Thursday, May 19, 2005

It's like we were separated at [a] birth...

...that's how it has felt for me a couple of times recently reading Italian American Princess. Today's, I mean yesterday's post took me straight back to my own wedding & dealing with my own insane cousins, who cornered me at another cousin's wedding about a month before mine to find out where the hell their invitations were.

First, some background. I am black. Most of my family is also black, extended as well. Those who are not are actually light-skinned blacks.

Spouse is white. Most of his family is also white, extended as well. Those who are not are adopted from Korea.

Some of spouse's family includes some who practice what I refer to as 'institutional racism.' They don't necessarily understand, nor are they able to effectively articulate why they hate blacks, they just do because that's the way everybody felt in rural shitville or wherever they grew up.

Some of my family engages in what I'll term 'occupational racism.' They hate Whitey because, they claim, Whitey keeps them down. It is not through their own effort, or lack thereof, that they are not wealthy and successful (by whatever standards they use to define success), it is because white men never have and never will give them or anyone else who is not an uncle tom a fair shake.

I think the only reason they wanted to come to my wedding was to see if spouse would be wearing blackface. I am ashamed to admit that I wimped out. I actually apologized (my mother raised me right, and I'm almost always polite in person), and wrote down their addresses so it looked like it was some incredible oversight, and just prayed silently that they wouldn't be able to find a ride.

Well, they found a ride. In fact, their ride was two or three people who stayed, thus overcrowding my intimate outdoor wedding, and who I didn't even know. Whatever. The important thing is that everybody ended up behaving well & was polite despite the opportunity for a possible race war to break out in a semi-rural county where I'm pretty sure the sheriff's deputies would have arrived with the shotguns locked & loaded once they were aware of part of the crowd they'd be dealing with. Not just city folk, but colored city folk.

Anyway. The insane mom angle also covered by Italian... Princess crystallized for me later on well after the wedding, when I was newly pregnant with our first daughter (a quite beautiful tea-with-milk tinted child, if I might say so). I was talking to her by phone early on & I was pretty happy. She was too, then she laid this on me: "Oh, this is so wonderful. It's too bad he's not black."

There was silence on the line for several seconds until I said (racist? yeah. realist? shit yeah.) "No, mom, because then I'd still be pregnant & he'd be gone." As is the case with those cousins I referred to earlier. All mothers of beautiful chocolate brown fatherless children.

I just voted for Italian American Princess in The Blogette Award contest. You should too, soon, because it really is a shame that right now she's ranked below crap like why-this-one-woman-hates-her-husband. (Maybe he smokes so much pot because you're a harping belittling bitch).

You can vote for my girl here.


Blogger Christine said...

Thanks :-)

How is it that our mothers are so insane, yet we are so relatively sane? ::falls off chair laughing::

5:39 PM  

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