Saturday, August 21, 2010

Radio Listeners Sound Off On Moms Mistaken As Nannies

Does Radio Interview Show Prejudice Towards Interracial Children and Parents?

National Public Radio.

LEE HILL: Hey, Michel. Well, I think it's fair to say this week's parenting conversation made a lot of jaws drop, and it definitely inspired people to get online and share their feedback. Tuesday, we talked to a group of moms who share a unique experience. They were mistaken for the nannies of their multiracial or simply different-looking children. Here's a clip from that conversation with featured mom, Jamila Bey.

Ms. JAMILA BEY: I am African-American. That's incredibly obvious, especially if you're looking at my hair. My husband is a Caucasian. My son, he's got blond hair and grey-blue eyes. I was in an elevator one day. He was in a stroller, and a woman looked at him and said, oh, so beautiful, so beautiful. Are you looking for more work? And she said, oh well, you know, you're just so good with him. And when I realized what she was asking, it hurt.

HILL: And, as you might imagine in response to that conversation, we received quite a bit of feedback. Here's a note we received from listener Ingrid. She writes: I'm white, my husband is Ethiopian. Our three children are grown now, but when they were young, I was sometimes asked where I had gotten my children and complimented for having helped children in need.

MARTIN: Oh, my.

HILL: Wow.

MARTIN: But other listeners, like Michael, had a different message. He writes: Good God, people. Toughen up. It's a hard world, and getting questioned if you are a nanny for a baby of a different color than you is hardly anything to get worked up over. He goes on to write, I'm white. My wife is black. Our child is also black. I have been questioned and could care less about what people think. Thank you, Michael.

To hear entire interview or read entire transcript please click here.
Reference: National Public Radio.

5 comments:

Eva said...

I think it is prejudice. I think it's ridiculous that a white nanny friend is mistaken as an adoptive mom to the Asian kids she nannies for! America is a melting pot so strangers should keep their mouths shut and never assume.

Imani said...

I think it's a case of bad manners for sure!

Anonymous said...

While I do understand the reason for mothers feeling hurt, I think some are too sensitive when it comes to a nanny relationship with their child. To think they could be assumed as a nanny, I think it's a little more than the mere thought of prejudice that is upsetting them.

Anonymous said...

As a nanny,I'm usually mistaken for the child's mother.

Kate said...

I nanny for twin boys and I'm often told how much they look like me.