Was this racist?

My significant other and I were at a party with two other couples. The first couple are both Chinese. They’re married and have two boys. The second couple is a Caucasian guy married to a Filipino/Chinese woman. They’re also married and have two boys. All the kids are roughly the same age. At the party I accidently confused one of the boys from the second couple with a child from the first. The child’s father gave me a dirty look and implied I was being a racist for the confusion.

I don’t think I was being racist. Both of the couples are people we see perhaps twice a year. I’ve met their children only a handful of times in my entire life and couldn’t identify any of them if I saw them anywhere else.

I’m rather upset with his implication. Are either of us overreacting? I certainly didn’t mean to hurt his feelings.

That guy is a twit.

You should never speak to him again until he apologizes. I hate people who translate their ethnicity into moral superiority.

If your kids and other caucasian kids were playing and he mis-identified one, what would you think? Absolutely nothing, probably. What an ass.

Yep - he is a silly sod who assumes that the world revolves around his kid, and everyone has to remember everything about a kid whom, as you say, you’ve encountered only a few times before. He probably imagines you have memorised whehter the kid has had measles, whether he likes sports, and what he likes for breakfast.

Is it possible that he’s xenophobic and resents you for implying that a child of mixed ethnicity could be a child of his?

I also vote for Twit. people misidentify people they have just met all the time. Why does it make you a racist just because you did it with someone of a different ethnic group.

The sad thing is, jerks like that actually make it harder to fight real racism when it rears its ugly head

One time I came across a boy (about 8) on a slide crying and refusing to get down. I wandered down to where a bunch of adults were watching a baseball game and asked the only black lady there if it was her kid (we don’t have a diverse population here) I got chewed out for assuming it was her kid and was pointed to a white lady that was the kids adopted mother. Guess I should have just minded my own buisiness and let the kid cry instead of daring to assume something.

Bottom line some people are just looking for things to get offended by. You just gotta let it roll off you. You know you’re own intent.

Did he call you a racist? What do you mean by “implied”? Maybe his “dirty look” was just his reaction to an unexpected event. Facial expressions can have many different interpretations even within the same culture. Either way, it’s nothing to get upset about. I’ve often called my own kids by each others names.

Oh, for God’s sake.

I get my nephews mixed up and I see them at least once a week. It’s not that I don’t know their names, it’s just that I will sometimes call one by the other’s name.

Tell him to lighten up. Not everything is about racism.

My name, according to my parents is, “(oldest brother’s name), I mean (middle brother’s name), whatever the hell your name is.”
Yes; I’m actually referred to as “Whatever the Hell your name is”.
These are my parents, and they love me dearly. Why should you have to know which child is his?
I say you didn’t do anything racist.

Fair enough. Two the children were chasing each other around the room. I said to the Caucasian father, “That’s your son Connor, right?” He gave me a very clear dirty look and said, “No, that Ed’s son Tommy. Not all Asian kids look alike.”

I thought the remark was snarky and uncalled for. Like other people I get my nieces mixed up all the time. I’ve been jokingly teased about it but no one’s ever taken offense at it.

I do think he’s a complete twit. I probably won’t see him until Christmas and then I plan to completely ignore him.

What a dick!

I assumed it was the Caucasian one. This is going to sound horrible, but I think the Chinise father would have had more experience with white people accidentally mixing his kids up (as much as I try to deny it, I have trouble sometimes differentiating between strangers of different ethnicities than my own).

The guy’s a dick. Simple as that.

Yeah, the best thing to do would be ignore him at the next occasion. Not the kids though. All kids are cool.

If you have to ask, it probably isn’t.

It is time we accept as a fact that it is much more difficult to differentiate individuals outside of our race or ethnicity. I am white and am friends with my black neighbor Charlene. She happily admits that she has trouble telling one white neighbor, especially males, from another. I have the same difficulty with black men that I only know casually.

Nothing racist about it, and if that father is expecting the mixup to never happen again he is kidding himself.

It has been said that there are two kinds of racism: one that, based on race, discriminates; and one that, based on race, refuses to discriminate.

I recall hearing on that TLC: The Human Face special, or whatever it was, that it’s an accepted anthropological fact that we have difficulty telling apart people of a different race. Sorry, no cite.

I will try to dig up a cite, but at least one psychological study has determined that yes, we have a harder time differentiating faces of different races. It’s thought that this perhaps stems from having to code:

Other Race - Green Eyes - Broken Nose - Short Hair

instead of

Green Eyes - Broken Nose - Short Hair - Thick Eyebrows.

There isn’t enough space allocated to fit the extra information in.