Father, white, says he was accused by Walmart security of kidnapping his kids, who are mixed-race

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110 Responses to “Father, white, says he was accused by Walmart security of kidnapping his kids, who are mixed-race”

  1. Brainspore says:

    Keep fightin’ those stereotypes, Walmart. And Virginia. And security guards.

  2. oasisob1 says:

    “Sir, there’s a payphone up by the entrance, feel free to call 911 with your racist shit, because I’m not gonna do it.”

  3. spacemunky says:

    The couple says they will never shop at Walmart again.

    I love a happy ending!

    • mccrum says:

      I’m sorry they had to go through that process, but whatever it takes to get people to realize that going there isn’t good.  I hate that place.

    • Sean Moore says:

      I was going to add this to my list of reasons not to shop at Wallmart, but the notebook I am using to list them is filled, seeing that it only has 300 pages.

  4. Xeni Jardin says:

    In before some troll defends the racist guards who called the police.

    • Brainspore says:

      There are several doing so in the comments section of the original article. “I’d be glad if someone cared enough to worry about the safety of my children” sort of shit, naturally.

      • mausium says:

        “There are several doing so in the comments section of the original article”

        Well duh. Racist commenters lurk on the site of every single local newspaper, radio, or television station. No need to import the stupidity here, though.

        • Brainspore says:

          Well duh. Racist commenters lurk on the site of every single local newspaper, radio, or television station.

          They’re usually the ones who begin statements with “I’m not racist, but…”

          • chenille says:

            It works so well, you can put it before innocuous statements and they become creepy racist:

            “I’m not racist, but I think I’ll have the ham on rye.”
            “I’m not racist, but my friends and I are going out of town this weekend.”
            “I’m not racist, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn last night.”

          • acerplatanoides says:

            Some of my best friends shop at walmart

          • millie fink says:

            ‘I’m not classist, but . . .”

          • oasisob1 says:

            And what kind of friend are you not to stop them?

          • retepslluerb says:

            Well, I’m not a racist, but I think you may be on to something.

      • Keith Tyler says:

         These are my favorite. Just like when I had an argument with my (un-) in laws over profiling Arabs and Muslims at airports. “If *I* looked similar to people that were terrorists, I would be HAPPY that they were pulling me aside and subjecting me to extra special scrutiny!” Literally.

      • DeWynken says:

        That was the VERY thing said to me by the older white couple that accosted my mixed race daughters (Native American) and me (Mixed Eurotrash camping out in America for the past 300 years) in Idaho a few years ago. They followed us into the mens room where I was trying to get my then four year old daughter to go to the bathroom on a road trip from CO to MI. After I yelled at the lady to leave us alone, the rest stop security guard came in and STOOD there outside the stall. Needless to say, my daughter was freaking out. Once outside they were waiting and gave me that that BS line..I was like..yeah..I appreciate the concern but you are fucking nuts. The security guard followed me to the car and took down my license plate. There wasn’t much I could do in front of my daughter that wouldn’t have made it worse, but man I was pissed off. Then I got to spend a week in MI where apparently only convicts and hippies have hair past their ears. 

        • Brainspore says:

          I’ve never heard a straight white man who was grilled in such a way say “boy howdy, I sure am glad that someone is looking out for my kids by making sure I wasn’t a child molester!” 

          The lack of basic empathy from people who aren’t routinely profiled is almost as bad as the people doing the profiling.

        • John Meyers says:

          How can you refer to your ancestors like that?  Shameful.

    • vonbobo says:

      These racist security guards are giving racists everywhere a bad name.

    • Steve says:

       I’m just surprised the guard was awake or even at the store.  Our local Wal-mart has 52 inch TVs stolen on a regular basis.

  5. TooGoodToCheck says:

    That guard is gonna freak the fuck out when he hears about adoption

  6. Christopher says:

    Fortunately Virginia has no history of anti-miscegenation laws. Wait a minute…

  7. Craig Hughes says:

    “The father is white. The mother is black. They…have three daughters…all of whom are mixed-race.”
    It’d be quite an unusual story if only 2/3 were mixed race.

    • Brainspore says:

      Not that unusual… unless the lone exception was one of the twins.

    • SedanChair says:

      Would it? Think hard.

    • millie fink says:

      Interesting that the kids could still today be considered “mixed” (or “biracial”) or “black,” but not “white.”

      • EH says:

        The One-drop rule.

      • Steve Taylor says:

         Well indeed. I was thinking the other day how Barack Obama seems to be thought of as a balack man who’s half white, never as a white man who’s half black. Funny old world…

        • DeWynken says:

          well he’s certainly the blackest white guy we’ve ever had as President.

        • I’ve had the same thought.  He’s 50-50, but only one of those halves counts.  

          Like when I registered my kid for school the first time, I checked “white (not hispanic)” and “Hispanic”.  They told me I can’t check both.  Why not?  Her father’s Mexican and I’m a mayonnaise sandwich on Wonder Bread.  Yet somehow only the deadbeat dad half counts.

          Edit: Er, not because he’s Mexican. Because he doesn’t pay his child support.

          • erik smit says:

            Do you have to enter ‘race’ on a school submission form? Really? I can’t imagine schools are allowed to ask about race over here (Netherlands).

          • I think it depends on the school, but yeah.  For “demographic information”.  This school didn’t have an “Other” option, which is what I would usually check.  

            And because she has her father’s last name, I get multiple solicitations for free school lunch.  In Spanish.  

    • Nadreck says:

      Yes, parthenogenetic births in humans are quite unusual: perhaps one in a billion!

    • One of them might have a child from a previous relationship.

    • Medievalist says:

      My wife and I are “white” (hating that non-informative non-description) and only one of our children is “white”.

      I usually describe myself as either “pinkish” (if someone asks about color) or “human” (if they ask about race).

      • ChuckieJesus says:

        For the sake of your non-white kid, please don’t act as if Race Doesn’t Matter. It’s one of the worst things white parents of children of color do to kids. Take it from someone who knows.

        • Medievalist says:

          No worries there.  Regardless of what I might have wanted, my kids became personally acquainted with racialist hate when my daughter was barely two.

  8. Navin_Johnson says:

    I remember hearing a similar story retold on the radio by a black man in NYC who was out with (caring for) his partner’s white child, but with NYP harassing him instead, and putting him in a squad car iirc. So frustrating. Probably a healthy does of racism and our modern day, helicopter parent, “Think of the children!” hysteria…

    • Warren_Terra says:

      It’s in an episode of This American Life. I tried a few searches, but haven’t been able to figure out which one.

    • Frank Lee Scarlett says:

      Every time I read “Think of the children” I immediately scan the article for the specific damage that will be done to children by the creeps who use that as a battle cry. 

      Just a few of the most common examples: banning GSAs that provide support to gay kids; legal ruling resulting in loss of a parental figure who is gay; kids denied loving home with one or two gay parents, thus forced to stay in foster care or in abusive home with a  “traditional” hetero family structure; unwanted children being born to women who will not be able to support them in a country that denies affordable day care, health care and paid leave to mothers; and hate speech against gay adoption by organizations proven to harbor pedophiliac rapists.The only kid-friendly policies I see in relation to that cry are the efforts of groups who excoriate the hate-filled policies of those who scream “Think of the Children!!”

      • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

        “Think of the Children, but don’t consider what will happen next!”

        Breast Cancer – Buy a pink ribbon and its all fixed.
        Natural Disaster – Text to some Red Cross number and its all fixed.

        Society seems to think all we have to do is something once, and all of the problems will be solved from them on. 
        I want to blame it all on the Cosby show, where all problems were solved in under 30 minutes and 3 ugly ass sweater changes. 
        Rudy tries crack, a stern talking to and she will never have problems with drugs ever again.

        Even with all of the evidence that knee-jerk responses lead to more problems people just want to have it fixed now and who cares what happens next… we fixed that problem and it will no longer be a problem.

  9. mikea says:

    This has happened before less than a year ago to a white grandfather of a black girl.

    Hey!  Also on BoingBoing:
    http://boingboing.net/2012/02/13/white-grandfather-detained-cu.html
    The worst part is the little girl screaming “What are you doing to my Grampa?”

  10. Bass says:

    I guess I’m the only who thought this was a reaction to fear/hype about abductions and not about punishing someone for miscegenation.  People thinking something’s askew and instead of ignoring it, do something about it.
    A similar incident happened in Austin last year with a grandfather (white) and his granddaughter (black).

    Racism + Pedophilia = Instant Interrogation.  Simply a product of our fear culture.

    • Brainspore says:

      I guess I’m the only who thought this was a reaction to fear/hype about abductions and not about punishing someone for miscegenation.

      Not mutually exclusive.

    • Christopher says:

      I don’t think you’re the only one, even if other comments (including my own) haven’t explicitly stated the connection. Yes, the guards’ actions were driven by a fear of abductions, but the issue is also those same security guards seeing a while man and children who appear to be of another race and automatically coming to the conclusion that they can’t be related.

      Virginia was the starting point for a famous case that finally ended anti-miscegenation laws in this country, but, as I understand it, one of the main defenses of those laws was “Think of the children!” Although I thought the defense then was that it was the children who would be confused, not a few wanna-be cops at Wal-Mart.

    • acerplatanoides says:

      Askew?

      What’s askew about a guy with kids? We’re they begging strangers for help! We’re they malnourished with welts? What was askew?

      • mikea says:

        Outside of the racism, people will give the eye to any man with a child.  All men are predators, ya know.

        One father tells how when he sits at the playground with his own kids in the daytime he gets the eye and expects to be greeted by the cops.

        The late Jeff Zaslow wrote about it.
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118782905698506010.html
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118903209653018615.html 

        I have a school bus stop in front of my house.  I actually avoid going near when the kids are there.

      • Bass says:

        Askew = older adult male with children.

        The Cleveland rescues and the recent child pornographer capture have both been recent events and are still on everyone’s mind.  These events negatively reinforce the prejudice that most fathers face.  If there is any doubt about the relationship between an male adult and the children he is seen with, then all sorts of red flags go off in peoples’ minds.  Some people confront the father, others call the authorities, others whisper to each other and watch for suspicious behavior, and so on.  That’s our culture at this point in time.

        Abductions are covered in the training the security guard received.  He did exactly was he was supposed to do.  He alerted the police.

        • Blob Dhobbs says:

           aHHH-aHHH-AHH BULLSHIT. He made a racist assumption. Older adult male? He’s in his early 30s. He’s dad aged. Any idiot can see when a small child is with someone they are accustomed to being with, LIKE THEIR DAD, versus a stranger. And why would a kidnapper take three little girls out in public to a fucking Wallymart. Did he dash from the store with howling children begging for their mother? No, he left like normal, strapped them into their carseats and left. This is bullshit.

        • Brainspore says:

          That guy looks to be about my age. His kids are about the age of my kids. If anybody called the cops on me as a suspected kidnapper then yeah, I’d want to hear a pretty good fucking reason for such suspicion.

        • marilove says:

          Askew = WHITE man with non-white children.In what world is this man “older”?!  He looks younger than me, and I’m only 31!

          This is just blatantly ignoring the obvious race issues presented here. It’s iridiclousl

    • cleveremi says:

       I was about 8 or 9 in the early 80s, shopping with my father. I am fair
      complected like my mom, and my dad is latino with dark hair and an
      accent. A lady came up to me and asked me if “that man “was “bothering
      me”. I told her, in a loud voice that he’s my father. He glared at her,
      and she hurried away. I’m glad the police weren’t called, but it did
      hurt my feelings and was confusing. (I had zero grasp of racism before that day.) I hope these girls weren’t
      freaked out by all this; maybe they are young enough that what they’ll remember is how their parents explained it to them, and not just the cops showing up because some people are racist assholes.

      • Bass says:

         I’m glad to hear that you proudly stated he was your father.  He was probably full of pride that day.

        I am troubled by your willingness to turn a concerned adult into a racist asshole. 

      • A Latina friend of mine adopted a baby boy.  White.  With severe FAS.  Due to his developmental delays, when he was younger he used to throw tantrums that included screaming “I want my mommy!” in public places.  Not fun.

  11. tré says:

    This sort of thing used to happen to my white mother carrying me (who looks so much like my Xicano father that she’s taken to saying “but he has my forehead” every time someone compares us) around in the predominately Xicano South Texas communities we used to live in. No one ever called the cops, though, just a lot of “what is that white girl doing with that little Mexican boy” looks.

  12. OldBrownSquirrel says:

     There’s a gender element to this.  A black woman with white children wouldn’t raise eyebrows, since they’d assume she’s a nanny.  A black woman with mixed-race children wouldn’t raise eyebrows, either; they’d assume she’s the mother.  Much of the paranoia in cases like this is because men caring for children goes so far against gender stereotype that many people are inclined to assume that a man in the company of a young child, without any woman present, is a kidnapper and molester rather than a parent or caregiver.

  13. tom says:

    Was the father mal-treated (aside from the “racism” claimed) such as a beating, forcible detainment and separation from his children, arrested and prison raped? None of that happened. The security guard called it in to the police, a cop drove to their house and:

    “He asks us very sincerely, ‘Hey, I was sent here by Walmart security. I just need to make sure that the children that you have are your own,’” Joseph says.

    Really? This is what passes for a racist security guard these days? I would personally explain to a thousand mixed-race couples “sorry about the polite questioning from a police officer” than have to explain to one parent “sorry the white guy killed your kids. We all noticed when he walked out of the store with them, but, hey, we can’t say anything about skin color.”

  14. gloriana232 says:

    So what I learned from this is that if somebody wants to kidnap children, they should aim for children of their colour. 

  15. Jellodyne says:

    Cool story, but I don’t understand the accompanying photo. Who’s the creepy child molester dude in the picture with those adorable black girls?

  16. Wowbagger_Infinitley_Prolonged says:

    Melatonin levels aside, his kids look just like him.  With such a strong facial resemblance, I don’t know how you could claim that they’re not related. 

    (Ok, I do know how, but I’m not a racist asshole).

  17. Walmart are upset because he owns a cotton farm?

  18. Nadreck says:

    Probably a mix of racism and sexism.  Interesting that the security supervisor that the father talked to was a woman and perhaps the guards and (supposed) customer doing the actual complaining to the guards (who may never have actually seen the kids) were too and yet every single comment here assumes the guard or guards were male and white.  Not that that’s ham-fisted stereotyping or anything…

  19. Baldhead says:

    I think I recall reading that another customer expressed concern first to security, then security called the cops.

    Still, to me, “Adult + kid(s) = parent/ babysitter”. I just don’t make the leap to “kidnapper” because that’s just not the more likely scenario.

  20. Jen_in_NY says:

    My husband and I adopted our daughter from China.  No one gives me a second glance when she and I are out together, although a few times I’ve been asked if my husband is Asian.  I always say, “Oh, I wish!” and walk away.  

    I wonder if my husband gets looked at weird when they are out, especially now that she’s a tween.  He’s so aloof, he probably wouldn’t notice.  But if this man’s daughters are anything like our daughter, shopping in Walmart would be one long string of “Dad, look at ______! Dad, can I have ______?” mixed with moments of eye-rolling attitude.  

    Some might try to applaud the Walmart worker for “at least” trying to “stay aware,” but really, ten seconds of observation would have shown that these girls were with their dad, besides the fact that despite their color, they look a lot alike.  It’s the opposite of awareness–it’s ignorance–that leads to cases like this. 

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I was wondering about that.  White parents with Chinese children are pretty common in some areas.

      • Very common though my son looks enough like me that I rarely get asked. Sometimes when crossing borders we get an extra close look from officials, who are trained to look for kids being transported illegally. A friend of ours who’s wife is also white, had trouble entering the UK because his son doesn’t share his family name.

        People are sensitive to custody issues, especially when they see men with young children. Once when I was camping with my son I got a few remarks from interested  people who thought it was strange that I would be travelling with my son without his mother.

  21. snagglepuss says:

    Stay classy, WalMart. SOMEBODY had to say it.

  22. Al_Packer says:

    I was a gray-haired 52-year-old when my daughter was born.  ‘Nuff said.

  23. That_Anonymous_Coward says:

    Geez, they treat good fathers like this and then wonder why some men just take off and leave their kids behind.  Society calls them deadbeats but I guess thats better than being called kidnapper all the time.

  24. David Aked says:

    How about a feel good from today that happened to me.

    Today I helped a little girl of about 3yrs old.  I am 35 yr old male.  The child climbed to the top of the slippery slide in a playground, looked around for her daddy and “Daddy wasn’t there”.  Started crying.  I saw daddy  (He had moved away to out of sight of the child, but nearby to talk with some friends he had just spotted), but I went with instinct. I went to the child (NOT DADDY!)  I just said “Daddy is over there princess.  It’s ok”.  All was resolved.  Daddy thanks me.

    This is Australia, BUT Australia has the same issues as most of the rest of the world with “OMG HE LOOKS DIFFERENT FROM THE CHILD!  PEDOPHILE! KIDNAPPER!” syndrome.

    There are good people out there that care for kids (Chuck ‘em under the harbour bridge.  If you were Aussie of my age, you’d understand.  Ad at the time that had a certain similar rhyme).  We will not care about the idea of pedophile or whatever.  We see a child in distress and we will help.  We may think later “OMG.  There may have been a twit there”.  But we do care.

  25. David Aked says:

    How about a feel good from today that happened to me.

    Today I
    helped a little girl of about 3yrs old.  I am 35 yr old male.  The child
    climbed to the top of the slippery slide in a playground, looked around
    for her daddy and “Daddy wasn’t there”.  Started crying.  I saw daddy 
    (He had moved away to out of sight of the child, but nearby to talk with
    some friends he had just spotted), but I went with instinct. I went to
    the child (NOT DADDY!)  I just said “Daddy is over there princess.  It’s
    ok”.  All was resolved.  Daddy thanks me.

    This is Australia, BUT
    Australia has the same issues as most of the rest of the world with
    “OMG HE LOOKS DIFFERENT FROM THE CHILD!  PEDOPHILE! KIDNAPPER!”
    syndrome.

    There are good people out there that care for kids
    (Chuck ‘em under the harbour bridge.  If you were Aussie of my age,
    you’d understand.  Ad at the time that had a certain similar rhyme).  We
    will not care about the idea of pedophile or whatever.  We see a child
    in distress and we will help.  We may think later “OMG.  There may have
    been a twit there”.  But we do care.
     
    (And I have no idea what happened to formatting. It broke. I blame the Disqus thing. I tried to do it as Google+ but then it prompted me for Disqus or disgust or something. Whatever)

  26. erik smit says:

    I’m not sure why it matters if those were his kids. They may have been his neighbor kids or nieces, or his best friend’s kids who stay over. None of those cases are even similar to abduction.

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