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White Dad Livid After ‘Racist’ Brother Gives His Black Stepson The Book ‘Roots’ As A Gift

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Very few people don’t have a family member who is somewhat out of touch.

Who doesn’t realize how offensive some of their words and actions are.

Some people feel that correcting or confronting these family members is fruitless, and choose to ignore their insensitive remarks, no matter how cringeworthy.

Others, though, simply can’t tolerate such behavior, and will not let it go unnoticed.

Redditor Wallflowerdragon fell into the latter variety, and was not ashamed to express his outrage at a family gathering, when his brother gave his son an insensitive gift with less than honorable intentions.

But the original poster (OP), found himself somewhat surprised when he did not receive unanimous support from the rest of his family for his anger towards his brother.

Wondering if he was, in fact, out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for causing a scene at my parents anniversary?”

The OP first shared how even in this progressive day and age, his familial situation was still met with hesitancy from his family.

“My wife and I (both white) have two kids, 6 F[emale] and 4 M[ale].”

“She also has a son, Black, from before, 11 M.”

“I love him as if he were my own son.”

My family was a bit reluctant to accept him at first, but most of them really grew to love him.”

“He was only 2 years old when he came into my life, so I’ve basically been his dad his whole life.”

My brother is the only one that still hasn’t accepted that I have a stepson.”

“Never thought the black part bothered him as well though.”

“We aren’t close and only see each other for holidays and such.”

“He is a pastor in Texas where we grew up, and I moved to Chicago the first chance I got.”

At a recent family gathering, the OP’s brother unhappily revealed his true colors, turning what should have been a celebration into a tense confrontation.

“Yesterday we were all, all the siblings with families, in Dallas again celebrating mom and dad’s 40th wedding anniversary.”

My brother always brings all the kids little gifts that are usually really sweet and personalized.”

“My son is obsessed with elephants at the moment and my brother got him the coolest stuffed elephant.”

“My daughter loves the color purple so she got a bright purple outfit she really loved etc.”

My stepson got Roots, the book.”

“He doesn’t really love to read all that much, just comic books.”

“I was wide-eyed.”

“My wife didn’t even notice because she wasn’t at the table when my brother gave the gifts.”

“I asked my brother nicely how come he got him the book, and my brother said ‘well so that he can find out where he comes from.”

“I’m used to racism about my son from random people, so I just said ‘oh, he’s born and raised in Illinois’ which usually shuts people up because it makes them uncomfortable.”

“My brother then said ‘I meant originally’.”

“I asked him to drop it and then my mom came over asking the kids what they got.”

“She was shocked about the book, but tried to go along with it to not upset my stepson and said ‘I’m sure mom and dad will read it with you and you might like it”, my mom really does mean well, and then my brother goes ‘AND you can pick yourself a name like Kunta Kinte or whatever like that’.”

“I lost it and told my brother to beat it, and yelled at him that he really needs to stop being a racist prick.”

My dad said I ruined the anniversary, my mom says I shouldn’t have yelled but was justified to, and my siblings are split on the verdict.”

So I ask: AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

The Reddit community fully supported the OP, and agreed he was in no way the a**hole for calling his brother out.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s brother’s racist gift could not go unnoticed, especially considering he’s a pastor, with many suggesting that the OP would be better off cutting him out of his life.

NTA, give him Dante’s inferno for Xmas.”

“Make sure to add the note ‘you might want to read up on where you are headed to’.”- Kebunah

“So your brother was blatantly racist to an 11 year old boy and they somehow managed to spin it so that you were the one at fault for ruining the party?”

Go no contact with all of them.”

NTA.”- CrystalQueen3000

“NTA unless you subject your children to your brother ever again.”- CommunicationOdd9406


“‘He is a pastor'” and racist to boot!”

Your parents need to open their eyes and realize who actually ruined the party.”

“‘AND you can pick yourself a name like Kunta Kinte or whatever like that’.”

“What a total AH.”

“I feel sorry for his congregation.”

Simply block him and go no contact.”

“Your family does not need nor deserve his toxicity.”- patjames904

“Racism needs to be called out in the moment.”

“It doesn’t matter if it makes the a**hole racist uncomfortable and causes others to be uncomfortable.”

“How the hell do you think his child felt?”

“Kids pick up on those things extremely early.”

“I know, I am a white woman and my children and grandchildren are black as is my husband.”

Never ever let racism go.”

“It doesn’t matter who it is, family gets no reprieve!”

“EVER! “

“Protect your child and the rest of your family.”

If your extended family backs him, then you take your family and leave.”

“Good for you for calling it out in the moment.”

“Kunte kunte!?”

“I am seeing red for you.”- Wytchwomyn69


“He’s a pastor?”

“Gross.”- WarrenMulaney


“Great book, bad take from bro.”- workthrowaway00000

“NTA .”

“Calling him out on his racist BS was justified.”- SirFappenburger


He caused the scene for acting the way he did, not you.”

They should be upset with him.”- No-Rub1544


You were standing up for your son and family.”

“Your ‘pastor’ brother needs to read up on acceptance and not not judging people.”

“You are a family and if he cannot be accepting then he has no right to be around your children.”

“The gifts for the younger two were great, but I don’t understand WTH your brother was thinking about gifting Roots to your oldest, why not just buy him an age appropriate gift instead of focusing on race.”

“I would definitely go NC with that brother, and explain to your dad that it was your brother that ruined the anniversary, not you.”- MuchLoveWaffleGirl


“Sounds like your brother is a racist a**!”


“You’re a great dad to your 3 kids.”

“Well done.”

“And please never let your brother near any of your children again.”

“No matter what.”- DragonFireLettuce.

“NTA your brother ruined the anniversary.”

“Good on you for standing up for your son.”- this-isjello

“NTA, you didn’t cause a scene, your brother did.”- PracticalDingo3235

“What did your son think of your reaction, and did you talk to him afterwards?”

“You’re 100% NTA, and your brother’s gift/statements are wildly racist, but I’m wondering how your son felt with this going down in front of him.”

“I hope he felt supported and knows it’s uncle Ahole that’s the real issue.”- yellsy


“Yelling wasn’t a good way to go but i don’t blame you for being angry and calling out the racist and defending your stepson.”

“There’s no hate like Christian love.”

“Gross.”- sudsandjugs

“NTA but ur family is racist.”

“You brother is outwardly, but your parents are micro aggressive as well.”

“Someone should help teach them, you and your son the implication on what was said and how to be better and also how to notice these things cuz I feel as though as ur defending ur parents you yourself don’t see the micro aggressiveness either.”- Worth_Wallaby5387


“I’m not in the US, I only know what Roots is at all from an episode of community where Levar Burton was a guest star and my jaw dropped when I read what they gave that little boy.”

What the f*ck.”- Needmoresnakes


“Ignorance also contributes to racism, and that comment he made about your son picking a name is definitely racist and unacceptable.”- b0bsbugsbegone


“Your brother is the one who ruined the party.”

“Good for you.”- elizabethjanet


“I’m glad your stepson has a stepdad who loves and cares about him.”

“He’s a child and needs to be protected and you’re doing a good job.”

You weren’t even violent, you just made it clear you won’t stand for people abusing this kid in any way.”


“Shame on your brother.”- sadbumblebee1

No child should have to put up with behavior like this.

Particularly from within his extended family.

Hopefully the OP’s brother will reflect on what the OP said, and learn to treat all people, let alone his adopted nephew, with the love and respect they deserve.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.