January 22, 2015
I don’t like to admit it but I think I’m a little racist. You know how I know this? Every now and then I hold the door open for someone who’s black or let a black person cut into traffic in front of me and I think to myself, “Isn’t it refreshing that I’m not racist.” I’m pretty sure patting myself on the back for being civil to someone who’s black is a sign that I have some work to do on myself.
(Here, let me hold this door open for you as my reparation for hundreds of years of oppression!)
I always took comfort knowing that one of my best friends, Christy (not really her name) was black. Not only are we good friends, we even lived in the same house for over five years. How racist could I be? Considering my relationship with Christy, I thought I was a bastion of liberal progressive thinking. As a plus, Christy was also into women. She was checking off a lot of boxes for me! Then I found out something about Christy I wasn’t prepared for. She’s not black!! Her heritage is Hispanic, German and English. When your ONLY black friend actually turns out to be German I think that qualifies as an epic fail. I won’t be surprised if I eventually learn that her girlfriend is really just a guy who looks like a feminine hipster.
(This isn’t a photo of my friend Christy but it may as well be.)
I grew up in a very white suburb of Boston. The first black person I ever saw was my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Stark. It was later explained to me that Mrs. Stark wasn’t black. She was a dark skinned Italian women. So I guess she betrayed me even before Christy did.
(This is what a black person looked like to 5 year old Steve. Although Mrs. Stark was no Sophia Loren)
To sum it up, I’m giving myself extra credit for being polite and friendly to black people and I don’t have one close black friend. I feel that, at least in my family, the racism gets watered down in each generation. I’m much more enlightened than my parents, who were much more enlightened than theirs when it comes to race. I’m not sure how many family generations it took until we’ve arrived at a place where I can say that I sat down, watched and thoroughly enjoyed Straight Outta Compton. Somewhere I have an Irish great great grandfather rolling around in his grave at the thought of that.
(Imagine this guy telling me in Irish brogue that I should go skipping and hand holding with Spike Lee as far as my taste in movies is concerned.)
Worrying that I’m racist sounds like a good example of a white person problem to me. It stands to reason then that my 8-month old twins could very well wind up dealing with white baby problems. They already have a few. Our Ford Explorer is not equipped with TVs in the back for their viewing pleasure. They have to share a play area at home. Of the two bouncy seats in the living room, one is clearly superior in terms of bells and whistles. All seem like white baby problems.
(It’s like Lord of The Flies in this play area.)
But, in a stroke of luck, one of their white baby problems has led to their salvation. Their Nanny kind of sucked at her job and was pretty expensive so we found a nearby daycare for them. Complaining about your Nanny is a classic white person/white baby problem. Luckily at this daycare there are more black kids than white kids. They’ve only been going there for two or three weeks but they’re already miles ahead of me in terms of exposure and thinking!
I went to pick them up with my wife one day last week. When we arrived a little black boy about two and half years old announced loudly in a somewhat disgusted tone that Arthur had “caca’d” the entire play area. It felt like he was inferring that while he still wore a diaper he had never been as irresponsible as Arthur in letting one so carelessly rip. I immediately realized that letting this kid shape my son in certain areas would be good for both of us. Arthur has found a mentor. And he’s black! His refreshing bluntness about Arthur even made me wonder for a moment if he was old enough to by MY new black friend.
I’ve also been informed that Charles’ best friend at daycare is a black girl a few months older than he is. I’m not sure how I feel about Charles getting involved with older girls but I admire and applaud his dipping his cute toes into the diversity pool when it comes to friendship whether it’s romantic or platonic. If their relationship moves to another level we’ll all have to sit down and watch Look Who’s Coming To Dinner.
So, my son’s biggest biggest white baby problem is that their father doesn’t have a black friend, which is something I need to solve. It would be great if an app like Tinder existed for white people looking for a black buddy. Ebony Buds for Ivory Dudes? Too long a name.
If there are any black people who read this blog and are looking to add a white friend to their roster please let me know. Of course considering my experience with Christy and my kindergarten teacher you’ll understand if I ask for some sort of proof.
Least Favorite Child Results
This will be the quickest tally to date. It’s been six days since my last post and Arthur easily took Least Favorite Child honors every day. His refusal to sleep at night is bad for him and he’s decided he’s taking everyone else along for the ride. His loud crying, whining every hour on the hour from midnight until 4:30am is like living with that constantly drunk Real World cast member who get way too emotional.
Total Days As Least Favorite Child
Charles – 94
Arthur – 90
Days Tied – 1
Days Since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 174
What if Neil never really received my post about him? These are the thoughts I cling to.
Read it here, Neil.