yesterday i was at work, when i yet again overheard something that i must blog about. i keep wondering when the day will be that all my racial experiences will be uneventful, but obviously it hasn't happened yet.
i was in the breakroom, where SINGLEMOMWHITEGIRL is sitting at a table with another BLACKGIRL, talking about how she's finally found childcare for her biracial /black daughter. the woman she found to do childcare happens to be black as well, by the way. so SINGLEMOMWHITEGIRL is talking about how her live-in white boyfriend (not the father, obviously) wanted to have a say in who does childcare for the daughter. i'm guessing he's playing the father role. so SINGLEMOMWHITEGIRL relays a conversation she had with her live in boyfriend where he says, 'i'm glad so-and-so [black lady] is going to be babysitting ______, because she[the child] is so wild, and she needs a good black woman to keep her in line, 'cause black women don't play'.
SINGLEMOMWHITEGIRL is giggling like she's pleased that she's so connected to the black race. the black girl she was talking to laughed about it too as if she agreed.
i wanted so badly to say something like: "oh, because REALLY- all us black women are nothing but neck-rolling, butt-whoopin', beat-you-down-with-a-quickness-if-you-backtalk type women, riiiiiight.
oh how badly i wanted to say that. and the funny thing was, this white girl is currently on thin ice for some other behavior, and i could have totally intimidated her by calling her out, making her scared of being fired. i'm sure i could easily have her fired. all i'd have to say was that she made a racial remark and it made me uncomfortable. and she'd be gone.
but, i just. didn't. want. to. if there wasn't an innocent little girl in the picture with a potentially unemployed single mom, i probably would have. but really. would it have made any difference if i had corrected her? granted, with my personality, i could have put on a phony smile and phony laugh and said something to put her on the spot, without actually grilling her. but as i thought about it, i decided that people's stereotypes are so deeply ingrained that even if i had said something about it, all it would have done was make her feel uncomfortable. true, she might think differently about that particular scenario, but what about the countless other stereotypes? i seriously doubt she'd really have been enlightened.
she's a single white mom with a black daughter and probably feels like she has a "free pass" to say things like that. and does she? i'm not sure. i once had a black girlfriend who was married to a white man, and the white man would repeat some words from rap songs occasionally in conversations and he would say the "N" word. sometimes he'd repeat something he heard someone else say using the "N" word. albeit it was hesitantly, but nonetheless he'd say it. and i got the impression that he felt he had a free pass because he was married to a black woman.
should i have spoken up? i know some readers will say i should have. but sometimes i just think that some people truly just don't know better, and i shouldn't have to be the one to teach them. i get tired of it. if it seemed like the intent was malicious or something like that, i probably would have. i guess it kinda just made me feel bad, more than anything, that we (black people) just seem to never escape the stereotypes. never.