"Dinner Table Racism "
I am a Black woman in my 30s married to a white man in his 30s. We have been together for 16 years. He is from Europe but has a large familial presence in America. This past weekend we were invited over to his cousin's and her husband's for supper along with another cousin, and My Husband's Aunt and Uncle. The Hosting Cousin's husband is Turkish, and Jewish. I am seated across from the Hostesses and everything is going fine, until the Hostess begins to tell a story about having to drive through central Virginia late at night with another friend and her husband. They pull into a gas station for gas and the story friend says, "Are we by any chance near an HBCU?" and the Hostess answers, "Yes, we are." And the story friend says, "Are there a lot of Black and Turkish people around?" And the hostess says "There are a lot of Blacks, and Egyptians and Arabs," to which the story friend replies, "We need to get out of here! This is the wrong side of town! Forget about the gas, we need to go, get out of here now, we don't want to be in this bad neighborhood!" The Hostess is staring me in the eyes and laughing. I look at my husband. He looks back sadly, but he too, laughs, awkwardly. No body else at the table laughs and My Husband's aunt quickly steers the conversation away. Later, in the car ride home in front of our children my husband and I discuss what happened and agreed that it was racist and what was Hostess Cousin thinking? My husband says this is how white people talk and reminds me that even though Hostess Cousin didn't, both of her parents voted for DJT. I recap the story with my mother and she suggests my husband reaching out Hostess Cousin about it. We have a huge fight because My Husband doesn't want to. I tell him I was embarrassed and hurt, and he asks why wasn't I angry? And why don't I text Host Cousin? I say its your cousin! My husband sends a text message to the cousin explaining that her comment was weird and how I felt about it. The cousin reached out to me and said she would love to talk to me about it when I had the chance. I told her I was free this Wednesday. Crickets. I don't really want to talk to her about it anyway.