Im not offended by this but...?

I'm in an interracial relationship. I'm black. Been with my boyfriend 2 years. I met his parents in the middle of last year.

Before meeting them, I said something really offensive!

I said to him "I'm just thinking, your grandparents are really old, what if they don't fully approve of or are comfortable with us dating?" He got really offended by this.

Months later, I met his parents. His mom told me a couple times that she is happy that her son is dating me and how sweet they think I am. (I totally love his mom).

Anyway, his parents flew me and my partner out 6 months later to spend Christmas with them in another state. I met his extended family on his mom's side day before Christmas and we all drove to his dads side the next day for Christmas.

Me and my partner's grandma (she's white) spoke for like hours on her couch.

We spoke about everything. Even race! And one moment she asked about my ethnicity. I said I was a black Jamaican. So she then said something like "so you're not like African American kind of ethnic. You know what I mean" she struggled to choose a word, "like negro" she said.

I'm not offended and I was so comfortable speaking with her and hanging out. My boyfriend was there and heard and didn't say anything. (Haha poor guy).

I just keep thinking about it and wondering about the term... I never brought it up to my partner but I just don't want him to feel Awkward as if it offended me.

Well my fam wouldn't say anything racially negative about white people... We are a family with diff racial backgrounds...

To be clear... I was just worried about what my boyfriend would think about it since he got so offended just because I was a little afraid the grandparents may not approve of us because I'm black... In the beginning I thought "maybe he thinks that our conversation about race validated my fear."

I've got my plan now! Thanks everyone!


Most Helpful Guy

  • I was always annoyed with racist point of view. If a guy love a girl, he loves her race too. He was supposed to say something. It was the least he should do.

    • I just laughed because I thought it was funny. She was really sweet so I don't think she meant anything negative. I just don't want him thinking I found it offensive :)

    • Show All
    • Read about all these nazi rallies and stuff lol

    • Tnx for B.A.

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  • well ethnically if you are jamaican you are not actually African American. you are still "negro" (despite the fact that nobody uses that term), black, or whatever as those terms really only apply to your skin color and not your ethnicity.

    you are afro-jamaican (if you are directly from Jamaica) and afro-American if you were born in America. am I right?

    I'm not quite sure I understand that conundrum you're facing. Your question about the grandarents seems fair enough as you simply wondered allowed how an older white person views race relations. Your partner's grandma also asked a fair question about your ethnicity. Unless the inference is that she isn't cool with afro-Americans but because you're jamaican or afro-jamaican it's alright that seems to be the only potential foul up

    overrall it sounds ot me like you are in a great relationship and worrying unecessarily about small aspects of the relationship because a part of you is simply not 100% comfortable dealing with the family (which is fair).

    In my opinion no harm no foul was committed in any of the situations

    • Thanks so much! I so love his family! Just worried about his thoughts. You're right, I'm totally over thinking this! Thanks

  • Don't worry about it. As white people, we're all just afraid one day we'll end up being senile and saying vaguely racist things. Think of all the old people in your family. I'm sure one or two of them would call your man "white devil."

    That might embarrass you or not.

    As for me being petrified by what my family has to say, I've learned to deal with it. We are a bunch of crazy crackers, after all. There's lots of opportunity to both crack up and cringe at what older people say.

    Grandma doesn't have a white hood in her closet, and you and I know it. Your boyfriend might take a peek next time they ask him over to mow the lawn or unclog the sink drain, though.

    Point is, previous generations are more likely to be isolationists who watch Fox news and do other embarrassing things. And many of the people my age are finding out that they are turning into crotchety old f***ers, too.

    White people, as with other races, are born open minded. There are no racists in preschool.

    As we age, that changes based on input and assumptions.

    Those of us who date outside our race are blessed with more open minds, and more challenged assumptions.

    Those who become cut off and stick to people who look like, act like, and think like themselves can end up xenophobic, and even Republican.

    They're the morons who think that "all the n-words are coming to take over, as soon as Obama takes away all the guns."

  • It happens with old people. My grandpa (only remaining grandparent) is the same way. Very racist. But he's a italian who grew up during the ww2 era, when racism and segregation was still prevalent. Remember, civil rights didn't really take hold until the 50's. So our grandparents all grew up in a racist world. By the time civil rights became successful, they were already 30-40 year old, in which case, their philosophies and values had already taken hold. Don't take it personal, which I aware you haven't, just realize its common, and that its because of the world they were raised in.

  • As far as what he thinks, you should already know this. His grandmother being the way she is is not new or unknown to him. If he brought you to meet family and extended family then he does not care what color your skin is on the outside. Take what could be a great relationship and enjoy it. Show his grandmother through your thoughts, words and actions that there is a difference. Help her to see and break down the barriers.

  • I don't think your boyfriend should have been offended by your initial concern. It was a valid and practical one. And it ended up being validated.

    But hey, she's not your grandma, so... Screw it :)

  • So grandma is a bit prejudice.

    "So she then said something like "so you're not like African American kind of ethnic. You know what I mean" she struggled to choose a word, "like negro" she said. "

    She's probably picturing some stereotype of American blacks, and assuming you don't fit that stereotype because you are Jamaican.

    You got along with the family and they seem to like you too, including grandma. That's what matters. If grandma is a little prejudice it's probably not a lot, or you would have noticed it.

    • Yeah... I wouldn't really care even if she was haha. I'm just worried about what he thinks lol. We are so open but that's the one thing I don't want to bring up because of his reaction to something of that topic last time.

  • i think you both, you and your boyfriend are quite pathetic, and I'm serious.

    1. what you have said about his grandparents is not offensive in any way. you were worried, old people tend to be more racist. nothing wrong with it. so him, getting offended is just ridiculous.

    2. why would you care? nothing bad was said. there was a time when word 'negro' was actually the most acceptable term for African-Americans - even more so than 'black'. and even in these times, word 'negro' is not offensive in any way.

    i think you should just forget about everything.

    if you ever just roughly mentioned to him that his grandmother is cool/nice/whatever, I don't think there's a problem.

    • You obviously don't understand the question. I said I was NOT offended. MEANING, I was not offended. Understand? The point is that he got offended by me being worried about his grandparents not being accepting of our relationship because I'm not white. He made it seem like I was saying white people in general, are racist.

      Since he was sensitive to that then, I was thinking maybe he thinks that it affected me when she said that.

    • i understand your question perfectly.

      my point was; you gave him no reason to be offended, and you have no reason to be worried about this negro stuff - even if he thinks it affected you the best way is to forget about it and never bring it up.

      but if you want to make sure everything is fine just say "so, honey, when I'm gonna see your grandma again, she's fun."

    • Yeah I already told him how much I enjoyed talking to her :)

      Thanks for your answer!

  • I think negro has come to be somewhat of an offensive term, though it used to simply be the given word for African American so hearing it from older generations isn't exactly surprising. My dad uses it all the time, and he's one of the nicest least racist people I know.

    I wouldn't worry too much about your boyfriend. If he really does seem to be acting awkward about it just ask him and let him know it doesn't bother you.

  • I hate racism. It even makes it hard for those of us who aren't racist to discuss ethnicity. Why is race any different to eye or hair color? Hacks me off, because although not all of us are racist, we all have to live with the consequences regardless of our creed. Social awkwardness like this is just a result of this. It's even crap being Caucasian because you almost have to prove you aren't prejudiced.

    On the plus side I'm really glad you got on so well with your boyfriends family and this crap will disappear as you get to know each other. Sounds like you have a great future.

    • Thanks for your answer! I understand what you're saying. That's why I always say that no one has it easy in America...

  • I have a ladyfriend whom I'm trying to build a relationship with who was born and raised in Russia. Not only that but she comes from a military family and her grandfather is some kind of high-ranking officer, as is her father.

    I asked her about that one day and she said her grandfather is unlikely to like me if things got that far, but it wasn't something that I am concerned about. It's kind of the same on my end, I have some prejudice types in my family who would be slow to accept her, if they accept her at all.

    But regardless, I don't intend to let it affect our relationship, I want to move halfway accross the country anyway so it's not like they will be a major factor in the long run anyway.

  • being a white person means that for a lot of people we don't know how to approach race... Personally I don't give a sh*t what color someone is, just adds another line of banter.

    "oh yep, daniel thinks he can lord over us thanks to having a few inches extra..." but its only casual.

    unfourtunatly a lot of black guys and gals seem to easily get offended, by ANYTHING a lot of the time. so it sounds like his grandparents were trying to ask the questions whilst tip toeing round the possible minefield that this can present lol

    why bring it up though, sounds like quite a nice and innocent conversation you were having lol

    • She wasn't top toeing at all haha. She has like 4 black (adopted) grandkids and she knows a lot about my Jamaican background so I don't think she cared about saying something about race that would offend me

  • I don't think it was racism per say. Just from a different time. My grandmother says negro and other things that would be considered racist by some, but she is a saint who would give the shirt off her back to help anyone of any color. That's how she raised my mother and how I was raised.

  • I think she was trying to talk cultural issues with words that are out of use today. There's a big difference between black folks that I'd themselves as African American, and black folks from the islands. It's not a racial difference, but a cultural one. Doesn't sound like your skin color bothers her a bit. She just needs to know the right words to use or avoid if she wants to talk about it.

    There was a Dominican chick in my high school class that would go on and on about how she was black but she wasn't "black". Just as many black cultures out there as there are white.

  • laugh at it. Anyone of that generation is going to have a hard time discussing these things with sensitivity. She may in her heart be the most sensitive and open minded person in the world, but she isn't going to have the tools to discuss it with someone generations removed from her.

    Even if she does think a little bit more like people of that generation were brought up thinking, it sounds like she's making an effort to be friendly and open with her son's girlfriend.

    But, talk about it. Break the ice. laugh about it.

    • She is actually really sweet! I was totally comfortable speaking with her. I don't think she's racist


  • nowadays that's not a problem... if they don't like it, they will get used to it some day

    and you boyfriend doesn't have to feel offended about what you fear...

  • The best things is probably not to think about it too hard. If she did not mean to offend you, then what is there to worry about?

  • I think there is nothing to worry about. You are just telling him something in your mind and personally I don't think what you said is offensive. Anw glad you found your answer!

  • Think nothing of it. She was struggling to note the vast difference between Jamaican and domestic urban black culture.

  • Good for you for not taking offense. I think the important thing is whether any offense was intended, and it doesn't sound like that was the case.

    We as a society are still walking on eggshells to some degree on the subject of race, so that is probably why she struggled a little with her words. I think most of us would like nothing more than to see the issue of race in America fade from our everyday interactions with each other so we can all just be people and treat each other as such. Kudos to you for doing you part in that.

    When I say I would like to see the issue fade away, I don't mean that we should not maintain our awareness of it and keep studying it in our history books. It was a terrible part of our history that we wish we could take back and we need to ensure nothing like it ever happens again.

    • If RACE was not an issue in America, it would be the only country that it was not an issue in. Some of the pressure is from people that are not happy with their own race or ethnic background.

  • Do you know how to say black in Spanish? Negra, Or Negro.

    None of the black people I hang out with are offended by being called "negro" maybe that just cause there are a lot of Mexicans around here who speak Spanish, but even so. Now don't get me wrong the other word still offends them. But from what I know Negro isn't really offensive unless it's meant to be. And it has only become offensive to some cry baby types recently. So her being old and having an older vocabulary... well what she said makes sense to me.

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