We were at the park the other day, and Ali found another little girl about her age to play with. They were pointing out each other’s eyes, nose, etc., and babbling in baby talk while the little girl’s mom and I stood off to the side chuckling together. We exchanged kid names and talked about how cute everyone was, the usual playground small talk. Then the mom asked if I was getting used to Ali’s hair, a fair question since I’m obviously white and Ali’s obviously biracial. Even more fair since Ali was sporting a twist out she had semi recently napped on and I hadn’t fixed:
One of those??
Words are powerful, and it was shocking to me that a mother would be so casual about saying something subtly racist (or at the very least it was a phrase that set up a clear us/them dynamic) to a stranger.