5.23.2013

The Last Resort

So I posted this story on Facebook, but now that Renee of Womanist Musings - a Black mother of mixed kids - wrote her own take on it, I felt we ought to chat about this a bit more.

As some of you know, Joseph, a white father, recently took his three mixed daughters to Wal-Mart and when he came home, the police were waiting to verify the kids were actually his.  Seriously.  Apparently "someone" at Wal-Mart had tipped them off.  They were checking the parents' IDs and quizzing the kids and everything.

So Renee had this to say:
I know that some will see the feel-good angle of a concerned citizen acting to protect children of colour and not recognize the racism in this case. As disturbing as this incident is, I can tell you as a member of a bi-racial family it's not unique or isolated to Walmart. While we have never been approached by police to prove that we have not kidnapped our own children, we certainly have seen the stares and looks of confusion when we are out as a family.

When my children were born, they were both a lot lighter skinned than they are today and I was asked if I was their nanny. Though they both look a lot like me, family resemblance was thrown out the window because they were supposedly to light to be mine. Now that they are older and have developed a darker skin tone, it's the unhusband who gets the looks and questions when he is out with our sons.

Socially it is understood that White men don't belong with women of colour and therefore offspring from a union with a woman of colour is inconceivable. I would be ready to bet quite a bit of money that had Joseph been a Black man and his wife White, he would not have faced such an issue simply because it makes sense to people that Black men would want a White woman. Women of colour are the last resort, we are the women set aside for the one night stand - for sexual exploration and most certainly not the ones you marry let alone reproduce with. A White man is not supposed to settle for a woman of colour when he could have a White woman. Bi-racial kids are the children that their White fathers are supposed disavow as a mistake of youth, certainly not love and raise.

In this case, the children clearly looked like their father with darker skin. Had the complainant bothered to look beyond skin colour, this would have been evident from the get go. Also, families interact in a specific way and when out with their father, children don't tend to be afraid, or act strange unless their father is abusive. Joseph probably looked like any other father out with his daughters with the only difference being that they are bi-racial and he is White.

The irony of this entire situation is that we live in a world that is supposedly post racial, with White people claiming on a daily basis that they don't see race. Well, someone clearly saw it in this case. Joseph didn't fit with his daughters because of their race. The only good that came out of this situation is that their daughters are too young to understand what clearly happened but this will not be the last time that they will be subjected to similar treatment when they are out with their father. I am glad that this family is being proactive but the truth of that matter is that until White supremacy ends and women of colour are valued, such situations are going to continue to occur
.
Leave it to Renee to say something which has been on my mind forever but couldn't possibly state in this manner.

15 comments:

  1. People have a lot of incorrect assumptions about what a "biracial" person looks like vs. what a "black" person looks like, and people are really lazy when it comes to looking at black people as people and actually looking at their faces and features.

    I have medium brown skinned friends who have an extremely ligh-skinned daughter who has blond hair and gray eyes. Now, she totally looks like them, and has "black" hair, but people feel the need to gawk and feel they have the right to ask how it is possible they they have a nearly pink baby.

    ReplyDelete
  2. K

    Forgive me, but I do not approve of interracial unions. They are uneasy, messy and there's too much baggage on both sides. Even though black men drive me nuts at times, I love them and would never reproduce with any other man.

    Now then...

    Whites are burdened with their own colourblindness, which I feel is feigned, to see all brown people as the "other" while they are the default. This burden causes severe mental illness because they fail to recognize us as the one thing we've been striving for for 500 years:

    To just be seen and treated as human.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have experienced this a few times going out with my boyfriend. I see how Renee feels.

    ReplyDelete
  4. With all of these people that lives in the states and in this case, Virginia, I find it very hard that people are clueless to people like them....interracial couples. I don't care if you have come from a homogeneous environment.. somewhere...somehow..you're going to see a mixed couple and/or their kids. Clink on TV and voila...

    Definitely will agree with Renee. It doesn't matter how much history tells us about race mixing, people just have selective amnesia when it comes to Black and interracial unions..especially when it comes to WM/BW.It's pitiful.It seems as if Black people are the only race of people who people think can't have ethnic or White looking kids. How come the three Black girls can't have a biological White father? What do Black kids supposed to look like?

    I come across mixed kids and the parents just about everyday of life.Some look Black, White or in between. When it comes to Black folk, we can look like any race. I was comparing Tiger Woods and Kimora Lee Simmons. Both of them are Blasian. Tiger looks Black while Kimora looks Asian, but they have biological Black and Asian parents.Though people get big eyed about our diverse physical traits, if you're from a diverse country they need to stop playing stupid and come to terms of multiracialism in them and don't pretend that they're " pure" because nine times 10,there are more mixed blood people than they want to acknowledge.

    Them girls maybe not have taken color from their dad, but they are also a shade lighter then their mom. Its not the color that makes you look like someone, but their physical traits that may make you look like them. I think that the girls look like him,their mom and the both of them. Isn't that is how genetics supposed to work?

    I can't blame the parents for not wanting to go back to Wall Mart. I'll be pissed if someone did us like that whether IR or not.It was humiliating and racist for sure . I don't know if the parents taught their daughters about racism, but in case they haven't, here was their unfortunate lesson.

    ReplyDelete
  5. awwwwww man!
    I won't bore you with my personal family dynamics, but lets just say the majority of the time spent out and about with my biracial (black/latino) son it was just me and him. The looks we would get! And its funny because again, like many have already stated, if people would just LOOK - he looks exactly like me with just paler skin and hair like Noah Gray-Cabey (Micah Sanders from tv show Heroes).

    (White) people would straight up say things like: "Oh he's so beautiful! Is he your son?" Normal people would have said: "Your son is so beautiful!" I was always the nanny or babysitter or something. Never just considered or assumed to be the parent.

    I was terrified when driving at night with my son asleep in the back seat - earlier years, when he was still pretty pale - as with the others who posted, he didn't get browner until he was older - I get pulled over in a semi-remote area - DWB - and I was terrified. I was afraid I might lose my son! Or be questioned, because some random Black lady driving around with some random kid under a blanket in the back seat of her car late at night....

    I lucked out, I guess. The first thing I said to the cop, was please speak softly, my son is asleep in the back, and I don't want to wake him. After shining his flashlight briefly at him, he mumbled some bullshit reason for pulling me over in the first place, checked my license and let me continue on my way.

    "Leave it to Renee to say something which has been on my mind forever but couldn't possibly state in this manner."
    Amen!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here's what gets me.

    The Wal-Mart worker specifically called the cops because in her mind, the kids and father "didn't fit." They just "didn't match up".

    The cop gets there, sees the white dude with his black wife and their brown children, and just doesn't know when to say die.

    So what's gonna happen now? We're gonna encourage people to call the cops - and waste taxpayer money - every time they see a kid who's not identical to their parents? Dafuq?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Funny, don't recall anyone ever calling the cops on a white person with an Asian baby.
      And it's funny in a bad way b/c you know that normally no one cares what happens to little black girls or women.

      Delete
    2. Funny, don't recall anyone ever calling the cops on a white person with an Asian baby.

      For real.

      Delete
  7. "And it's funny in a bad way b/c you know that normally no one cares what happens to little black girls or women."

    Exactly. And what I've noticed with this story is that some people reacting are suddenly pretending to care, to (barely) mask their satisfaction that a black woman's family is being harassed, I'm sure because she "married out". I have to roll my eyes at the "concern" for these little girls when the REALITY is that they were scared and confused by the interference, because absolutely nothing was wrong with them. So yeah, they will waste tax payer money just to comfort themselves with the idea that *those* families are not normal and deserve harassment. That caller and their supporters don't give a shit about child abuse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may not explain this right, but I get the feeling that not only was it obvious he was the children's biological father, but in a way, the Wal-Mart worker was trying to punish the man, in a matter of speaking.

      One of the reasons I put up the Abagond challenge is that I believe white people feel the need to punish men who find Black women attractive. Whether it's by trolling blogs or calling law enforcement or agencies CPS - I was actually once assigned a case where a BW/WM couple was called on for no damn reason - there's this need to retaliate whenever a man clearly prefers to be a with a Black woman.

      That Wal-Mart worker knew those kids weren't kidnapped and probably couldn't care less if they were (just my theory). She saw a white man who had bred not one but three brown babies and was owning up to it and happy to take his kids out with him while running an errand.

      Shit like that can and will set some white folks off.

      Delete
    2. Hahaha, after reading the Abagond challenge I was about to come back and say that SAME thing you just did...
      You are NOT supposed to pick a black woman when there are so many perfectly good white ladies to choose from. Not if you are white, and now that they are wiling to let some black men have white women, they should do it to.
      You know a LOT of people don't get why Barack Obama chose Michelle when he grew up around and had access to so many white women. I saw that they released his prom pictures and I'm like, oh, you know a lot of people don't understand why a black men who was in good with white folks didn't pick that blond chick or one like her.

      Delete
    3. You know a LOT of people don't get why Barack Obama chose Michelle when he grew up around and had access to so many white women.

      He would have never become president were that the case. Trust, Michelle had EVERYTHING to do with that.

      Delete
    4. Oh, I know. It's that whole forbidden fruit thing. I had a fitness class teacher (in the South), total Southern belle type who loved to talk about dreaming of Obama. But he'd have done horribly with white male voters and black female voters and a lot of people in between if he'd been swinging a white lady on his arm.
      Michelle is flawless, he couldn't have done any better, but I agree that he needed her to get where he is.
      If you want to have a white woman on your arm you need to be in the GOP, and even then they will only let you go so far (JC Watts anyone?)

      Delete
  8. Ank, you explained it EXACTLY right.

    That is exactly what this situation was about and nothing more.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i imagine they must be part of the crowd losing every inch of their shit over the new Cheerios commercial.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is strictly moderated. Everyone is now able to comment again, however, all Anonymous posts will be immediately deleted. Comments on posts more than 30 days old are generally dismissed, so try to stay current with the conversations.