Packing up at the end of class and after a brief discussion of whether the movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner is still relevant today
Lucy: . . . so yes, I think it is.
James: And the attorney general called us cowards and says we can't discuss race honestly in this country. But Miss?
James: You have kids, right?
Charles (interrupting): Are they black?
Me: Um, what? (carefully) Noooo . . . why would they be black?
Charles: Just wondering.
James: So how many do you have?
Me: Two. A boy and a girl.
James: What if one of them said they wanted to marry a black person?
Me: Um, it would be fine, as far as that goes.
James: What do you mean?
Me: Well, I can't imagine objecting to someone based on some category like color or religion . . . I trust my kids' taste and selectivity. I'd just want the person they choose to be a kind, compassionate, thinking human being.
James: Welllllllll . . . what if your daughter wanted to marry someone who was black AND a really really really really hard core conservative right winger ?
Me: Wow. Hmmmmm. Let's just say that I might have a problem with one of those categories but that I'd have to reserve judgment . . .
James (laughing): I knew it! You'd object to his being black! (several beats) . . . . . . . sike!!
Me (slowly shaking my head): O, goodness. Yeah, you'd better add "sike." Okay. Moving right along . . .
Charles: What if you just had a black baby?
Me: What? But I don't.
Charles: I know but just what if you just suddenly had a black baby without any warning. What would you name it?
Me: What? There are several problems with this scenario, you realize this, right?
Charles: I know. Just play along. What would you name it?
Me: Um, I don't know. Is it a boy or a girl?
Charles: A girl.
Me: Um, I'd name her Erin.
Charles: Why "Erin"?
Me: Because that's what I named my daughter.
Charles: Naw, it has to be a different name.
Me: Um, I don't know.
Charles (smiling and nodding): See? That's why I like you as a teacher. You give me answers I can understand.