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To think this might have been racist ... and to be a bit peeved with my family?

(158 Posts)
HumptyDumpty1947 Mon 11-May-20 18:47:44

My Dad is the oldest of ten children. He was born following a war time affair my Gran had with an (unbeknown to her at the time) married man. A year or so after my Dad was born she married someone else and had another nine children with him. My Dad is the only child who is not white.

The family have been sharing photos on WhatsApp of when they were children - literally hundreds of them/ many family photos some of which were done by a professional photographer (family portraits). There isn't a single one that includes my Dad. Bizarrely no one in my family has mentioned it- despite the hundreds of emails flying around.

I have previously asked my Dad why there aren't any photos of him as a child (the earliest ones are from when he was in his twenties and travelling) he said, matter of fact, that he just wasn't asked to be on them or invited on the family days out. He didn't appear emotional about it at all (just stated it like it was fact) - but I am.

From other stories the family talk about I also feel like Dad was treated differently - had to do more jobs around the house/ leave school early to get a job to help support the family etc (Dad puts this down to being the eldest and in part because the family had less money when he was small) but other things are not financial eg having to call his step dad Mr when the others called him Dad etc. My Dad is very matter of fact about it - just the way it was but I feel for him. To think of him as a child being excluded breaks my heart. When I was born he did try to find his biological father but he didn't want to know.

I know I am emotional at the moment as he is very ill but I also feel a little hurt that no one in the family group has commented (there are literally hundreds of comments). My Mums mum died recently and in her will left me less than my cousins. I know it doesn't really matter and it was kind of her to leave me anything (she didn't have to ) but I suppose I feel like my father and I simply don't belong anywhere. Perhaps because we are mixed race? I think I probably am overthinking things but it does hurt to think of him as a child being treated like that. AIBU?

OP’s posts: |
Herpesfreesince03 Mon 11-May-20 18:50:27

That’s not just a ‘bit racist’ op. That’s fucking horrendous. Ostracised by his own family because of his colour. I wonder why his mum shagged a black man if she was racist? Now that you know about it op, I’d be pulling the entire family up on it. Your poor father 😩

crispysausagerolls Mon 11-May-20 18:50:28

It’s very sad but could be as much to do with him being illegitimate as non-white.

Thank goodness times have changed

Cherrybakewelll Mon 11-May-20 18:50:42

Maybe when he is better. You can ask him and you will know for sure. There’s a good chance it could be what you think.

JustinMyJustin Mon 11-May-20 18:51:20

YANBU at all. That is so sad. The thought of your dad having to call his stepdad ‘Mr’ is just heartbreakingsad

Washyourhandsyoufilthyanimal Mon 11-May-20 18:51:58

It’s The most hurtful from your dads mum. That was her little boy how could she allow someone (her husband) to treat her son like this. I’m sorry that your dad went through this, but if you’re dad is ok with it and you can’t change anything try not to focus on the pain it will only hurt you and not them in the long run.

BubblyBarbara Mon 11-May-20 18:52:17

Times were very different back then. I wouldn’t drag this up and open up old wounds you could damage the family and upset your partner

LouiseTrees Mon 11-May-20 18:53:55

Ask them in a sort of innocent I just noticed kind of way like “wow, great photos. Dad isn’t in any of them though. Are there any with him in?”

ruddynorah Mon 11-May-20 18:54:29

That is absolutely awful. It's either directly because of his ethnicity or because he had a different dad. Either way your aunts and uncles should be ashamed. And when the will was distributed they could have all agreed to split it evenly, if they were decent people, to put right tbe wrongs that have gone before.

Keeva2017 Mon 11-May-20 18:54:55

Do you think your inheritance was smaller due to your ethnicity op? I’m sorry for you and your dad. Some people are overt twats and others go quietly along superficially seemingly ok, but underneath, are just as twatty.

You both deserve better.

Herpesfreesince03 Mon 11-May-20 18:55:16

I hate it when people excuse it as ‘being a sign of the times’ when people act horrendously. Nothing would make me treat one of my children like that. She chose to have sex with a black man, chose to go through the pregnancy and keep and raise a mixed race baby. What difference does it make to the time to treat that baby nicely or horribly?

Keeva2017 Mon 11-May-20 18:58:52

Yes @Bubblybarbara don’t want to upset the racists by pointing out they continue to alienate their sibling based on the colour of his skin. Please do wonder off.

Cherrybakewelll Mon 11-May-20 18:59:24

@Herpesfreesince03 your totally right to some extent. Not everyone was like that in those times. Although in those times people didn’t know any better.

OoohTheStatsDontLie Mon 11-May-20 19:00:49

On the face of it it does sound racist. But as well as being mixed race, your dad was the only child that was the step-child to his mum's husband, and unfortunately it's not uncommon for step parents to treat their step children differently to their biological children even when they live together and the biological dad wasnt in the picture. So it might have been that. Or a bit of both. Either way it was completely unfair and heartbreakingly sad for your dad

Boogiewoogietoo Mon 11-May-20 19:02:58

It sounds very sad but could equally be the stigma of illegitimacy. Is there a big age gap between siblings?

OoohTheStatsDontLie Mon 11-May-20 19:03:43

You do still get step parents on here asking if they can do something like a photo shoot with just their biological children and exclude step children

Also if children see their parents treating a sibling differently then it's very likely that they would do so too - they were all full siblings and he was a half sibling and unfortunately their parents highlighted this difference to them in how they treated the siblings. You'd think they could have seen the error of their ways now they're older though

francienolan Mon 11-May-20 19:03:54

Yanbu. I'm so sorry to read your post, it makes my heart hurt to think about his childhood. How horrible of them.

Sunnytimesahead Mon 11-May-20 19:12:43

YANBU
I am very sorry to hear this OP and that your Dad is unwell.
I don’t think it helps to dwell on the fact the family treat him differently though. They are in the wrong and it is their problem, they are missing out by excluding him.
Try and concentrate on being supportive to your Dad and make sure you have the support you need too.

Clavinova Mon 11-May-20 19:17:55

don’t want to upset the racists by pointing out they continue to alienate their sibling based on the colour of his skin.

Except that he is included in the family WhatsApp which doesn't suggest alienation?

user1471565182 Mon 11-May-20 19:20:02

Had a similar story in my family. Great grandma was attacked when she was 16, raped and had her throat and face slashed but survived, ended up having a child by the attacker (who was a traveller). She married an irishman a few years later but her daughter was treated the same as your dad, total exclusion compared to the subsequent children- but they were grateful for having been 'taken on' in the circumstances and just wanted to keep their head down over it.

I suppose its hard for us to understand how hard or impossible it was for them to talk openly about this stuff back then, look at the minimising crap on here even now when racism is mentioned as a possible clue to bad treatment.

june2007 Mon 11-May-20 19:21:24

I wouldn,t neceseerily say racist, he may been because he wasn,t his step dads and that's why treated different, or maybe race came into it. Either way it sounds pretty cruel.

amy85 Mon 11-May-20 19:23:48

Nobody on here can say if it was because of his race or because he was illegitimate...

GeriGeranium Mon 11-May-20 19:24:14

With your dad’s family I think it’s hard to tell whether it was race or that he was not the step dad’s child or that he was illegitimate. Times were very different then. You could just ask if there are any photos with him in and see what comes out.

With your mum’s mum though, I’d be very hurt to be left less than my cousins. Is there any obvious reason other than race? Like did she spend more time with them? Are you noticeably richer than them, or likely to have a better career or anything? Or is there somebody you can ask? Otherwise I guess the suspicion that she was racist is going to prey on your mind sad

RedHelenB Mon 11-May-20 19:26:58

If he doesn't feel hard done by then he doesn't. I wouldn't push him into feelings he doesn't have,

Yellowsubmarinedreams Mon 11-May-20 19:28:50

I would point it out on the group that the 'whole family isn't there, loud and proud but then I'm quite outspoken. Absolutely abhorrent.

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