Everybody and their mother sent me a link to this story in the New York Times about the continuing struggles with acceptance and racism experienced by multiracial families. The stares. The hostility. The questions. Yep, it all comes with the territory.
Coincidentally, the other day, babygirl and I were at the local dollar store, buying paper towel for a dollar, when the chatty cashier leaned over to peek at babygirl. Ms. Chatty Cathy was Black, by the way. So, she leans over, looks at babygirl and exclaims, “Oh, isn’t she as white as snow.” It felt more like an accusation than a random comment and I didn’t have a response for her. And I didn’t really have time to respond because the other cashier quickly ran over to exclaim how beautiful babygirl was. But first she asked, “Is she yours?” I simply smiled and said, ‘yes, the little Snow White baby is mine.’
I left that store and reflected on the incident for exactly one minute. And then I didn’t think about it again. I’m so used to the comments, the questions, and the stares after three babies that all came out pale-faced and straight-haired. But I did pause last night to wonder what it would feel like to have a baby that looked something like me. At least one that had enough melanin that our biological connection would not be questioned. I’ve never had that experience.
But unlike the family in the Times, I think because I was born Black and grew up in a very White environment where I stood out like a Cocoa Puff in a box of Kixx, I’m used to being stared at, questioned, and misunderstood. I’m not saying I like it, I’m just used to it. And my guess is, for White Americans who enter into interracial relationships, it must be shocking to have those multiculti moments thrust upon you after walking incognito through the world. Hmmm…
What about you, dear readers? Do you and/or you and your family get stared at, questioned or even attacked for being a family of many colors? Do you care? How do you respond?