Saturday, January 15, 2011

An Insulting Racial Compliment

Basically what I wore today

Bonjour Mes Chères,

I'd just like to share with you what happened today:

My husband and I went to an environmental conference today, which was very inspiring and actually helped solidify what I want to actually talk about in my blog (in addition to my everyday adventures and such)!

But before I get to that: at the end of the conference, we left the center, which was held in the downtown of our area and proceeded to cross the street. We were very happy, since my husband had just asked to carry my books, and I'd asked him to marry me again.

We then paused at the curb, hand-in-hand, as we saw two young Black men on a bike, coming down the street. We both smiled slightly and were going to go about our way, when one of the young men said:

"Don't ya got any friends your OWN complexion?! With cha cute ass..."

And proceeded to pedal away.

My husband and I were both a little stunned... gave each other the expression of "Huhhh?" And laughed out of shock. I said something, but then noticed that my Sicilian had taken on a stony expression behind his aviators and now had a very angry red face. He was also smiling...but there was nothing funny about his smile.

Then I blurted to my husband..."well, I AM cute!" and we proceeded to cross the street.

I have to admit, I was a bit scared my husband would run after the guys, but I'm glad he didn't.

I also have to say, I have conflicting feelings:

It was flattering that the offensive young man thought me cute: because it shows women don't need to dress trampy to look very attractive. I was completely covered from head to toe in my outfit, and with my black wool coat on: I was even more conservative, wearing a light blue 50s's style dress with black stockings underneath. I also wore loose, black, calf boots that are more country than city slicker. My hair was down and curly (not the socially normal/expected relaxed hair) with a chic scarf and I had on my little white gloves. And I also had a smile...that is, until boy-wonder on the bike spoke.

Now for the offensive part.

I was very upset and STUNNED that this youth felt he had the right to insult both me, my husband, and our sacred relationship. Not that he could tell that we're married, but whatever happened to respecting your elders? Or minding your own business? Or "If you don't have anything nice to say: keep it to yourself?"

What should we have done?
Yelled after him? And yelled what?
(no super macho or dummy comments like: "I would have knocked him off his bike!" My husband doesn't believe in violence, unless it's for defense. He wants to be Jesus' Homeboy)

What COULD we have done?
(We're adults. We're not in the same culture of "low class" where it's ok to hurl insults to strangers...and in my opinion...people of ANY race or income bracket can be a card-carrying member of the "culture of low/no class")

I guess I could have yelled: "Yes, but he's my husband!" Or "yes, they're called family!" But to be honest, I was stunned, and I'm not very quick with comebacks unfortunately.

You MAY be surprised to hear, but after almost 10 years together...this is our first confrontation with blatant verbal interracial dating criticism/bashing.

And we've lived in the Northeast AND the Midwest.

In the Midwest, people are mostly just curious to see us together.

While in the Northeast, I have to say that while the people weren't outright hostile, they did make vile assumptions behind our backs. While my Sicilian worked at a boarding school in the Northeast, I would come to visit, I sometimes got knowing--condescending smirks from the teachers and insinuating comments from the students; as if I were some sort of slutty woman, when in fact:


(And damn proud of it, considering how hot my husband is and how often I want him!)

So I was UNFAIRLY bashed/labeled by stuck up, (most likely) sexually-deprived, very wealthy Yuppies AND the rich, spoiled delinquents/ sexual promiscuous adolescents who were put in that school by their parents, because they were unbearable! (I'm still mad. I cherish my honor and had spent my life building a reputation I could be proud of, and being unfairly judged and condemned by such people...was infuriating!!!)

What was I saying????? I hear the blood flowing though my ears and I feel a certain bloodlust that comes with fury! (I kid on the "bloodlust")

Hum, after reading this post, I find an interesting correlation:

In the Northeast, I was unjustly, and non-verbally/underhandedly accused of being some sort of sex vixen.

While today, I was blatantly questioned on whether I had any friends who are "my own complexion."

(It's interesting how today's incident brought up my experience at my Husband's boarding school....)

Unsaid accusations....A question demanding an answer

Both are wrong, and put me in a defensive position.

Both are invasions of privacy.

Both are assumptions.

And both are coming from people of completely different backgrounds...but I think what connects both the snotty, filth-minded wealthy of that school...and the demeaning inquisition of the Black youth, was a lack of understanding about LOVE.

In BOTH situations, instead of immediately thinking: WOW! Those two much love each other, to face the everyday obstacles that come with an interracial relationship.....
They instead pervert our relationship
: assuming I'm a "booty-call" instead of a virginal girl of strong morals...or they assume I shun those of "my own complexion" preferring the company of whites.

Although I still feel anger...for both of these situations...I also feel pity for these sorry creatures. Those blinded by greed and consumerism, so even their own offspring take a backseat...and those indefinably and perhaps irreversibly shaped by poverty and neglect, that they imprison themselves in a world with no hope of love.

I doubt neither will know the richness of a love that surpasses made-up borders.

Maybe my anger will wane with time...and I'll pray for them.

Maybe you can pray for me, to give me the strength to not be petty, but forgiving to those less fortunate, not having the riches of love.


  1. I know this is an older post, but hang in there. Comments like this can hurt even years later. My husband and I are of the same race, but we still receive racial slurs because my husband and children are very fair-skinned, have light blond hair and light blue eyes. His family is of German decent and proud of it. I've gotten comments about my children being wanted by Neo-Nazi's as future soldiers. It's just not a connotation that I want my family being associated with. It seems that some people don't understand that you can be proud of your heritage and loving of others too, as if you're selling out. It's difficult, but be the example God wants you to be, actions speak louder than words sometimes.

  2. Thank you so much, your words really touch my heart. I'm sorry you and your family have had to go through that, it's always embarrassing and hurtful when people say mean things. I will definitely take your advice!



(please no vulgar language or mean spirited comments)
-for those who insist on being mean, I DO have a harassment lawyer for cyber-bullying...and a handy tracking device :D