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Just got told that I'm racist toward my own child

(356 Posts)

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jumpiin Tue 24-Apr-18 17:14:28

I was at the park with my son, not many people there just one other lady with her two kids. I smiled at her on the way in and she gave me a dirty look. Bit strange but just ignored it. I was playing and we were having a great time, we were laughing and I called him a cheeky monkey affectionately. This lady storms over to me and tells me not say that around her children (she was black for the record) she was very rude and stood right in my face. I asked her what the problem was and she gave me a big speech I can't exactly how she worded it as I'm fuming but she basically said, me calling my own baby a cheeky monkey was racist because he's mixed, she also said that I was ignorant and that I needed to educate myself because I know nothing about my own child's race. She then told me that I'm "just another one of those girls who thinks a brown baby is an accessory". She then stormed off and I've come straight home as the afternoon was ruined and I'm still reeling! I assume she made these assumptions because I'm white, I've taken the time to learn about my DPs culture and DS is learning to speak English and Swahili and as for seeing him as an accessory that's just ridiculous, he is the most precious and important thing in my life. Aibu to think that she was in the wrong here and that she is a part of the problem? And to think that I can call my child whatever I want as long as there's no malice behind it?!

LorelaiRoryEmily Tue 24-Apr-18 17:16:06

Wow. That is ridiculous op, I wouldn't give her head space. People are mad

ghostyslovesheets Tue 24-Apr-18 17:16:26

welcome to MN - obviously the woman was being a bit silly really - and unbelievably OTT

FooFighter99 Tue 24-Apr-18 17:17:39

Sounds like she's projecting her issues/insecurities on to you.

Don't rise to her, ignore and hold your head up high

MyotherUsernameisaPun Tue 24-Apr-18 17:17:49

It sounds like she was very unreasonable to you and I can understand why you're upset.

I think there are probably good reasons behind her being so sensitive to the term 'monkey' when it has previously been used in such a derogatory way about POC. But that said, you OBVIOUSLY weren't using it in that way and she had no right to say you see your baby as an accessory.

swingofthings Tue 24-Apr-18 17:19:56

My OH and I call eachother my monkey names. He loves monkeys and the names stuck. We are both very white.

So annoying when people use any excuse to throw the 'racist' card in.

crumble2 Tue 24-Apr-18 17:21:58

So what did you say when she was stood in your face giving you the speech OP?

sentMai Tue 24-Apr-18 17:22:00

I'd be angry if my only sustenance was lentils and the Guardian.

Ignore her.

Woshambo Tue 24-Apr-18 17:22:17

I know a lot of ppl that call their DC "cheeky monkeys" there's no malice at all

YANBU. Idve been fuming too! She obviously has either been a victim of racial abuse and is very sensitive to everything she percieves as racist or she herself is racist. It may be a point of contention among her and her friends or perhaps she's witnessed something sinister in the past but that shouldn't be taken out on random ppl she doesn't even know.

There's a lot of discussion recently saying that white ppl can't be victims of racial abuse which is totally absurd. Any race can.

I hope u told her to mind her own bloody business the cheeky mare.

Unfinishedkitchen Tue 24-Apr-18 17:22:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Madwithjealousy Tue 24-Apr-18 17:23:19

She's being ridiculous. One of my friends who is black threw a monkey themed party for her (black) son's first birthday. I suppose she was being racist too.

SleepingStandingUp Tue 24-Apr-18 17:23:45

I call my white toddler "monkey" so is that, well what? Culturally appropriating racist terms to abuse my own child??

TOTALLY her issue, perhaps it pressed a button, perhaps she's had it used against her and she just can't see beyond that use of it. Either way, you didn't do anything wrong

PaintedHorizons Tue 24-Apr-18 17:25:11

But according to some all white people are racist. And it's impossible to defend oneself against that accusation. Saying that you have a partner or friends.... "But some of my best friends are..." has become a cliche now. Perhaps saying that your own child is of a different race is the final thing that will save you - but it appears not - your child is an accessory (!!).

I agree with you - it is quite clear that you were being a perfectly normal, lovely mother playing with your gorgeous baby - but I do think that had it not been your child you might have found yourself in an uncomfortable position.

I always used to call all babies cheeky monkey - but wouldn't dare now.

SleepingStandingUp Tue 24-Apr-18 17:27:02

So you’re teaching your pre-school child Swahili?

Isn't that how you're meant to do it? My German friends spoke German to her son from birth, my English friens living in German spike to him in English from virth, my Sri Lankan friend has spoken to all her kids on Tamil (?) and English from birth, my friend has spoken to both her kids in her native language since birth and they now live in a third country so newest baby will have three languages around them

jumpiin Tue 24-Apr-18 17:28:51

@unfinishedkitchen No it's not why would it be? And yes is that a problem? DP and I speak english at home and his grandparents speak to him in swahili at their house as is the best way to teach a young child a two languages and I know plenty that do thank you very much

Prettylovely Tue 24-Apr-18 17:30:17

I agree with pp its totally her issue, She
sounds bonkers, Dont take a thing she said to heart shes talking nonsense.

sunseasandfun Tue 24-Apr-18 17:30:24

i taught all my pre school kids two languages , not that difficult you just speak it to them! they are all now bilingual

TomRavenscroft Tue 24-Apr-18 17:30:29

She's a silly mare. 'cheeky monkey' is a phrase for a cheeky but cute child, end of. I'd use it for a child of any appearance.

Lizzie48 Tue 24-Apr-18 17:31:47

Ridiculous! You obviously weren't using the phrase in a racist fashion. I used to call my DDs 'cheeky monkey' all the time, in a totally affectionate way when they were being, well cheeky. And what did it have to do with her anyway?

It sounds like she had an issue with you anyway, maybe she doesn't approve of mixed race relationships? That's absurd, of course, as they're very common now.

Don't give her any more headspace, OP.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 24-Apr-18 17:34:37

Wow she clearly has ishoos, ignore her, she sounds crazy. She knows nothing about you or your child, so she can go do one. Did you say anything to her?

BewareOfDragons Tue 24-Apr-18 17:35:00

Out of that encounter, I would have said the black woman was the racist individual.


Ignore her.

Personwithhorse Tue 24-Apr-18 17:36:30

Don’t bother this insult is so overused it has become meaningless .....

TheOriginalEmu Tue 24-Apr-18 17:36:34

All my children were spoken to in my first language by me (welsh) and their dads by him (english) from birth. they have always been bilingual from the time they could talk. thats how you teach bi/multilingual children!
OP- shes a fool. cheeky monkey is a very commo phrase people use to small children.

TheFirstMrsDV Tue 24-Apr-18 17:36:41

She was looking for an excuse to come and rant at you.
I expect she has issues around black men being with white women.

I have been with my OH for nearly thirty years. We have five kids.
I have heard it all.
As I have got older and more assertive it happens a LOT less.

jumpiin Tue 24-Apr-18 17:38:07

Yes I did reply I spoke over her a bit tbh as I couldn't believe what she was saying (oops). Basically just said what I've said on here that there was clearly no malice behind it and that I love my child unbelievably and would never see him as an accessory but she stormed out with her DCs before I could have a real say. Thanks for the support everyone x

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