Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
There's safety in numbers for multiracial couple at bar
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm black and my boyfriend is white. His family loves me and my family loves him. But, people in this city act strangely towards us sometimes, and it's getting scary. I've been hissed at by people of colour (not my colour) when I'm dressed up and out dancing with my guy. And drunk white guys have made stupid smirky chocolate-munching remarks to him in the bars we frequent, as we both love to grind, the way people dance nowadays. My boyfriend is a lover not a fighter and he gets mad at the disrespect, but he can't do anything about it. He suggested this week we stop going to our favourite dance bar. I said there's no way we should be scared away from our favourite place by some racist punks. What do you think? -- Dignity or Safety First, Downtown
Dear Dignity: Your boyfriend may hear more insults and threats than he tells you so it'd be wise to pry out of him everything that's going on at the bar. Go again, but go with a group next time with some friends of colour in it. Then, if you have trouble, you can more safely ask people why they're "starting up" when everybody should just be friends and dancing. Your peace-loving non-fighter boyfriend is who he is, and that's a good thing -- but there's no shame in letting other people help him out with verbal support. I invite my readers to write in and help with this issue.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm a breastfeeding mother. Last weekend at Grand Beach I fed my baby on a blanket with nothing to cover us. I was in a maternity top thingy and it was a hot day-- too hot to put a baby's head under a blanket. Other people were dressed in bikinis and thongs. The woman at the next blanket with the bratty kids were bugging everyone. But, she had the nerve to say in a loud voice: "Would you mind covering up? There are children here!" I then asked her to keep her brats from spraying sand all over everyone. She stood up in her yellow two-piece bathing suit with three-quarters of her large endowment showing and moved. What is the matter with her? Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural thing to do. So what if her kids see it? -- Good Mother, Grand Beach
Dear Good Mother: It's not so much about her kids. And, it's not so much about the baby's feeding activity. It's seeing your whole breast that puts this woman in a tizzy. She'd be mad even if she didn't have the kids with her. No, she wanted the choice of not looking and you weren't giving it to her. Even if she's a rude prude, most people would argue she should have that choice.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 15, 2010 D4
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