Possibly the saddest thing you will read today

This:

The woman, looking very angry at this point, said "No... there was an African American boy there, and she looked scared!"

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Looking for a problem?

By on

I don't know. The other woman was trying to be a good samaritan and help a little girl being teased.

Why is it racist for the other woman to not instantaneously figure out that the little black boy is the white lady's son?.

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If you don't get it ...

Nobody is going to be able to help you. Think about it a while and maybe the answer will penetrate your blithe haze of privilege.

Here is a hint: ALL her brothers were teasing her ... but the woman singled out the african american one and claimed that he was scaring her (when the woman herself - a stranger - grabbed her and hauled her away and scared her).

Think about it, and your own good fortune, for a while.

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Sooo

By on

this situation is nothing like that well-known puzzle that where the surgeon says "I can't operate on that boy. He's my son." ?

i think it is. I really don't know that many families that have eleventy-five children of various colours. Can't the woman just have been saying "from my pov they might not be sibs" ?

c'mon

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No, you're still missing the point

By on

If you saw a kid being teased by what you perceived to be two of her siblings and one non-sibling, would you assume that the two siblings were teasing her in fun, but the non-sibling was harassing her? Of course not. This kid wasn't singled out just because the onlooker thought he wasn't a relative.

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well you're missing the point too

By on

the point was that there was no evidence in the woman's mind that any of them were sibs. she was working on a presumption that sibs are the same color, and that sibs don't toss out those particular taunts (They didn't sound like sib taunts to me, frankly, and the bit about telling the girl to kiss someone was a bit creepy/concerning from a "these are the paranoid 2000s" perspective.

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well thanks

By on

for insulting me just because I don't see things through your all knowing PC, judgemental eyes.

Ultra-sensitive mom (white) said that it was her boys. Helpful lady says, "no, one of the kids is a different race". i.e. maybe you thought your boys and daughter were together buy maybe there are some other people there.

It's condescending people like you (ready to jump over someone b/c they don't tow your progressive, "white people are holding down whatever group is oppresed that day") that cause a would be good samaritan to reconsider.

Hell, I'd be afraid to tell you that your shoelaces were untied because you'd sneer and inform me that my priviledged suburban upbringing didn't realize that untied shoes are a cultural movement of the opressed JP social police. (maybe even report me to the hope n' change police)

BTW, I"m part of a inter-racial family. It's not common enough that people's first thought would be that they're related.

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so your assumption is that

By on

so your assumption is that this anonymous poster is a white person with white privilege and good fortune? i guess we're all guilty of not considereing every single facet of a situation once in a while, huh?

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Swirlygrrl I think your on

Swirlygrrl I think your on mama bear defensive mode... Think about it for a second, it sounds like the kid was adopted. Besides skin color he looks nothing like this little girl, at all. So when she dragged the girl back to her mother and the mother says "oh its just her brothers being boys ha ha ha" it did not click in this other womans head that "oh , yeah guess the kid is adopted haha silly me." It sounds like the fact the kid was African American was brought up because the woman seriously thought the mother was mistaken.

We live in a world where most people would walk right past a group of older boys taunting a young girl and not say anything. First things first maybe the kids should not be running around the building if it was that easy for the woman to haul the young girl away from her older brothers. Im not saying they should have assaulted the lady, but dont ya think they should have been on her tail and been telling at her "leave our sister alone, stranger stranger stranger!!!" Mom needs to mention that in her blog, thats a very big deal. If those werent her brothers and the lady just waltzed on by and they hurt the little girl everyone would be asking why nobody did anything to stop the attack, why didnt anyone notice that those werent her brothers because they do not look similar.

If you want to see racism everywhere you look thats fine, but honestly it gets annoying after a while. If we cant use race as a reference point for describing someone maybe we should stop using it when the police are searching for someone, we should also avoid height and weight as not to insult the short and fat, and its best we dont mention gender because ya know there may be a transexual in the room.

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Oh ... adopted ..

That makes it all okay that she singled out and othered the kid ... he probably didn't know he was different and scary?

Oh, gee, the adopted and different thing just makes it all okay that the woman simply "misunderstood" that the other three boys were not teasing the girl and that the scary black boy was the obvious problem ... oh, right.

If you want to see racism everywhere you look thats fine, but honestly it gets annoying after a while.

Not like being on the receiving end of racism could be anywhere near as annoying, but, hey, if you want to keep denying racism everywhere, then I guess you simply must be right about it because you are the white man, Shady. White Men have the ultimate say about what is and is not racist, after all. Don't bother them poor white people with bad statements of reality - now that we have a black president, racism simply doesn't exist anymore.

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so only whites can be racist?

By on

Swirrly, get your head out of your rear end and actually read the original blog.

The Samaritan lady in the origial post never said the boy was "scary". The mom said that her daughter was playing with her boys and the "racist" lady pointed out that one of the kids was black (i.e. maybe one of her kids).

Just because I'm white doesn't mean that I haven't felt racism. My brother in-law is black and when I"m out w/ him I hear things that would turn me pale (if I wasn't already). Besides, the argument that someone can't really understand since they haven't been victim of racism is the lamest trump card.

Hell my sister gets it worse. The racist shit I've heard from the sista's when they see a black man with his white wife is beyond the pale.

Quit thinking every non-minority is out to opress you. You'll have a happier life.

Always assuming the worst (and reading between lines that aren't there) will turn you into a paranoid, bitter, kook. It's the equivalent of the black-helicopter, conspiracy theorists.

Hell even AG Holder said people are afraid to discuss race. You are a prime example why.

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Calm down a little, someone

Calm down a little, someone needs some medication.

I never said, she never said, noone ever said the black kid was "scary". Yes he was singled out before the other boys, but because the woman trying, the woman was trying to help geeze, to figure out if this was a threatning situation or not and the boy did not appear to be her brother. I brought up adoption because if the father were black and she was the biological mother then there would have been some family features to decipher from between the children. By looking at the kids she could tell that the boy was not the biological sibling of the girl. Did it ever occur to her, or to you, or to the other hyper sensitive PC mom brigaide to tell the rest of us what your problem is rather then just assuming were all on the same page with you? The unsupervised boys (some of them were white, they must be evil!!!) were taunting the unsupervised young girl and a passerby was concerned for the girls safety. I think our going after the wrong person here.

Just because Im a white man I cant express an opinion? What sort of racist sexist bile is that??? Ohe he's white, he doesnt matter! Oh hes a man he doesnt matter!

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Why are some people so quick to deny that racism exists?

By on

No one is saying that the parent who stopped to help is a racist. I'm guessing the helpful parent probably isn't a racist.

People are saying that systematic racISM was likely to have been at play there. The original blogger is a parent who had six white children (don't know from the blog if they're bio kids or adopted), then adopted a boy from Haiti as the seventh. I think this parent is in a pretty good position to speak about things that happen with the child of color that never happen with the white children. This parent is probably a great one to give us perspective on systematic racism, which is exactly that -- things that happen to people of minority races that don't happen to the rest of us. Quite different from saying that someone "is a racist" or that someone said something because they intended harm.

The helpful parent saw three boys engaging in the same behavior -- teasing of a little girl. The parent then concluded that ONE of the boys -- the Black one -- was scaring the little girl. That's systematic racism at play. The parent mostly likely assumed that none of them were related to the little; that part doesn't matter. The parent of these children knows the children, and can be fairly sure that all of them were teasing the little one equally. Yet the other parent assumed that the Black child was "scaring her," without having any reaction to the same exact behavior coming from white children.

This parent also talks in other blog posts about similar things the family has experienced that they never experienced in decades of raising their other children. And not just stuff having to do with the family not "matching."

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That's not how some of us read it

By on

eeka - I (and I think others) didn't read it that way. I assumed that the helpful parent was making a statement that the three boys weren't her brothers because two were white and one black under the assumption (reasonable, though incorrect) that if it were a little white girl's brothers, they would all be white and that all three must have been unrelated to the little girl. I interpret her comment about the little girl being afraid that she was afreid of all three boys. Again, the point about the singling out the black boy was simply to say these three couldn't have been her brothers because one was black.

All very confusing - but I think this was really all just a misunderstanding.

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Maybe I'm old school

By on

but, to me, admitting that race exist does not equal racism.

What ever happend to all that "celebrate diversity" and the united colors of benneton bullshit.

I guess that only exists when the previously oppressed have their ass kissed and not when they are treated like everyone else.

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I read some of the blogs but

I read some of the blogs but not the whole blog roll. Im sure there is racism out there, and Im sure she has seen it. Im saying it doesnt sound like she encountered racism in any form in the altercation. Based off of her own blog I dont see the racism, I see an overreaction, and an over reaction by some other commentors here.

So racism does exist, just not in this case. I just think the whole thing gets watered down when people get hyper and emotional over someone not realizing a child that doesnt look anything like them is their child, especially with no explanations. People should stop crying wolf or risk noone coming to their aide when their actually is a real case of racism that needs to be addressed.

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that's exactly what was implied

By on

"No one is saying that the parent who stopped to help is a racist. I'm guessing the helpful parent probably isn't a racist."

The original blogger and Swirrly both are outraged (OUTRAGED) that some well meaning lady thought a black boy wasn't the son of a white mother. Hell, the original blogger wanted to go and confront the lady.

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Getting Involved

By on

I read this and the thing that occured to me was this person took it upon themselves to intervene in this situation and was taken to task. Race issue aside, this person decided to do something instead of walking past. "No good deed goes unpunished." Sad indeed.

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Perceived Racism

By on

I wasn't there and even if I were, sounds like there could have been a misunderstanding. The woman should not be chastised for thinking that a young black child was not the little girl's brother and she had no way of knowing who the other two were either. When I lived in Japan and Singapore there were many instances where I immediately thought someone was doing something because I was the "gaijin" or the "Gui Lo" - but after thinking about it, I realized it was probably because I did something to provoke the situation or I was just overreacting to an otherwise normal situation. I think the mother may possibly have read more into the woman's good intentions and statements than intended.

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A lighter note

By on

On a lighter note - have to share one of my favorite comments from a Japanese American when we lived/worked in Japan - she said when one of us white kids screwed up, the Japanese would think - stupid gaijin. When she tripped on her own shoelace etc. people never thought twice about it - she thought it was great living in Japan as an "undercover gaijin". Always found that funny - but maybe you had to have spent some time in Japan.

For all our faults in America, we are far more tolerant than almost any other country in the world. We have a ways to go - but whether you voted for them or not our governor and our president are a proud sign that we've come a long way in a virtual blink of any eye. Let's keep going in that direction.

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off topic

By on

I need to get a login. My anon's are mixing w/ everyone elses.

ShadyMilkMan thinks I insuted him when I thought I was agreeing with him. Hell, I may even be arguing with my self by now!

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As the parent of a

By on

As the parent of a transracially adopted child, I would like to validate eeka's comment that the situation the blogger described was undoubtedly a showcase of institutionalized racism. It is not an over-reaction in any way at all. And it is not evidence that the good samaritan is a racist, though she may be.

And instances like this start when children are only babies. So says this mama who is constantly mistaken for the nanny. Trust me when I say that nothing sticks in my craw more than people who cry "over-reaction!" Unpack your invisible knapsack, right?

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Benefit of the doubt

By on

The biggest problem I think some people have here is that the woman was trying to explain what she saw to this blogging mom. But the mom basically gave the first woman no benefit of doubt because she goes around always ready to get indignant about racism.

It is perfectly understandable to look at the situation and see how the kid's race was a factor in why the first woman didn't think the kids were related. That's not racism, it's a perfectly reasonable educated guess. In 2000, only 13% of white parents adopted a child of a different race and only 8% of all kids were adopted. It's political correctness run amok to think that you can't make educated guesses for fear of making the one mistake in a thousand regarding something like whether a white girl and black boy are related or not.

What if the boys *were* a group of other people's kids as the woman would have then correctly assumed? If she simply accepted the mother's first claim -- that they were siblings without knowing which boys the woman had seen -- (and in this scenario they aren't), and let them go back to harassing the girl, what then?

How else did this mom exactly expect the woman to describe why she had initially suspected that they were not related (nevermind that for her to get involved she felt that the taunting was bad behavior, siblings or not)? Did she want her to say "are you sure they are her brothers? one of them was 4 feet tall, maybe about 11 years old, average build, maybe 90 lbs, wearing blue sneakers..."?

Just as the kid needs to understand that people might make mistakes like this because of their different races, the mom needs to understand that when people make honest mistakes like this they are simply not colorblind (something most experts claim transracial adoptive parents shouldn't be either so as to help their kid keep a part of his original cultural identity). Hell, we haven't even gone into how she admits to letting her kids run around a building getting into trouble and upsetting other people...

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well said

By on

well said

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Oversensitive mom here - I

By on

Oversensitive mom here - I stumbled on this, and saw my blog linked.

It's hard to convey an entire situation on a blog post. And I don't write my blog as a political commentary, but more as an online journal for family and friends to keep up with us.

People making the honest mistake of not knowing my son is my son happens almost daily. It doesn't bother me even slightly. If you read my post, you'll notice I wrote how rare instances like this one are. I did not 'jump all over this woman' when she first came up. I actually thanked her for her concern, and wanted to get more information on what exactly happened, which is why I asked my daughter to go get her brothers.

But when the woman said "One was African American, and she was scared!" it was all about her tone of voice, and expression. It was obvious to me that it was my black son she was concerned about. She was not clarifying that the kids couldn't be related, she was clarifying that one was black, and obviously a trouble maker.

Asking my kids about it afterwards, the 2 older brothers (10 and 8) were telling their 7yo sister that she could only have a piece of their candy if she kissed her 6yo brother. In my eyes... a very normal sibling teasing moment. She wasn't being threatened with any harm.

Even after explaining they were siblings, the woman was not happy at all, and continued to stare at my black son.

I am the last one to jump to conclusions, in fact similar situations have happened where I didn't think twice, and someone else questioned it later. This wasn't about mistaking the relationship, it was about skin color.

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Alright

By on

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Maybe, as you say, the woman was overly concerned with your son's race and maybe it's a bit of actor-observer bias on your part (for example, maybe she was staring because what she heard your son say really offended her, which had nothing to do with his race) or, more likely, it may be some combination of the two. How much of either part of it won't be for anyone reading to be able to determine.

For me, I probably would have let it roll off my back either way given the situation as you are describing it. While I think teaching your kid that racism exists and that your transracial adoption will frequently make you an example of it and that sometimes people will act due to differences in race, rather than behavior, personality, or otherwise is probably important in some contexts, I just didn't get the feeling from what you wrote that this really needed to be one of those times. I would worry that if I were in the same situation, then by making every single time race comes up to be a life lesson, I'd be raising a kid to always be on the defensive, essentially with a chip on his shoulder about his race. Instead of steeling him for a life of racism, I'd want him to better say "that person really doesn't get it and I'm better off making sure my life is full of those who do" and just move past the cases where there wasn't a significant consequence to the other person's stupidity (or possible honest mistake).

But, hey, that's just my opinion. Good luck to you and him and the rest of the family when dealing with the idiots out there.

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I'm an african american

By on

I'm an african american woman. I don't see racism here I see some boys telling a little girl to KISS THEM for candy. I would be concerned about that too. I wouldn't say oh those are her brothers, and does this mother think it's ok for her sons to be propositioning their sister for kisses. It sounds a little strange to me.

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Thank you jmarie

By on

I found that particular issue concerning as well. I think the woman did the right thing, and maybe she didn't do it the right way, but I'm willing to give a little bit of benefit of the doubt...

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let's try to get the story right

Let's remember how the incident was described:

So I was standing with another parent, watching a match when a woman walked up to me holding Emma's hand. She told me that Emma was alone on the first floor of the building and a group of boys were harassing her. I laughed a little and told her that they were probably her brothers. The woman was still upset, and told me they were 'threatening' Emma and telling her they would give her candy if she kissed someone. I asked Emma who, and she said Pipo, Charlie and Tommy. I told Emma to go get them, and again told the woman they were just her brothers, and I was sure they were just teasing her. The woman, looking very angry at this point, said "No... there was an African American boy there, and she looked scared!"

In short, even after the Mom clarified and confirmed for the woman that the boys were just Emma's brothers, the woman's insistent concern apparently was framed by the fact "there was an African American boy there." Assuming that quote is substantially correct, it's obvious that the boy's race was the distinguishing factor that led her to take Emma by hand back to her Mom.

Even "Good Samaritans" can be motivated by their own biases. I'll leave it to someone else to decide whether to pin the label "racist" on her, but I will suggest that she appears to have a worldview that regards blacks a certain way. I'll also give some deference to the Mom's instincts -- words alone don't explain situations like this one -- perceptions are based on looks, voice inflection, and other subtle cues. Sometimes you have to be there to get those nuances.

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she said "probably"

By on

not "definitely"

that's not a confirmation. that could be interpreted as a negligent monther's "maybe, or whatever the hell, don't bug me"

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She said probably at first,

By on

She said probably at first, but then the daughter confirmed to her Mom that they were her brothers.

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thank you

By on

yes, thank you, david for clarifying what some folks seemed to miss. the little girl told her mother the names of all 3 of the boys and the mom confirmed they were her brothers. end of story. only then did the lady throw out his race. that, my friends, is why all us "sensitive" types took issue and why folks are saying you clearly don't get it if you didn't figure out what was wrong. once she confirmed who they were, there was no need for the women to continue.

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EXACTLY

By on

None of this has to do with the helpful parent realizing or not realizing that the little Black boy is Emma's brother. After the mom and daughter used the names of the boys and made it quite clear that they obviously know all the boys and trust them, the helpful parent insists that, no, they can's possibly be thinking of the same child she saw, because she witnessed a Black child teasing Emma, which she perceived as harassment, despite Emma and Mom being fine with it. Doesn't make a difference if he were a neighbor instead of her brother -- Emma and her Mom made it clear that they know his name and aren't offended by him, but helpful parent kept at it.

(And really, the people who think it's highly inappropriate that they're taunting her into kissing her brother must not know many kids. It's HER OWN BROTHER. I didn't read anything sexualized into it [and I'm quite well-versed in assessment and treatment of sexualized behavior in children, thanks], but rather just assumed it was normal age-appropriate goofiness coming out of her having "eew"ed after kissing her brother goodnight the night before or something.)

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what stands out most for me

By on

...is a young adopted boy's learning that his mom is solidly there for him. Whatever the motivations and particulars of this incident, I have no doubt that the young Africa-American son has experienced hostile looks, words and other behavior toward him because of his race. Knowing that his mom is protective and will unhesitatingly stand up for him is a signal of her unconditional love, something that will help his self-esteem and sense of security in a rough world. I am buoyed by this story, not saddened.

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Thats true, even if she

Thats true, even if she seemed to come off as way too overprotective and possibly overreacted to the situation , at least she walked away from it showing her son that he is one of them and she will protect him and be there.

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