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.