That awful moment parents of interracial children will probably face

That awful moment parents of interracial children will probably face

The Washington Post

Nevin Martell

“Is that your son?” the man suddenly asked, without any preamble, and with an aggressive edge to his tone.

I was sitting in the dining area of a local Whole Foods after finishing the weekly shopping with my 3-year-old son, Zephyr. We were both eating and laughing about something silly, simply enjoying a Saturday morning together.

The unexpected question was from a 30-something African American man who had been giving me odd, furtive glances since we sat down. I figured that he thought he recognized me and was trying to jog his memory. I was certain we hadn’t met, so I was bracing myself for one of those semi-awkward, “No, sorry, I’m not who you think I am” conversations.

“Yes, this is my son,” I answered, a little warily.

“Hmph,” he snorted. “I didn’t think so.”

Now my defenses were fully up. “Why not?” I shot back.

He scrunched up his face, like he had just taken a bite of something distasteful. “There’s just something off about you two,” he said.

Frankly, I wanted to knock him senseless, but I restrained myself. Who says that to a complete stranger? How could he not see — for any number of reasons — that Zephyr and I were related? In my mind, there was only one reason why he would draw that conclusion.

“Is it because we don’t have the same skin color?” I challenged.

You see, I’m white and my Ghanaian wife is black, so our mixed-race son is golden brown…

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