He Is A Different Color, Huh?

United States
January 24, 2009 1:54pm CST
Today, my children and I went to town to pay my phone bill at the local grocery store. When I was paying the bill, my 8 year old daughter wanted to walk over to the quarter machines, you know the one's with the little toys, rings, necklaces, etc. I told her that she could and she walked over there with my 2 year old son. Now if you don't already know, my daughter is Caucasian and my son is biracial (African American and Caucasian). They were both just standing there looking at all the stuff in the machines. I was standing a few feet away watching them and waiting for the lady to give my my receipt. While I was standing there watching them an elderly man walked up to then and just looked at them. I kept watching because I wasn't sure if his intentions were good or bad. He said something to my daughter and she just said, "Yes". He said something else to her and I could tell that it made her uncomfortable and she came walking back over to me. The man walked away. I asked her what the man said to her and she said that he asked if that was her little brother and she said she told him yes. I said, "Oh, and what did he say after that?". She said that he said, "He is a different color, huh?" I tell myself to ignore ignorance because there is so much of it in the world today. I realize this was an old man but he should have more respect. He had no right to even be talking to my daughter at all and then to imply that she doesn't know the color of her brother's skin, come on old man! When my daughter told me that he said, "He is a different color, huh?" The exact phrase I would have loved to say back to him would have been, "Gee, we never noticed that before! Here's your sign". I'm sure you know about Bill Engvall's "Here's Your Sign" Comedy. It is so true that people say the stupidest things sometimes. Some people really just don't think before they open their mouths, do they? Have you ever had someone say something like that to you and you wanted to just say, "Well, duh!"?
9 people like this
22 responses
@barehugs (8985)
• Canada
24 Jan 09
It is very surprising that you would let such a small thing bother you! Many seniors endure problems brought on by age. Quite a few are mentally challenged, and their brain is not what it used to be. God only knows where that 'old man' was coming from, to say nothing of where he had been! Laugh if you like, but you too, will be there (God willing) some day!
2 people like this
• United States
25 Jan 09
No one is laughing. I didn't find it a laughing matter. Yes, I know the older generation have been through their issues, etc. But there is no reason for them to make issues for a younger generation. Actually, my mom always told me, "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all".
25 Jan 09
A SMALL THING????? OMG! That comment the old man was bordering on being racist! Come on if this had been another adult the old man was talking about there would have been an uproar!
1 person likes this
@BlueGoblin (1831)
• United States
24 Jan 09
He had no right to approach your daughter but there is nothing ignorant about disapproving miscegenation. I also don't think it was so awful that I would write about it on the internet.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Disapprove miscegenation?!!?!! No you didn't!!! I repeat!! There is no cure for stupid!!!! Don't bother responding to my post. This is not up for discussion!!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
I give it to you BG, you have your own right to believe whatever you want to believe. But this is my child that I'm talking about and I'm sure if someone looked at your child and disapproved of his skin color then you would find that it would be okay to write about it on the internet or anywhere else for that matter. You may disapprove of miscegenation, but there is no reason to take it out on the innocent child who didn't ask to be born two different races. NO ONE CHOOSES THEIR SKIN COLOR!
• United States
25 Jan 09
You show your ignorance for not allowing me to have my own views. I don't see any race inferior to mine. I do however wish my race to have a future. They cannot have a future if everything different about them is lost through miscegenation. That to me is not ignorant. That to me is protecting the love i share for my ancestor, my family, my race. You think people will listen to you and not stand up for their own beliefs. Does it usually work? Calling people ignorant and racists for sharing their own views. I'm not someone that remains quiet or cowers down to such claims. I don't care what you think of me. I will do what is right for me and my family. By the way, I know plenty of people of different races that think the same way I do.
1 person likes this
@Ritz100 (1119)
• Spain
25 Jan 09
What exactly did you find offensive about that, is was presented as a question, and if the man was stupid enough to vent his brain through his mouth, then you must forgive him. I dont think he meant harm, he was thinking something, he spoke, thats it. He didnt use abusive or threatening language, he wasnt being antagonistic (unless you take it that way) and he didnt really say anything "nasty". Sorry to sound unsympathetic, but I do feel that certain comments made have to be take into perspective.
@Ritz100 (1119)
• Spain
25 Jan 09
Forgot to add that I smoke and when someone says to me "thats bad for you, you know?" OMG, duh, so I understand what you are saying, I think he just didnt get his brain in gear before opening his nouth!
1 person likes this
@nick1in (195)
• Lucknow, India
25 Jan 09
I think i should have my say on this. First of all, the remark by the old man was totally uncalled for. This kind of behaviour is a sure fire way of polluting a child mind. The old man probably has some very unpleasent thoughts stored up in his mind and he should adapt his way of thinking. The color of the skin does not matter. What matters is what is happening between the ears...in the mind. Kids learn alot from their parents. I think your kids will do good in life considering that you have a very balanced person. As long as the kids know that the skin color doesn't matter at all and people better learn to ACCEPT them as they are.
1 person likes this
@nick1in (195)
• Lucknow, India
25 Jan 09
As an aftertought I must add that this behaviour was a very offensive behaviour and something should have been done about it. If the kids mix and mingle with a wide variety of people of different races, the kids will pick up a wider perspective in life and become more comfortable and will be less affected with rude, mean and offensive people.
1 person likes this
@ersmommy1 (12597)
• United States
25 Jan 09
I have a beautiful niece and nephew. They as well have the same mom different dads. And they are different "shades". I was in the mall with them one day while my sister in law and I were shopping for their clothes along with my daughter. I had my niece. And someone mentioned that she must have been adopted. I turned, and said more loudly than I should have "NO she isn't" You really cannot do anything about what people say/do. But it can make you angry either way.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
You know if people want to talk, you would think they would have enough respect to do it where the children would not be able to hear it. But I guess rude people just don't really care though, do they?
@MissAmie (718)
• United States
25 Jan 09
That sounds like something that happened to a good friend of mine. She had 2 sons (caucasian) and had just gotten custody of her biracial niece because her mom was going to jail. Well, the girl was the middle child, so obviously since she and her husband were married the entire time, there was something amiss. To most people, it probably looked like she had an affair or something, but in this day and age I can't imagine people being rude enough to ask anything about race. She and her hubby and kids (including the niece) went to a high school football game and the coach looked at her husband and said "Ain't that one a little dark for ya?" I would have back handed the dude had it been me.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Oh my gosh, that was totally uncalled for. I think I would have totally went off on that man.
@glords (2614)
• United States
25 Jan 09
I'm sorry your daughter had to experience that, but at least the old man has the excuse that he may be loosing his faculties. There are younger people who are just as inconsiderate. When I was teaching high school I had a picture on my desk my nephew, who is half Brazilian. One of my students, raised his hand and asked "Who is the boy in the picture?" When I told him that it was my nephew he replied "Not to sound racist, but that kid is NOT White, is he?" That day I came up with a new motto for that student. I told him "If you have to start your sentence with the words "Not to sound racist" just don't say it."
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Very good point, no one should start a sentence with those 4 words.
@lilybug (21145)
• United States
25 Jan 09
I once has a woman stop me in the grocery store to tell me how beautiful Lily was and then she asked me if she was mine. I just said yes, but really I wanted to say, "No, I stole her." or something similar to that. Yes, she is beautiful. Yes, she is mine. and Yes, I know she is darker than me.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
I can totally relate to that. I hate when I'm in public and people just give you that stare, I'm sure you know what I mean. I want to just walk up to them and ask them if they have any questions. It really gets under my skin.
@sudalunts (5526)
• United States
24 Jan 09
He had no right approaching your daughter with any questions, let alone to ask if the little boy was her brother. To bad people do not practice, if you do not have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Your daughter was smart to walk away and come to you. I hope you explained to her that some people are really rude.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Yes, he had no right to even approach my daughter at all. He could have just looked at them, made his assumption, and walked away.
@bamakelly (5193)
• United States
24 Jan 09
You know singlemommy there is no shortage of ignorance is there. Sometimes I think that people don't really think ahead as to what they are saying. It is a shame that your daughter was confronted like that. You will probably have to talk to her sometime to get her to understand about how people are and then she will have her own experiences. I don't think that I have ever experienced something like that just looks and stares from when I was walking a friend's son in a stroller many years ago. She was white and her son was biracial. I remember that the stares didn't really bother me but later the boy's mother asked me if people were looking and I said "yes".
• United States
25 Jan 09
Yes, my daughter and I had this conversation over the summer. Her Great-Grandfather, my ex's Grandfather had made some comments. I had always been respectful of him and his wife and I felt it was very uncalled for. I talked to her then and explained to her about racism, etc. She is still young and I think she doesn't always know how to deal with it, but it is always something that WE as a family will face together and conquer! Even if there isn't any justice on this earth, there will be in Heaven. Yup, my son's name is Justice because one day those who have put him down here are earth because of his skin color, they will get judged at God's hands and he will have His Justice.
24 Jan 09
Generally speaking the older generation have alot to offer us youngsters! But there are the odd few that give the rest a bad name.... this man being one of them. They seem to think they have the god given right to say and do what they please without having to worry about anyone elses feelings!
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Yes, sometimes I think the older generation forget to think about how other people feel.
@StarBright (2799)
• United States
24 Jan 09
All I can say is there is no cure for stupid at this time. What an idiot. You are right. He had no right to say anything to your children. You would have been perfectly within your right to tell him so. He probably gets away with a lot of crap just because he is old, but that does not give him a license to make children feel bad. Hang in there singlemommy
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Yes, no one has the right to make any child feel bad.
@bfarrier1 (2082)
• United States
27 Jan 09
I am sure i have but I cant think of anything right now,old man or not he had no right to be talking to your daughter,I cant stand people like that and racist people or even worse the color of someone skin should not be a point.To bad your daughter did'nt start screaming or somethingthat would of shut him up would'nt it.You have a great evening.
1 person likes this
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
25 Jan 09
We have a mixed race child on our family that we adore. She is 10 and can speak for herself - quite eloquently I might add. She gets called a lot of things in school but her best comeback is to just say - No I am just like you - HUMAN. Maybe your daughter could say that to ignorant inconsiderate people - no matter what their age. Age is no excuse for absolute stupidity.
@halynn (1809)
• United States
25 Jan 09
That was completely ignorant for that man to say that & especially a little girl like u said. I'm sorry he said that but know that you're a better person knowing that you would never say anything like that to anyone especially a child. Some people will never change.
@sid556 (30997)
• United States
25 Jan 09
that was one of those obviously stupid comments that people make all the time without thinking. He probably didn't mean anything by it. I work in a convenience store and I am forever getting dumb comments like that. Someone will buy a soda and pre-pay for gas. I'll ask for 21.69 and they'll ask...And did you get my gas? ....Um,..no, actually...that'll be 41.69. ON holidays, I get no less than 20 calls asking if we are open. I'll say "no we aren't. I'm just hanging out here for the day." They'll say, "oh." I'll have to tell them that I'm kidding. I'm thinking that is what that man was doing when he said that about your children....obviously they are of a different color and yet something prompted him to ask if they were siblings so there must have been enough simialarities to make him wonder. '
1 person likes this
• Japan
25 Jan 09
Singlemommy, you are better than me because i would have said something to the old man.In life there is going to be a lot of that so the best thing you can do is to raise him the best you can. By that I mean teach who he is and to let his actions speak for him. Because he is going to hear time and time again.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19779)
• United States
25 Jan 09
I am glad you can have a sense of humor when something so offensive happened. I can not think of an instance like that that has happened to me. Hopefully yours are becoming less frequent, but I doubt it. When asked a question like that, I think I would respond with something like, no, he is a child. Some people are so stupid!
• United States
25 Jan 09
That was wrong on so many levels. If anything, it will teach your daughter tolerance and she'll be the better person because of someone elses stupidity. I can't think of anything to add as far as coming across stupid people but the whole "here's your sign" thing fits so often in my life - it's actually very funny. My master bathroom is connected to the master bedroom and there is no door between the two. I was taking a shower the other day but it wasn't 100% dark when I got in so I didn't turn on the light (we have a skylight which was enough) .. anyhow, it got darker while I was in the shower and my son comes in to get something: Son: "Mom?" Me: "Yes?" Son: "What are you doing?" Me: "Uhmm...Blow drying my hair........ Here's your sign" I realize he was more concerned about why I was in the shower in the dark but I couldn't resist. What did he really think I was doing? I'm in the shower with the water running.. pretty easy to figure out. LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Jan 09
Oh my goodness! Wow,usually people of this age might be going through a lot of stress due to loneliness, illnesses, etc. He might have felt miserable that day and must have taken it out on your children. However, there are some peple that yes, are quite ignorant. He is not ignorant, he knows better than that. I think he wasn't just feeling good that day.
1 person likes this