What Not To Say When You See Interracial Babies
It’s 2017, and I’m baffled by the comments I hear from people about a subject that should be completely normal by now.
According to Wikipedia, Interracial marriage was formally declared legal in the United States in 1967 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Loving v. Virginia that race-based restrictions on the set of individuals whom an individual is eligible to marry violate the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
And yet, here I am scrolling through my Facebook feed and witness the stories of my childhood friend’s frustration with the fact that she is white and her husband is Chinese, and people cannot understand who she is in the equation! Is she the nanny? The step-mother? The fact that she is the mother of these Asian looking babies seems too crazy thought to believe!
Here are a few examples of lack of etiquette:
My friend Amy (not her real name) is white and a religious Jew. Her husband Frank (not his real name) is Chinese and a convert to Judaism. They have two kids ages 4 and 2, Joey and James (Also not their real names). Adorable little boys. She posts the stupidities she hears every day on Facebook.
- “Oh my gosh, Joey looks exactly like a mix of you and your husband!” Of course, he does, that’s what happens when you mix DNA.
- That awkward moment when a stranger stops you and says, “I don’t mean to be funny, but his eyes look sort of Oriental…” We have a keen observer in our midst.
- That awkward moment when I’m out with James and a random woman exclaims, “Wow, that’s a really new baby! I'm not nosy, but when did you get him?” All Asian babies MUST have been adopted.
- “You look different than the rest of your family. The boys look like their father, but you don’t. You look different. When you have a girl will she look like you?” Genetics according to a five-year-old.
- Laughing at the woman in the park who thought it was appropriate to come over and tell me she thought my kids look a bit Asian— while pulling on her eyelids.
- To the woman who asked if my children are mine- yea, I’m pretty sure they are.
- “Excuse me, is this YOUR kid?”
“Weird, he looks kinda Chinese.”
“My husband is Chinese.”
(She looks me up and down.)
Really? YOUR husband?”
Because obviously, Amy’s favorite past time is to run errands with two children that are not hers and telling strangers about her pretend Chinese husband.
“Girl or boy?”
“When is he going to get a haircu- OHMIGOSH HE LOOKS ASIAN!”
“My husband is Chinese.”
“No way, I would have thought you were the babysitter.”
“Yeah, I get that a lot. Trust me— they’re mine.”
“Does he have a Chinese name? Do you eat rice at home? I’m sure he’s good at math.”
How many stereotypes do you think she could fit in before being interrupted?
Overheard at a wedding last night while holding James: “Oh look, what an adorable baby! Maybe it’s just my imagination or the lighting, but he almost looks Chinese!”
“Both of your children look EXACTLY like Frank! Wow, are you okay with that?!”
At least Amy knows who to give a Father’s Day Card to!
Amy is in the elevator holding James when a man enters. He stares at James’ face for a good 30 seconds. He looks at me and says, “Huh? He looks Korean. Must not have been a Jewish guy.”
Etiquette Tip of the Day: If people don’t look like you, you still need to treat them with respect. We’re all Human Beings. The only appropriate comment when you see any baby would be “What a cute baby!” End of story.