Not Engaged Yet

Tough situation...Racist Mom :(

So, yesterday my BF and I had the 'What do you think about the possibility of us getting married?' conversation, and we both revealed it's something we want to do at some point in the future once we get a few things straightened out (he was laid off in June after 12 years at a he's starting over at a new one at age 33...). Anyway, my issue is not him. Knowing that he and I eventually want to walk down the aisle together, I'm stuck trying to figure out how to get my mother to accept him. She's extremely racist, so the fact that I'm white and he is African American really, really bothers her. Everyone that's met him has really liked him..including my dad, but my mom wants nothing to do with him. She's aware that things are relatively serious, but even joking about marrying him was enough to send her into a fit.I know I will never really change her attitude, but I would really like her to make an effort to know something about him other than his name and make an informed decision about him being a potential SIL on something other than the color of his skin. I know her well enough now (I'm 27) to know that it's unlikely, but is it unfair for me to at least try something? Her not liking him doesn't really change my relationship with him- but I think everyone can understand when I say I really just would like everyone to get along... Anyone have any advice?JS

Re: Tough situation...Racist Mom :(

  • edited December 2011
    I don't think you can make her like him.  Hopefully, time will help with that.What I think you can do, is make it clear to her that he is a part of your life and that she has to respect that and respect him.  She doesn't have to be friends with him, but you expect her to be polite and kind.  If she cannot do that then she will be jeopardizing your ability to have a relationship with her.
  • magsugar13magsugar13 member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Make it clear to her now that you are an adult , and this man makes you happy. You will not tolerate her being disrespectful to him at all. They dont have to be best friends BUT she will respect him! If you do not get that straight now you will be in for a lot of heart ache!
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  • salt78salt78 member
    edited December 2011
    I understand what you are going through to a degree. I have family that is the same way. You are an adult and if he is the person that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, then she is going to have to respect your decision. It might not be easy for her and there isn't really any way that you can force it (if she's anything else like my own mother, that would just make it worse), but I suggest before going any further that you do what mag suggested. Try to ease her into the idea now so that when you guys do eventually get engaged, it doesn't come as a shock.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks, everyone. :)I have such a hard time with this whole thing- I just can't understand racism, and really have no tolerance for it..the fact that I have to deal with it from my mother just makes no sense to me. I'm going to try to ease her into the idea now...I think that's a good idea. How I say it will be a different story... when I told her I was even dating him, it was a fiasco. (How do you even respond when someone only wants to know if the man you're dating is "black black or brown" and if he's a "normal looking black, or an ugly black"? I mean... seriously, that's just... grrrr... sorry, that still irks the heck out of me!)Thanks again!
  • edited December 2011
    I am so sorry you have to deal with that-- my dad's family is the same way. It's so annoying, and embarrassing.Once I was talking to a guy online who lived in England, and my grandfather swore up and down the guy must be an Arab pretending to be English... and that he was also a terrorist.I tried to explain the concept of webcams and stereotypes, but got nowhere. Went to England, gave that entire side of my family a panic attack, came home just fine. No terrorist boyfriend.Thing is-- he had blond hair and blue eyes. How far does this racism and sterotyping go, anyway?Ignorant. Just deal with it as best you can, try to be patient but firm. Tell your mom you love her and respect her, and that you would really appreciate her respecting and getting to know your boyfriend as well.Just do your best and be the bigger person. It's all you can do.
  • edited December 2011
    Hey blue,Sorry you're going through this. I am in an interracial relationship myself (I am AA and he is white) but I am the second in my family to be in one. When my older brother started dating an Asian woman, my folks were not altogether happy. It wasn't because they were racist though. It was more because they could see how difficult like would be for them. Now he's been married fro 6-years and they have 2 adorable kids. My folks have since come around. Your Mom might just be scared of the hardships you will no doubt face as an interracial couple and perhaps that's where she's coming from. I say talk to her about how it makes you feel that she feels that way and how its hurting your relationship with her. Also, be firm that this is YOUR decision. Remember though that she loves you and has brought up a daughter who knows to look beyond color. Tell her its her good upbringing that allows you to see the world without color. Hope that helps. Goodluck!
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  • tidetraveltidetravel member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It is your decision and it sucks that you mom can't respect that.  You need to stand up for yourself and your relationship.  Make it known that he makes you happy and that he is your choice.  Tolerate NOTHING disrespectful said about him or your relationship, whether it is said in front of him, or in private.  You also have to prepare yourself for the fact that it may come down to choosing your BF/FI or your mother. 
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  • ericswifeyericswifey member
    edited December 2011
    Dito what all PP's have said, especially tidetravel's advice about preparing for having to "make a choice". That isn't to say your mom won't come around but you should be (and I think you are) aware of the possibility.If your mom is religious at all, maybe subtly (or not so) remind her, WWJD in this situation? I don't think Jesus/ Buddha/ Allah would shun any person, regardless of their skin color.
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I'm very sorry that your mom grew up with racism but I was just on the cusp of that generation so I don't necessarily blame just her.I remember my grandfather having a fit over a black guy friend who was visiting when he stopped by to pick something up.  He refused to come into the apartment while the young man was there.  btw, the young man was a med student at Harvard, far more ambitious than most of my other friends at the time.Try to understand that it's not him that she dislikes, it's a perception of racial inferiority that she probably grew up with.  That can change pretty easily if she gets to know your future FI and realizes that these sterotypes died for the most part somewhere in the sixties.I am a white, devout Catholic, somewhat conservative professional woman.  I would accept and learn to love my daughter's choice of husband if he was a black, Jewish, hippie garbage collector if she loved him.YOU are the person to make the choice and I honestly think your mom will come around given a bit of time.  If she wants to keep you in her life, she will learn there is only one way to do that.Good luck!
  • edited December 2011
    I'm sorry about your mom. It sucks alot that sometimes you have to choose between people that you love. We are lucky to have accepting families it was never an issue on either side. However we have 3 kids, 2 his, 1 mine. He is not my daughters biological dad but has filled that roll since she was less than a year old. She calls him daddy. She has blond curly hair and fair skin. His kids are not mixed and obviously not biologically mine. People look at us sometimes like we are from the circus. I tell the kids that its just because we look different than other families and its most people look longer than what is polite when they see somthing out of the ordinary. I tell them we are good example of how it doesn't matter what race you are, what gender or religion you are love is love no matter where you find it.  The truth is I want to scream at people sometimes. My advice to you is to think long and hard about the fact that she is who she is. She belives what she belives. You will never change that. If you and your bf know that you will be getting married eventually are you willing to let go of your relationship with your mother?
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  • edited December 2011's so good to hear from so many people on this issue!You know, my mother and I don't have much of a relationship, to be honest. We've always been hot and cold with each other, but I have tried to repair things a bit to get along better. However, I told her once before that it's totally her choice to accept my dating him, but by making that choice, she'd also have to accept that she might lose me. I'm not giving up this amazing man simply because she doesn't like the color of his skin. Part of the problem is that I dated an ex several years ago who happened to be AA and he was also very abusive- so she tosses that onto the pile of why she's racist (but will tell you in the same breath that she ISN'T racist...). But yeah, I will not choose between them. It's not my place to choose really, the more I think about it and read your responses- she can choose to let it go and try to know him for the person he is, or she can hold onto her hatred. It seems to be her choice more than mine. Besides, my dad is the one who has to walk me down the aisle, right? ;) As long as he's OK, I'm good. lolAnyway, it's also good to not be alone in this. :) I had a conversation about this with my father, so at least he's in on it, and he agreed that telling my mother sooner rather than later would probably be a good idea (he's a brave man, since he's going to face the brunt of it living with her. lol).Thanks, once again, to you all for your comments and support.JS
  • edited December 2011
    At least your dad sounds really supportive; that's got to be a relief!  Maybe he can help your mom come around.Good luck!!
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