I just finished chatting with one of my sister in laws. Both of my sister in laws are pretty cool, they love me and the kids. She was telling me how the family was surprised that her brother married a black woman because he is “prudish”. She said that they always expected her to come home with a black man (she went on prom with one and freaked out the family), but never my husband. I told her if it were not for Islam I don’t think he would have married a black woman because he still holds a lot of prejudices, even though he adores his family. She said that is because both of their parents are racist. This I know.

The mom has never accepted me or the kids, never met us, and only recently seemed a little interested in my son. I think because he is the only one to carry on their little Irish name. My husband was the only boy and his racist granddad put a lot of hope in him having a son. Well if granddad was alive to see his mulatto Muslim offspring, he would die! I mean this is the grandfather who told the most racist jokes to my dh (You know how to keep black kids from jumping in the bed? How? Put Velcro on the ceiling!). So now, my dh after having three daughters has finally had a son to carry on the family name. And it just so happens that that son looks white enough for granny to play mind games and forget he is from a black woman, not to mention we gave him a name that she can handle. Forget that she compares my two daughters with my husbands first all white daughter. She said that she can’t relate to them like she can his first daughter. I say alhamduillah for that because her dying wish after wishing for my husband to apostate and become a priest, and we seek refuge in Allah from that(she wanted to go to convent school but blames his father for destroying her dreams of being righteous and his sister who is married with four kids plans on going on to convent school now that she is ‘saved’…what’s up with the Catholic Church? I thought you had to be a virgin to be a nun or priest), is to adopt his first daughter and raise her in the church. She says that it breaks her heart that none of her children are in the church but she has hope for his first daughter, cuz she know she can’t sink her claws in mine, insha’Allah.

His dad, while polite when we met, never went out of his way to have anything to do with us and we lived in the same building at one point. I remember one day, I was waiting for the elevator and he was coming in with his woman friend. He spotted us and had a look on his face of dread. Like, “please don’t come over here and embarrass me.” It was just me, my step daughter and my first born who was about 15 months. My step daughter was staring at him like she knew him from somewhere and I faced the other elevator acting like I did not see him. If I had spoke to him, it would have been very awkward and I am not one to push myself on people. I was just shocked that he could treat his grandchildren like that. In all fairness I don’t know if he was more appalled by my full body veil (niqab, gloves, socks and all) or my blackness, which was really not that apparent under ‘all that stuff’.

Anyhoo, his sister tells me that her almost 13yr old son was recently asked out by a girl at school, that he didn’t know. She said she asked him if she was cute and he said, “Mom, she is black”

She also, said that her children recently met her high school sweetheart, the only black guy in the neighborhood. After finding out they dated her son said, “Mom, if you’d married XXXXX, we would have been little mocha babies”

I miss, for my kids, having an extended family. However, I am happy and content that they do not have to deal with the ‘in your faceness’ of extended relatives who just remind you time and time again of how much of a stranger you are. Verily, All The Praise is To Allah.