His wife is too and they've a 6 month old blonde-haired, blue-eyes daughter

I think he was at absolute worst a little immature but am interested in a consensus. AIBU thinking he should be given the benefit of the doubt? He's expecting to be hung, drawn and quartered.

1Evaline1 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:31:04

I think a telling off may have been appropriate and perhaps some education on this subject.

Honestly he may not have seen it as a problem to say that.

It wouldn't have fazed me.

Skatingonthinice16 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:31:58

I don't think it's racist? It was a positive statement. I mean it was a bit of a weird thing to say I guess, especially at work, but racist?
I think Chinese babies and toddlers are particularly gorgeous, all big brown eyes and a mop of dark hair. Does that make me racist?!

GeekGoddess Wed 29-Mar-17 16:33:23

Personally I think a telling off would suffice, but can't really comment on the likely real life outcome.

ThereIsIron Wed 29-Mar-17 16:35:01

Not racist in the least

MsJamieFraser Wed 29-Mar-17 16:35:48

beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I don't find black men attractive that doesn't make me a racist!

ChocolateButton15 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:36:25

I don't think it's racist! I can't see how they can discipline him for saying that. Was that all he said??

BenLinusatemyhomework Wed 29-Mar-17 16:36:49

A little bit inappropriate but not racist.

MrsJaniceBattersby Wed 29-Mar-17 16:36:52

what a waste of managements time

CaseyAtTheBat Wed 29-Mar-17 16:37:25

Putting any people into a group and stating "facts" about them based purely on their membership of that group, whether they are positive or negative, is inherently racist.

A quiet word should have been enough though.

thisIsMyNewUserName Wed 29-Mar-17 16:37:52

I'm not even sure a telling off is necessary. I don't see it as especially weird (kind of true, and I say that as a mother of 2 white children). They're very worried though.


Positive comments can be inappropriate and racist though. Remember the bit in The Office talking about black men with big penises.

Lemonnaise Wed 29-Mar-17 16:38:08

Not racist in the slightest.

zzzzz Wed 29-Mar-17 16:38:53

It's an opinion, positive and not a problem.

Skatingonthinice16 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:39:37

I guess so but it doesn't sound like it in this instance?
It's a slightly random thing to say but it seems like a bit of an overreaction if that's all he says.

Meekonsandwich Wed 29-Mar-17 16:39:45

Hmmm. It's not negative, it's a positive opinion, maybe not the most appropriate thing to say in the work place, but a quiet word is probably the appropriate response.

namechange20050 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:40:33

Oh my word why is that racist? Poor guy.

Asmoto Wed 29-Mar-17 16:41:10

He's made a race-based generalisation - how would it have gone down if he'd said 'White babies are the cutest'? Without knowing more about the colleague it's impossible to say how it should be handled - if this was the only issue of its kind, I agree with pps that a quiet talk on an informal basis should be enough.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 29-Mar-17 16:42:00

If you see racism as making a sweeping generalisation about an entire ethnic group, then yes I guess you could say it was racist. But it's hard to see who would actually be offended or disadvantaged by the comment (other than perhaps his own "slightly less cute" child!!)

fussychica Wed 29-Mar-17 16:42:36

Really? Why would someone report something like that? I don't think it's racist, actually a positive statement as he isn't Asian himself. Poor bloke, hope he is ok.

Asmoto Wed 29-Mar-17 16:46:23

it's hard to see who would actually be offended or disadvantaged by the comment

Anyone who had a black, white or otherwise non-Asian baby?

Jayfee Wed 29-Mar-17 16:48:27

oh dear god do we have to judge every sodding comment.

troodiedoo Wed 29-Mar-17 16:50:40

I once said to my Asian sil that I was looking forward to her having kids because Asian/white mixed kids look really cute and she was quite offended.

minionsrule Wed 29-Mar-17 16:51:18

{confused] - he just complimented my DS - well he is mixed Asian race, does that count.
Seriously, it was an opinion and I don't see it as an offensive opinion - its not like he said all other babies of all other races are ugly did he?

Abraiid2 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:52:31

This is ridiculous. I hope HR throw it out.

Lindy2 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:52:48

I don't see that any offence was meant by what he said and don't see it as racist.
If he does get in trouble he would probably be able to set a formal grievance against his employer who seems to have totally over reacted.

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