Two things

Remember this parent from the ever-popular Why I hate (white) adoptive parents series?  The demanding tone spoken to inferiors?  Well, I think she has an Asian partner.  Imagine that.  Just goes to show you that the black friend or the Asian kid or the Asian partner isn’t any kind of special inoculation against racism.

I went to the old folks’ home again this week.  This time my particular old folk was in with a caregiver who had been described to me as “just the sweetest person, and so nice.”  I didn’t want to get in the way, so I just said hello, kissed/got kissed and made friendly noises at the caregiver.

Who gave me the stinkeye.

So I asked how long my old folk would be, and was told it would be ten or fifteen minutes.  So I said okay, I’ll come back to pick her up in a few.  The response: “We don’t need you to do that.  We have a volunteer to take her back.”  In a snotty tone of voice.  “And it will be a while.”

So using my Sticky Sweet Response to Racism , I said, “Oh, I don’t mind waiting.  And I would love to be able to do it!”  Gave a big gummy grin and went outside.  Sat in a chair right outside the door.  Where I could hear her talking to my old folk.  Asking questions about me.*  And it was a voice full of stinkeye.

Not two minutes later, I could hear Mrs. Stinkeye saying something about how I had SAID I was going to be back but LOOK I wasn’t even THERE and who KNOWS where I had gone and if I was going to RETURN.

So I stuck my large head of color into the doorway and gave another big gummy grin and said, “Hi!  Here I am!”  By the way, I have a lot of teeth.  And they are really white and shiny.  Quite impressive, if I must say so myself.

Then I added even more Sticky Sweet Goodness to combat the evil curse of racism.  “You must be Mrs. Stinkeye!  I’ve heard so many nice things about you from [Other White Relative]!”

Only I didn’t say “Stinkeye,” in case you were wondering.  Stinkeye is just a nom de puanteur I am using to avoid embarrassing this sweet white lady.

See, the thing is that I imagine she really is sweet and nice.  To other white people.

.

*I have to admit I was wishing my old folk would rip her a new one.  Because in her glory days she was perfectly capable of doing so.  Now she remembers my name, recognizes me and has some sense of me, but I doubt she can remember how we’re related or much about me.  So Mrs. Stinkeye didn’t get anything by prying.

4 thoughts on “Two things

  1. Your first mention reminds me of something odd I’ve noticed over the years, and I would guess the strangest WAP (white adoptive parent) question you’ll get today.

    So I can think of the few harshest experiences we’ve had related to ourselves, our Korean children and the people we encounter. And these had one odd thing in common.

    Example: took our older son to an ophthalmologist to have his eyes examined because of something noticed at his school. The doctor turned out to be a woman. During the test, my wife was in the room with them and called my son by the nickname we all use that was given to him by his younger brother. “Benner.”

    The doctor began saying “THAT is NOT his name!” Quite emphatically. This repeated and eventually, my wife ended the exam and they came out of that room, both women looking angry. I of course thought WTF? Then we left and my wife angrily explained what happened. I remained confused and decided to go back and ask the doctor what the problem was.

    I also asked her if she realized that my wife is my son’s mother. She said, she knew that. Then as I began to ask her why she thought it her place to tell my wife what to call her son, I realized there was no point in trying to understand.

    So I left.

    The odd thing? This doctor was a Chinese woman married to a white man. I have seen similarly difficult to explain behavior several other times, always involving my wife, an Asian woman married to a white man and my sons.

    I can’t explain it. Can anyone? :)

  2. Just wondering, and you don’t have to answer, but is your Sticky Sweet Response to Racism™ perceived as passive aggressiveness and mocking, or as Asians-love-white-people?

  3. Ed: I think people are bothered more by the actions of others they perceive to be like them or who they feel should be on their side.

    Restructure!: I am NOT passive aggressive! ;-P

    Well, I feel like it’s mocking. And it is often shaming, surprisingly.

  4. Restructure! I think it’s totally mocking, and perhaps passive aggressive but in a way that lets them know that you know what they said was wrong, without actually saying so… unless they dont get it in which case they may perceive it as “Asians-love-white-people.” I hope that made sense hah
    I usually either say nothing (and appear passive) or get in their face and yell (which makes me look overly sensitive and crazy) I find it difficult to find a happy medium when dealing with these subtle or even outright racist situations.

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