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To speak to my 8 year old neice about racist comments??

(25 Posts)
mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 08:55:56

My 14month old dd is mixed race, her dad is half black and half white and I am full white. So dd looks white but has black in her.

My neice keeps refering to RnB music as black peoples music, and has made other 'black' remarks in the past.

Last time she said black peoples music I corrected her and said it is called RnB and black, white and people from other back grounds listen to it not only black people.

So this time I tried to explain very gently that she should not make comments like that as it could upset some people and they could think she is racist. Then explained that dd has some black in her and when she is old enough to understand could also be upset by those type of comments...

My neice got a little upset but I explained it was not her fault as she does not understand butin future to be careful. Then gave her a hug.

So I told my sister about the conversation and we ended up arguiging and she said I was blowing things out of propertion and they were not racist towards dd.

But I know they loved dd but are racist in general and I do not think they should say those type of comments around dd. They are not badly racist, but do not think black people should be with white people (backwards thinking).

I just feel living in London you can not have that type of attitude, and if you do should not air your views, especially in such a strong way when you are in the wrong...

wigparty Wed 10-Sep-08 08:59:09

I'm not sure about referring to it as 'black people's' music, but I think to say 'black music' is okay.

After all, we have the MOBO awards, which is music of black origin. There's also a bbc radio station devoted to black music (or did I dream this?).

All in all, I think it's fine and accepted to talk of black music.

.....I may be wrong though grin

oranges Wed 10-Sep-08 08:59:35

that's tricky. think it may have been better to just say - that's r&b - all sorts of people listen to it and leave it there. It doesn't sound as if your niece was setting out to be hostile, really but I can see why its a sensitive issue for you.

"They are not badly racist, but do not think black people should be with white people (backwards thinking)." - so what do they make of your family???

VinegarTits Wed 10-Sep-08 09:01:29

Difficult to say really, it might have been better for you to have a word with your sister and not your niece and asked her to explain to her dd instead, your niece might not have got so upset and then you might not have argued with your sister

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:04:36

I think the reason i felt i had to explain this to my neice is because a few years ago she told me if i had a baby with dd's dad it would not come out right as he is black and i am white...

And iknow thios is not her fault as is picking up these kind of comments from her parents....

ScummyMummy Wed 10-Sep-08 09:05:25

difficult one. The RnB comment sounds a bit naive rather than necessarily inherently racist per se to me- she could have meant that RnB originated in black communities, perhaps. However, if you detected a pejorative tone and there is a general vibe of racism from her and her family then I think you were right to highlight it. It will do your neice a favour in the long run to have these sorts of conversations.

MmeLindt Wed 10-Sep-08 09:05:36

Hmm, tbh, the Black music is not really the issue, it is the racist environment in which your DN is being brought up that is worse.

Sorry, but I don't believe in the "badly racist". You are either racist or not.

How do your family treat your DD and your psrtner?

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:06:10

oranges - what does who think of my family? my sister and her family?

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:09:09

well on a few occasions my sister has said things about black people that make me feel uncomfortable. I know if dd's dad heard them he would feel she was racist. And I feel when dd is older she may get a complex about being part black, so want to put a stop to this now...

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:12:09

When I say not badly racist, I mean they do not go around saying bad things about black people all the time. But their views are clear that they would not be happy atall if their children had black or mixed race partners.

I have recently split up with dds dad, but they did get on with him. But I have always felt they did not consider him a real part of the family as he is not white...

2beornot2be Wed 10-Sep-08 09:12:09

How doe's your Niece know that its black music someone must of told her that for her to think it???

Wigparty if your talking about bbc 1xtra then its not devoted to just black music it plays a variety of music such as Bashment RnB slow Jams funky house etc and so on

Also RnB is also sang by white folk as well

Mamachat my family are the same they don't believe in black and white mixing and all the rubbish

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:14:22

Mmelindt - that is the thing is is not what she said it is the fact that I know my neice is being brought up with these type of views, and I do not feel that is right...

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:17:31

2beornot2be - I asked my neice and she said daddy told her. Which is why I felt I had to explain...

I just find it difficult listening to all these comments as I know I do not want dd listening to them when older...

And I am not sure of the best way to deal with it...

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:19:05

also when I told my sister that my neice said RnB is black peoples music she said well it is...

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 09:23:09

also I had a discussion with my sister before about when I had to take dd to a&e had to tick the box that said mixed race, as they need to know for medical reasons... She said I would just put white if i were you. as though her back ground is something to be ashamed of...,.

wigparty Wed 10-Sep-08 09:25:47

Thanks for correcting me 2beornot2be!

I know RnB is sung by white people too, I just wanted to make the point that it's not necessarily racist to speak of 'black music'. I do think 'black people's music' does have more negative undertones though.

From what you've said Mamachat, I do think you were right to say something, but it's hard to know if it will do any good if she is continually being drip fed racist thoughts and comments from her parents.

WigWamBam Wed 10-Sep-08 09:29:16

I don't think it's your neice you should be speaking to. It's your sister and her husband. Children repeat what they hear without always understanding what they are saying, and while I understand that you want to put her right, it is her parents who will be the major influence on her. If you are going to address this at all you need to take it back to it's source - her parents.

2beornot2be Wed 10-Sep-08 09:49:26

I agree with you wigparty with calling it black music its just a bit weird that an 8yr old would refer to it as "black peoples music" but as the OP said her Nieces father has told the niece this.

Mamachat I would mark down that your child is mixed race did you not ask your sister why it would be better to mark your DD down as white??

As for the niece you may be fighting a losing battle as your explain it one way and her parents will explain it another way.

mamachat Wed 10-Sep-08 10:38:56

I did not really get into it with my sister about ticking the white box for my dd as we were with other people at the time and felt if I pushed it my sister would sound more and more racist and I would feel embarresed.

I did not mean it to be a long thing with my neice, all I said was it was not black peoples music, then because of the way she reacted it turned into this longer chat where I felt i had to explain why it was not right to say that...

I will never be able to change my sisters views or her familys views but if they could not speak like that around dd or me that would be better.....

MmeLindt Wed 10-Sep-08 11:47:01

You really need to make your sister and her family understand that while you cannot change their views on race (much as it pains you) that you do expect them to keep their views to themselves so as not to affect your DD. This includes watching what they are sayign in front of their DD.

I don't know if your sister will understand this, perhaps you will have to say that it upsets you and it will upset your DD when she is older.

It is likely that your DD will face some racism in her life, she shoudl not be exposed to it from people who she loves and trusts.

ethanchristopher Wed 10-Sep-08 21:42:14

i think if people are allowed to refer to it as black music they should allow my ds's nursery to sing baa baa black ship instead of baa baa blue sheep


mamachat Thu 11-Sep-08 09:13:46

I did have a chat with my sister yesterday and explained that I feel it would upset dd if her and her family make black a bad thing, and she said she has spoke to my neice and asked her not to say things like that around my dd. And also said she would not say anything like that around my dd.

I did give her a few examples where her or her family have sounded racist, and said it also upsets me...

My sister told me her views are black and white people should not mix and she does not want her children to mix with black people. She told me that she makes that clear to her children, and says things like cats and dogs do not mix and either do black and white people.

So I said no wonder why my neice told me a few years back that if I had a baby with dd's dad it would not come out wright. And asked her is she trying to say there is something wrong with my dd? And my sister said no she loves her but she just would not mix with black people and does not want her children to.

So I asked if the rules are the same for spanish or italian people and she said no.

As long as my neices keep their parents ignorant views to themselves around me and dd that will be fine, but I know there will be more problems in the future...

3kids1cat Thu 11-Sep-08 10:09:15

mamachat what a horrible situation for you to face. I hate to say that if your sister as a grown woman carries these ignorant views, you might find it difficult to educate her otherwise. I feel sad for your DN that she is having these views forced upon her.

I have 3 mixed race children, the eldest two are asian/white and my youngest is black/white. I am bringing them up to be proud of their heritage and who they are, and where both their parents have come from.

I am not niave enough to think they will never come across racism, thankfully I know it won't come from within their extended family. I think all you can do is teach your dd to be proud of who she is, and accept that there are some narrow minded racists in society but she can rise above it.

mamachat Thu 11-Sep-08 10:26:43

I completely understand that pepole will more then likly be racist towards dd in life and I will do my best to make her strong enough to deal with that, but I do feel anyone close to her should never upset her in this way...

Also my sister said to me am I going to bring her up to think of herself as black?

I am not going to bring her up to feel as though she is black, white or mixed. Just another human being the same as the rest of us, but she will know her back ground.

I do not feel there is a need to label peple because of their race or colour. I consider myself to be a person not someone who is white british.

wombleprincess Thu 11-Sep-08 11:44:46

oh mamachat i do feel for you what an awkward situation. I think you are right to have said something to your niece and as long as she continues to make comments you should continue to correct her. What she thinks internally or what goes at home you probably cant control, but I have quite a zero tolertance view - the only way you change behaviour and to persuade people to think about what they have said/done. if you turn a blind eye, it will only continue. Its not always easy (and i have got myself into a few pickles in my time..) but I just cant let it pass.

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