Racism has no place in our culture.
This shouldn’t be a radical stance to take in 2022 and the fact that I have to start with that premise is concerning all on its own.
So, what happens when you are invited to one of the big events in a person’s life but your child is not? Further, what do you do when the reason they aren’t welcome is because of their skin color?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) JusticeLears when they came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.
“AITA for taking my Black son to my sister’s wedding even though she didn’t invite him?”
OP began with the background.
“My sister got married yesterday, I have a lot of siblings, they all have kids.”
“All of my siblings got invitations for the whole family (so also kids), I just got an invitation for me (not my son, who is 9).”
“The other kids are all ages 2-16, so my son’s age doesn’t stand out or anything.”
OP did give a possible reason and some evidence for the child’s exclusion.
“My son is black though (from my first marriage) and I am white. My sister never liked broadcasting the fact that I have a black child, she never introduced him as her nephew etc.”
“So when I found out my son was the only uninvited child of the family, I decided to take him with me.”
“We went, my sister was furious. My son played with the other kids, they were all well behaved, one glass was broken while they were playing but that’s all.”
“After the reception my sister told me I ruined her wedding and especially her wedding pictures and that she doesn’t want to see either of us again.”
OP was left to wonder,
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: ESH
Some held all parties responsible.
“Standing up against racism has many forms.”
“In this case the most crucial way to be an anti-racist is to be the best ally you can be to your child.”
“He is, incidentally, the only Black person in this story and the only person you’re actually responsible for and ultimately accountable to.”
“Protect your baby.”
“Please take time to debrief with him and make sure he knows you’re a safe person to talk to about this. Let him know that sometimes we make mistakes when we’re trying to do the right thing.”
“That the most important thing is him.”
“There are coaches and therapists who specialize in helping White parents raising racialized children to do right by them.”
“Maybe you could engage the services of one of them.” ~ Hoistedonyrownpetard
“Your sister for being racist, and you for bringing a child into a situation where they could face violence for their skin color.”
“You want to be defiant? dont go to the wedding of a racist.” ~ your-yogurt
Others offered other ways that this could’ve been resolved.
“A no show to the wedding and letting the family know why the op did not go the wedding would be a bigger statement of the systemic racism that seems to run through the family.” ~ Premodonna
“RSVP yes, then don’t show.”
“So they’ll have paid for your food and booze.”
“An itty bitty ‘F*ck you’ to the sister.” ~ killbot0224
There were also concerns for the child’s safety.
“A**holes are good at being sneaky. All other takes is 2 minutes alone in a hallway with no witnesses or waiting for a distraction to let a comment or two slip.”
“Do you think the kid didn’t notice that the bride excluded him?” ~ Ancient_List
There were personal stories too.
“‘why would you bring your child to your racist sister’s wedding?'”
“Mixed kid here (but 35 now).”
“You do children a disservice by hiding them from the world.”
“They will enter it unprepared.”
“Adversity in controlled circumstances (such as this case) will provide coping skills. OP’s son should know his family and all that entails.”
“My 2 cents.” ~ marheena
“I’m a mixed kid and was the mixed kid being called slurs by actual full grown-*ss adult family members.”
“I would have preferred to be protected ‘hidden’ from those family members as a child.”
“I fully respect what you are saying, but at the end of the day, me being put in the situation and being verbally abused most of my life for being a half-black child.”
“(I’m 37 now) is something I definitely could have done without and could have been avoided if my parents would have stopped taking me around certain racist family members.” ~ Impressive_Drama_377
“I agree with this.”
“The sister is the major a**hole and I would have disowned her long ago.”
“But OP is as well for letting their rebellion potentially lead to their child being emotionally scarred by these racists.”
“Why subject your child to this environment?”
“Does OP’s parents and other siblings condone this racism? Seems like they do.”
“Or they are probably racist themselves.”
“Geez. Only person to root for here is the 9 year old boy.”
“I hope his other side of the family is a good support system.”
“And f*ck sister and her pictures.” ~ 3rdCoastLiberal
There were many who wondered why OP went to the wedding at all.
“Tbh I find it mildly unsettling that she felt the need to bring her son into that racist environment and something about her need to mention that he was well behaved is rubbing me the wrong f*cking way.”
“It sounds like she was trying to prove something to her sister with her ‘well behaved’ black son instead of protecting him from her garbage family. “ ~ Virtual-Bus-3242
“N/T/A ESH -“
“Tell your sister GOOD that she doesn’t want to see you again, because your son does not need her in his life and neither do you.”
“She’s blatantly racist and if she chooses to exclude, then she’ll end up pushing away decent folk.”
“EDIT to add:”
“But it would have been better to refuse the invitation since your son wasn’t invited.”
“Cut your sister off before the wedding rather than put your son in a position where he could’ve been hurt.”
“I understand that in your view you probably just wanted to make him feel included by attending the wedding, but it could’ve gone so much worse for him if he became the target for any of your family’s racism and discrimination.”
“I’m glad the kids played well this time, but this wasn’t the safest and most welcoming setting for him. And he deserves to only feel safe and welcomed by his family.” ~ CrimsonKnight_004
Some felt OP let their son down.
“I usually lurk, but this is particularly egregious and needs a comment.”
“I would say E S H, but this seems like normal behavior for your sister since you said she’s never introduced him as her nephew.”
“So OP, YTA for knowingly putting your son in a hostile, racist environment and not cutting your sister off sooner.”
“Your son is a human being with feelings.”
“He is not a prop for you to self-righteously parade around racists just to prove a point.”
“It doesn’t make you better than the racists.”
“Be better to your son and don’t do that again.”
“Protect him from being placed in situations that are potentially dangerous for him (mentally as well as physically).”
“He doesn’t need to be around your sister, and he deserves a mother who doesn’t unintentionally dehumanize him by parading him around places he’s not wanted just to prove a point.”
“That’s not how you fight racism.”
“You should’ve called her out on her racism and cut her out of your life long before it escalated to her thinking she could blatantly exclude him and only him from a major event.”
“Keep him away from your sister and anybody who defends her behavior.”
“And do better to your son.”
“You may not mean to hurt him intentionally, but continuing to react to racism in a way that requires you to put him in potential harm’s way instead of protecting him is going to have a negative impact on him at some point.”
“I’m biracial and I’m thankful my dad had the wherewithal to cut my racist family members off when they started treating me like an extraterrestrial instead of parading me around family functions and further exposing me to harm. I can’t say this enough.”
“Do better, OP.” ~ Acceptable-Trick1685
“Yes, YTA, altho not as big a one as your sister.”
“Obviously, she’s trash.”
“But what you did wrong was bring a little boy to a wedding where he wasn’t welcome.”
“Again, this is on her, but it could have played out much, much worse than it did.”
“You were using him as a pawn to get back at your sister. What if one of those kids had repeated racist crap they’d heard from others? Or worse?”
“There’s all sorts of ways you can get back at your sister, but leave your son out of it.” ~ maricopa888
Racism does not belong in any modern culture.
It has no place in a wedding, or birthday party or weekend cookout.
While we must be actively anti-racist we cannot forget that we aren’t showing up for an idea but for people.