Racially Motivated?

When I first watched this video, I expected different results. The reactions in the video caught me off guard because I can’t pinpoint the reason for the reactions. Sure, I know race is involved, but I don’t know at what angle.

Why be so vocal with a Black father and an obviously looking White child?  Why be so silent with a White father and an obviously looking biracial child? Why was the Black woman questioned to be the mother of the biracial child? Why get so emotional with the White child, yet sit back (and make phone calls) with the biracial child?


Special thanks to Under The Blue Sun for this video.


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13 thoughts on “Racially Motivated?

  1. The European-American dad seemed mean and suspicious. I think that’s why the guests called the cops on him.

    I have no idea why that one guest didn’t believe the African-American gal was the mom.

  2. I am betting that if the vocal woman had been in the restaurant when the white dad was there she would’ve had the same reaction. She doesn’t strike me as the kind of person that says, “I’m going to be quiet and mind my own business.” It would’ve been interesting to see her in the earlier segment.

    It’s interesting that the set up the show like this because there really are so many incidents like it with multiracial families. Those incidents are what lead people to start blogs (I’m Not the Nanny) or podcasts (Is that Your Child?) Usually, it’s people who just walk up and ask those absurd questions. This video was different because the waiter preyed upon a fear that’s not just focused on racial difference–the fear of child abduction. I would be curious to know about those couples watching the first dad/daughter. Did they even pay attention in the beginning when the dad and daughter exchanged kisses and high fives? Or did they only notice them AFTER the waiter hinted that there might be something amiss? That wife of the police officer didn’t mention race at all–she talked about being a mom and worrying about abductions. In that regard, it makes sense to me that people would freak out more on the white dad. Child abduction is probably the only crime for which the media doesn’t automatically point the finger at black men. It’s the only one I can think of, in any case.

    Thanks for posting this. Fascinating video. I’ve only watched that show a couple times and it just fascinates me.

  3. I saw this video.

    I think because black people/men are often seen as the victims of racially motivated crimes, people are more likely to speak up about it if they see them being discriminated against. On the other hand, white men are seen as the perpetrators of racism, so there is more suspicion about that. On top of that, people see a black man with a white/mixed child more likely than a white man with a black/mixed child.

  4. truthfully, I think that the American public is becoming more use to blackmen/whitewomen relationships and it’s quite common, and I think that’s why people responded so quickly.
    those types of pairings are featured constantly on television and different medias, versus bw/wm courtships.

    Black women/ whitemen or black women and interracial relationships still seem to be taboo or uncommon to some people and I think that’s why most of the customers stared and did not do much because it was more of ‘amazement’ in the nontraditional sense.

    I concur that if the same woman who was in the second scene with the blackman was in the first, she would say something then too. I’m still bewildered why that woman would say “that’s not her mother” about the black woman.

  5. I don’t live in America, but I’ve been there four times. For those readers who don’t know me, I am the white mother of four black children.

    What I see here is a media opportunity to milk public reaction to the whole interracial thing. In the reactions of the people – I read nothing particular – different people in ech case – those same people may have reacted exactly the same way in either situation had they been in both. We will never know.

    The “that’s not her mother comment” – no explanation, but could be simply that person was cottoning on to the fact it was a “set up”. After all, the USA has heaps of those sorts of programs. It did look a little staged in both cases.

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  8. I don’t know either, it caught me off guard for the same reason…but you make a good point. Maybe their more protective of the white child and less protective of the biracial child. Maybe it has nothing to do with the men at all, but the assumed innocence of the children? Still this one leaves me somewhat baffled. I wish there were more to the episode so we could understand it on a deeper and more critical level. I’m sure some of it had to do with the personal motivations of each individual, but still, you always have to wonder in these situations, how much is motivated by social ‘norms’ and stereotypes or prejudices…

  9. I would have liked to see what would have happened if the waiter did the same thing to a white father with a white daughter. I’m not entirely convinced that race plays as big of a role in this (especially in the case of the biracial daughter) as the suspicion of the waiter and the reaction of the dad. I’m biracial with kids who look white, so I dealt with this as a child and as a parent. I think in that situation, I would have assumed that the waiter saw something else that made him suspicious. People have done and said countless ignorant things to me (and my family), but never has anyone behaved like that waiter.

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