Site Meter Elsie's Space: Two Thousand Six
Location: New England, United States

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Two Thousand Six

Last night, at the end of a school event, I was speaking with another mom. She asked, "Have you met Mrs. M's new husband?"

Mrs. M was my daughter's second grade teacher last year. She's a great one -- enthusiastic, kind-hearted, intelligent, and understands how to truly motivate children. She's also young (I'd guess around 26 or 27), petite, blonde, and extremely attractive. I answer, "No, I haven't. Bet he's just as nice as Mrs. M." "Well, yes, (and then under her breath) but he's black." I'm so taken aback by what seems to be a simple statement of fact but, in truth, comes across as a blatantly racist comment. I only have a second to respond (where is that quick wit when I need it?), Clapton's "love don't see no colors in the shadows" blasts into my brain, yet the best I can come up with is "And?" "And nothing. I'm surprised, that's all." "You're surprised?" "Yeah, it's not something I'd ever do?" "And why's that?" "I just couldn't, that's all." "Oh, I'm surprised to hear that." "It's not that I have anything against black people, but I just couldn't marry one." I think, one? One? Again, her tone said everything. Me, "Well, I don't know what to say. Excuse me."

Now, I wanted to let her have it, but under the circumstances I couldn't. So, instead, I chose to walk away. I believe that my tone expressed my bewilderment and dismay. And not just with her but with that attitude in general. I honestly can't believe that, in today's world, anyone still feels that way. I'm stuck in a time warp. 2006 or 1956? I thought I knew. Sigh.


Blogger Liz said...

I think you did really well. I fear I would just have said, 'Oh, really.' My brain - and caring too much what people think of me - is my downfall.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Elsie said...

Same with me, Liz. I care too much about what people think of me. As for my brain, that goes without saying!

1:40 PM  
Blogger Clare said...

I was going to comment and then it became a blog entry of it's own right, so I've entered it here:

But, I would have had the same reaction had someone said that to me...

6:37 PM  

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