23 February 2009

Guess who's coming to dinner without answers?

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?

Me: Yup?

James: You have kids, right?

Charles (interrupting): Are they black?

(Class laughs.)

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.

(Class laughs)

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.


Erin Mallory said...

Hahah, amazing. Do they not approve of the name Erin??

Why didn't you say "Bethany"?

nfhuth said...

It was pretty amusing, actually. It wasn't a problem with the name, just that I had already used it (I guess). I just didn't think of "Bethany" . . !

Strangely enough, this is what I learned when the topic came up AGAIN today!