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Who will he take after?

(67 Posts)
geekesse Mon 08-Mar-21 10:00:04

I’ve been musing on the Sussex/Oprah thing. I have no patience with the whole caboodle, but it did make me think about conversations in my family around an expected baby. “Will he have his Mum’s blue-grey eyes, or his Dad’s hazel eyes?”, “I wonder if he’ll have red hair like his grandad?”, “Will he inherit his Dad’s big feet?” and so on. I can imagine a quite neutral conversation about skin colour in that kind of context. Or it could be quite noxious “I hope he doesn’t look mixed race” or “I don’t want a black grandchild”. Without some additional context, it’s hard to judge whether family conversations of this kind were racist or not. What do others think?

Smileless2012 Mon 08-Mar-21 10:05:17

I think it's becoming impossible for a 'white' person to make any comment about another whose skin colour isn't white, without being accused of being racist.

I don't believe it happened because M didn't name the person/people who reputedly commented on it. I wish she'd either 'put up' ie name names instead of these claims that cannot be substantiated or refuted, or 'shut up'.

Casdon Mon 08-Mar-21 10:05:29

I think that if people are looking for a slight, it comes from anywhere and everywhere. Hypersensitivity means that offence can be taken where none was intended, and which of us hasn’t inadvertently put our foot in it at some point?

Pantglas2 Mon 08-Mar-21 10:07:27

They seem to have damned the whole family by not naming and shaming don’t they? Most unfair IMO

Haven’t seen the programme yet so will reserve judgement until I get the context etc but racism has no place these days in any family.

Aveline Mon 08-Mar-21 10:08:02

If M hadn't made such a hoohaa about apparent racism I wouldn't have known she was any particular colour.

midgey Mon 08-Mar-21 10:12:25

Aveline I agree, I had no idea until the press made such a fuss.

EllanVannin Mon 08-Mar-21 10:19:02

That's two families M's upset now so I wonder who's at fault ?

LauraNorder Mon 08-Mar-21 10:19:26

Possible context
Perhaps a member of the royal family, in trying to prepare Harry and Meghan for a future of press coverage, has asked if they are prepared for the fact that the gutter press would make a huge deal of it if their children were black. Possibly this was part of a larger conversation about all the potential nasties that could come their way.
Just a possibility. We can’t know if we’re not told.
Seems very nasty to throw this in without context.

Peasblossom Mon 08-Mar-21 10:19:50

I hadn’t quite thought of it like that, but yes, after one blue -eyed blond baby and one brown-eyed brown baby we did have frequent conversations about what number three would look like 😁

Peasblossom Mon 08-Mar-21 10:22:03

That was to the original post, not yours LauraNorder.

I need to get into that copy thing.

Santana Mon 08-Mar-21 10:26:27

My great aunt asked me if my new boyfriend was 'foreign' which made me chuckle. I said his father was Welsh, and that seemed ok.
She then asked me if he could sing!
Not not really, but our DD2 can.

LauraNorder Mon 08-Mar-21 10:30:38

Because racism exists and the family are aware of it they expressed concern for future children in a mixed race marriage.
One of our sons married a black Asian woman and I can remember a private conversation prompted by her mother, spoken out of concern, about the life their children might live. Not totally accepted in either a black or white society.
Sadly this has proved to be true, both of my mixed race grandchildren suffer racial abuse in the white society of Perth, Australia. The parents were prepared and deal with it well but they can’t stop it.
Her mother’s honesty and concern helped them to prepare. I wouldn’t have dared to address it because I’m white and would have been afraid to cause offence.

Ellianne Mon 08-Mar-21 10:43:12

but it did make me think about conversations in my family around an expected baby.
Isn't that the important bit, geekesse? Private conversations within the family, whatever they may be, shouldn't be aired in public in front of the whole world. Otherwise our homes are no longer our sanctuary and we might feel like big brother is watching us.

NellG Mon 08-Mar-21 10:50:25

We still have a long way to go if a grandmother can't express concern over the wellbeing of her grandchildren for fear of being accused of racism LauraNorder - that must be a hard place to be.

I hope we all, globally, can get to a point where we can discuss the issues around race with open minds and a willingness to understand why we are where we are with it and what needs to change. At the moment it very much feels like the discussion gets shut down too soon and never progresses.

Nana3 Mon 08-Mar-21 10:53:09


I hadn’t quite thought of it like that, but yes, after one blue -eyed blond baby and one brown-eyed brown baby we did have frequent conversations about what number three would look like 😁

Absolutely agree with what you are saying here Peasblossom, you have personal experience as do I.
A conversation between a baby's Mum and Dad absolutely fine. However how often do grans on gransnet give advice about not interfering or commenting or the consequences could be catastrophic, practically every time.
I'm not saying it was the Grandparents who asked about Archie's skin colour.

The 3 dots under a post give you an option to put a

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 10:57:46

I have a mixed race daughter AND a mixed race grandchild. And I can say, hand on heart, that NO ONE in my family ever wondered what skin colour either of them were going to come out.

My dad is a bit of a bigot, as is my step mother. And although they may have had that discussion privately, I certainly never heard about it.

Frankly, anyone having that sort of discussion anywhere within earshot of expectant parents doesn't deserve to have a role in the child's life.

WTF difference does it make what skin colour a baby has? They are all beautiful and a wonderful addition to a family.

Blossoming Mon 08-Mar-21 10:59:48

Gagajo well said.

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 11:00:40

Frankly, lets hope Harry's next child IS visibly mixed race. It would do the institution of the RF a world of good to have some less inbred blood in it (I read an article yesterday about the health conditions prevalent in the RF due to the closeness of some of their bloodlines).

It would also shake up any residual racism.

Blossoming Mon 08-Mar-21 11:04:18

That would be marvellous!

M0nica Mon 08-Mar-21 11:51:11

Surely all this was implicit in most peoples delight at their engagement - that by marrying someone who was from a mixed heritage and possibly having a child whose looks made that clear, the Royal Family would be a symbol of the mixed culture of so many in this country.

The accusations of racism only seemed to appear after the decision to standback from the Royal Family

Peasblossom Mon 08-Mar-21 11:58:25

Wel, I kind of hoped number three might have red hair Gagajo. Just to give my family a bit of a look in😬

FannyCornforth Mon 08-Mar-21 12:01:53

In the event, he, that is, Archie, facially 'takes after' his maternal grandfather - Thomas Markle.

geekesse Mon 08-Mar-21 13:00:28

GagaJo, you said “WTF difference does it make what skin colour a baby has? They are all beautiful and a wonderful addition to a family.”

I agree absolutely. Skin colour, or eye colour, or whether a baby has red hair or big feet doesn’t make a difference to how wonderful a baby is, but they are all things that people may speculate lovingly about. Are you suggesting that family members should never even mention such things?

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 13:13:51

geekesse, even though obviously, I knew my baby and grandchild were going to be mixed race, it NEVER occured to me to wonder about skin colour.

3nanny6 Mon 08-Mar-21 13:20:56

I agree with original poster that a neutral conversation can be had in the family if a family member has married into a different culture and the outcome is going to be a mixed race child. In the context of the Sussexes it is quite a bombshell to put that type of conversation out into the public arena where it will be seen globally and attract damage.

Gagajo your post of 11 0.clock saying Lets hope Harrys
next child is visibly mixed race. I would just ask you to clarify that. Are you saying that Archie is too light skin toned in colour and you hope the new baby girl will have a darker skin tone.
I do not quite appreciate how you have worded that especially as you are the mother of a mixed race daughter
and I also am the mother of mixed race children. So as mothers we will be more than aware that our children can be born from being light skin toned colour and range to several shades darker for another child.
Also being the mother of mixed race children and then having GC I often had conversations with my daughter about skin tone colour and in fact I do not see that it makes any difference to do that.