AUSTRALIA - It never ceases to amaze me how excited some white people get when they talk about their racist family members. They pretend to be open-minded and accepting, but as soon as their racist father uses the word “n*gger” they feel the need to tell me about it in great detail. And I just….don’t know what they want. Do they want me to be offended? Do they get some sort of sick pleasure out of seeing me hurt?
I once had a boyfriend who would always invite me to his grandmother’s house. I always assumed it was because he was close to his grandmother, until one day she said to him, “it’s so nice you’re finally visiting me after so long. But I’m sure [my name] would like to meet your parents too. You don’t need to drag her to my boring old house every week.”
I remember thinking it was strange that he was seemingly hadn’t visited his grandmother in years, but was now visiting her every week. But I thought little of it at the time. It wasn’t until about a week later that we were watching some old movie at his grandmother’s house, and he said, “It sure was a different time back then, wasn’t it, grandma? I bet your younger self would be horrified to know her grandson would someday be dating a black girl!”
His grandmother gave him the weirdest look, and said, “What the hell are you talking about? [My name] is a lovely girl. I’m happy you have found someone so wonderful. I have no problem with her race.”
After she finished talking, my boyfriend’s face fell. He was disappointed. He didn’t want his grandmother to give me a compliment. He had wanted her to say something racist and offensive. And that’s when it hit me… He wasn’t visiting his grandmother because he was close to her. He was visiting her to “show off” his shiny new black girlfriend. He wanted her to say something racist to me, so that he could “tell her off” and show his supposed open-mindedness. And he was disappointed to discover she wasn’t a racist old lady after all.
He never invited me to his grandmother’s house again after that. I asked him a few times if we could visit her because she was a nice (and lonely) old lady, but he’d always make up some excuse or say he didn’t “feel like it”.
We broke up a few weeks later.