Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sickening Condescension

On Friday I took Kimora, Kariah, and Kajanae out to each lunch at the Colonnade, a neat family-friendly restaurant in Atlanta that specializes in classic Southern food. Afterwards, we went to Imagine It! children's museum. We had a fantastic girls' day out while poor dada was on call, working hard as usual.

There was, however, a very troubling conversation that I overhead (much to the delight of the speaker) during our otherwise enjoyable lunch. We were seated near another mother and her two children; she had a boy that I would guess is about six and a girl probably around four. They were obviously from out of town- I won't get into it...just trust me! Many of you know what I mean.

As children do, the four-year-old girl asked some questions very loudly that were none of her business. I wasn't offended in the least by this part; she was merely a curious child. Staring over at us, she asked her mom, "Mommy, is that their babysitter?" ("that" being me; "their" referring to my daughters). "No, sweetheart; she's their mommy." (How she could be so sure, I don't know) The child delved further. "Why don't they look like their mommy?" "Because she had s*e*x with a negro, honey."

Ummm....excuse me? Please tell me I just imagined this conversation. Someone smack me, please!! I can understand a curious child, but I can not FATHOM a mother who would not only permit her daughter to continue asking questions within earshot, but who blatantly judged me, my daughters, and "the negro" that I "had sex with."

Never mind that my daughters DO look like me. Never mind that I'm MARRIED to the "negro" I "had sex with". Never mind we don't live in the 1800s anymore and that anyone remotely PC knows the inappropriate implications of such a word. She wanted me to hear her comments; I knew it..I'm not stupid. In fact, quite the opposite.

I stared down at my my peppermint ice cream (a signature trademark of the Colonnade) and didn't want anymore. I looked at my beautiful daughters, gloriously oblivious to the remarks. Kimora with her little cornrows just like mommy, intent on scraping her ice cream dish clean and making goofy faces; Kariah and her adorable little curls in ponies, laughing at her big sister, and Kajanae, asleep in my arms with her fringe of mile-long eyelashes making half moons on her cheeks. I thought of my husband working at his medical office; the man of my dreams, my soulmate, everything and more I ever dreamt of....a gorgeous guy with diligence, patience, quiet strength, and feistiness....a man who is fiercely in love with me. little that lady knows...and what a shame. Don't anyone worry; we had a fantastic day nevertheless. However, I felt compelled to share this with you all. Incidents such as these remind me of how far we truly have to go in exterminating the ignorance and racism that is STILL far too prevalent in our society.

No comments: