Friday, October 24, 2008

True Story

Posted by Mandy at 8:44 AM
I am in Wal-Mart this morning, buying those circle stickers to put prices on for our church's rummage sale this Saturday morning, when a complete stranger started a conversation with me.

While looking for some boxes of brownie mix (for our lunch at church Sunday) a woman, probably in her late 50s, started remarking on the high prices of the products on the shelves.

strange lady - "I've never seen such prices! This is crazy!"

me - "I know, I hope the gas prices going down will trickle into lower food prices soon."

strange lady - "So, what do you think about the Presidential Election?"

me, surprised at the question, - "I'm not sure. I like them both, and don't like them both, depending on the issue."

strange lady - "Well, I'm voting for McCain. That Obama... there's no way a black man is going to be able to run this country."

me - stunned silence

strange lady - "You know that those other countries don't like him. They don't like him because he's black... he'd ruin us!"

me - trying to be polite - "Well, have a good day! I better finish my shopping!"

YIKES! Do people today STILL think this way? Wow... what a thing for someone to say to a complete stranger! For all she knows, my husband is black! I just walked away shaking my head.

Am I the only one that has almost forgotten that Obama is even black? He's just become a household name for most of us... and I guess the issue of his race isn't something that my family (immediate or extended) has talked about.

Am I a magnet for crazy people or what? I swear... when I go into public places, people just seem to feel free to tell me all kinds of things, good and bad! Maybe I need one of those "bad attitude" shirts, that I hate so much, to wear the next time I need a loaf of bread....


Maury on Friday, 24 October, 2008 said...

I see I am behind on your blog, I need to catch up.

It is sad that people stiil think that way, and to say that to a stranger???

And here is my deal....Now that I have a baby that is biracial....Obamab being "black" just puzzles me. He is half white, and half black...was raised by his WHITE family....yet he is considered....Black. And I know why, that is how society looks at it. I never thought about it before, but now that I look at my baby, and think about raising him in a "White" family...what race is he?? He is equal both maybe that makes him "gray"?

And I don't mean this to bach Monticello...but I think smaller southern towns, you will find more people with that mentality. Up here...everyone I see is a mixed family, or all the kids look biracial to me. I am sure that I just notice that now.

Anonymous said...

I actually have an array of those bad attitude shirts,and they work!Funny enough,I wear them primarily when I am having an issue with someone who wont do right for Kendall,they dont mess with me.A teacher even remarked on it one time.But of course [my] Mandy would say that it is not the shirt,that my demeanor is scary.Which I guess to some extent is true because I have been told that I make some people nervous,or that such and such is scared of me.I dont think I would have hesitated one bit to tell that lady,"Look, this isnt 1865"-

Mandy on Friday, 24 October, 2008 said...

lol KT... so.. what attitude shirt works the best? ;)

Maury, excellent point! I wish I'd have been on top of my game enough to say, "Oh, Obama's not black.. he's gray!" lol! She'd have probably just wanted to talk about it more though... I felt it best to just get out of Dodge.

I do agree with you. The farther south you go, and the smaller the town, the more racism you will typically see. (that goes for ALL races, by the way. Not just from white ppl to black ppl.)

Sugar-n-Spice on Friday, 24 October, 2008 said...

i, like maury, have now been toting a bi-racial baby around. i saw her color at first, but more like curious of her race (i didn't know what ethnic backgrounds she had, or the races of her parents), wanting to make sure her heritage would be something she is very proud of as she grows (if we have her that long), and just as part of her amazing beauty.

now, i don't see her color at all. she's just "mercy". nor do i see obama as black. not denying their heritage, just seeing them as the souls they are, color of skin no part of my love (or dislike).

have you ever seen 'losing isaiah"? it's a movie about a white family who adopts a little boy who is black. my favorite scene is when the toddler *black* boy puts his very dark hand into his older sister's very white hand. his sister then asks him, "what's the difference in our hands isaiah?" and every adult viewing the movie only sees the 2 completely different colors. and he quickly responds, "mine is smaller than yours". oh, to not see the color! or at least to not see it as no more of a difference than tj's curly hair and my straight.

arg. the people around here!!!!

Mandy on Friday, 24 October, 2008 said...

Brandy, I have seen that movie! It makes me BOOHOO!!

I found a better description for the babies' colors than "gray." I think 'mocha' describes them perfectly!! :) (you know, the color so many of us spend years in the sun, and risk skin cancer, to achieve!)

Sun-Kissed Savages on Friday, 24 October, 2008 said...

mocha. Love that! My sister is pregnant with her first child. She is PALE white and her hubby is Vietnamese. I wonder if they'll have a gorgeous mocha baby.

Yes, you certainly meet some weirdos.

As far as the candidates and their color-- why don't people listen to what they SAY, look at the experience, their voting history, their plans for the future. Why would anyone vote for someone (or against them) solely based on gender or color? Just so odd to me. My mind is made up, and the decision was based on politics.

Sun-Kissed Savages on Friday, 24 October, 2008 said...

By the way, I LOVE that shirt. Isn't there another one that says, "I make milk. What's your super power?" I want one of those!!

dean on Saturday, 25 October, 2008 said...

it's kinda sad that people make such assumptions about other people they dont even know... assuming that just because she's white and you're white that you automatically agree with her racist ranting.

we just recently had 7 black kids in our care all at the same time (3 from one sibling group and 4 from another). going places like wal mart or college football games is such a wondrous and often humorous adventure, especially when some ignorant person does or says something, well, ignorant and doesn't even realize that WE'RE their guardian. they can't get out of there fast enough!

Amanda and Justin Dreyer on Sunday, 26 October, 2008 said...

I totally understand. I ran into that while working at DC. I was shocked and appalled that some people still think like that!

Ana on Monday, 27 October, 2008 said...

Lol @ "she doesn't know if my husband could be black" People truly don't think before they speak. I've encountered people assuming one way or another on how I'll vote because I'm black. The crazy thing is I've voted both republican and democrat in past elections.

Maury made a great point. Obama technically is neither white or black. He is biracial.

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