Things I've never had to wonder about before

OhherOhher Shipmate
Last Friday I took lunch at a fast food place. As I’m clogging my arteries with items I shouldn’t eat, in comes a 30-something woman with three kids, two boys and a girl. All three appear to be about the same age—I’m guessing around 6 years old. They seem like regular, average, ordinary kids.

One boy is clearly the woman’s son (same blond coloring, similar eyebrows, same face shape, etc.). The other two children look Hispanic. They don’t especially resemble each other, but neither does either resemble the woman or the blond boy.

I can’t readily hear what they’re saying (just a word or two here and there). The woman seems to be getting their orders for lunch, and they are all speaking English. If there are accents involved, I can’t discern them. The woman leaves the children seated and goes off to get in line to order & collect their food.

Left on their own, the two boys get a bit rambunctious, but nothing extreme. The girl sits on her own, looking off into space. She looks pensive.

At one point, the son goes off to check in with Mom. The remaining boy starts interacting with the girl, but the occasional word I catch sounds like Spanish. When the blond boy returns, they’re back to English.

Eventually, the woman returns with a tray full of grub. Again, I couldn’t hear clearly, but it appeared she was explaining to the Hispanic-looking kids what the lunch items were.
And I find myself wondering something I have never had occasional to wonder before in 74 years of US life: were these children (now eating lunch in northern New England) stolen from parents seeking asylum at the US southern border?

Comments

  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    What is it that you wish to discuss?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited October 15
    It's possible, but there could be other explanations as well. For example, maybe they were adopted from a third-world orphange in a Spanish-speaking country, at an age where they were old enough to have already picked up the language?

    Maybe they're niece and nephew to the woman, visiting from out of town?

    Maybe she's on her second marriage, to a hispanic man, and these are his biological kids?

    And yeah, kidnapping at the border is a possibility. Not sure how you would verify that, though.
  • My sister who is white and blond has east Indian and Black sons (and a brown husband), my brother, same looks, has a Chinese daughter and wife. They get unconscious racial types of looks and questions all the time.

    I get your question in the context of American border/immigration hysteria, and note that there's quite a bit of unpacking to do beyond that. If this was not in the context of the American problems, say when more normal people were running the country, would your question be similar? As far as I can tell, the questions for most people, including those like me who have learned specifically to consciously recognize stereotypes, have to be examined ongoing.
  • Maybe they're just friends of her son.
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    You have a sharp eye! Did some intuitive "spark" cause your reaction?
    There was a situation I read of recently at an airport in Another Country where people alerted The Authorities to a little Chinese girl travelling with her adoptive parents; all perfectly legally as it transpired because they had Papers. The adoptive parents got all riled up about it though, saying the whole situation was handled insensitively. (I am not sure how it could have been handled sensitively myself).
    Our children (though born regular to us) are of mixed ethnicity and I know the "looks" I got ... plain ol' racism though - noone would have thought I'd adopted them (or worse) as 2 of them looked like me and the third was her father's spitting image. We all spoke the same (local) language, although I had An Accent and they didn't.

    Don't know what I'd have done in that situation.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    I occasionally get a similar thing as an older man if out and about with one of my daughters. Not as bad as these, though: 1 and 2.
  • I get your question in the context of American border/immigration hysteria, and note that there's quite a bit of unpacking to do beyond that. ... As far as I can tell, the questions for most people, including those like me who have learned specifically to consciously recognize stereotypes, have to be examined ongoing.
    This.

  • RicardusRicardus Shipmate
    Pigwidgeon wrote: »
    Maybe they're just friends of her son.

    Yeah, is there any reason to believe the explanation is anything other than this? I'd have thought that one mum looking after another mum's children for a bit because the second mum has somewhere important to be is more common than border kidnapping.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    If this was not in the context of the American problems, say when more normal people were running the country, would your question be similar?

    Probably not; (BT -- Trump) I would probably not have given this situation a moment's thought. The kids might well be hers, or she might have been minding someone else's children, or who-knows? But I had been reading a news story earlier in the day about some of the caged kids on the border being adopted out here in the US once their parents had been deported. One wonders how legal these adoptions can be.

    I did not speak either to the kids or the woman. Beyond the virulent abnormalities set in motion by Current Occupant, there was nothing in this situation to raise questions, much less alarms. It just struck me powerfully what a changed world I now live in, where such a question could even arise.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Yeah, I get where you’re coming from, but there are a number of intermediary positions you could take before concluding it was the nefarious workings of our government. I, too, hate them, but as a proud New Englander I’d note we have a fairly sizable hispanic and latino population, and I’d be more inclined to believe any of the above explanations first. That is, without more evidence.
  • BlahblahBlahblah Shipmate
    Seems to me this is one of those situations where two opposites happen.

    On the one hand there is plenty of evidence that people do absolutely nothing when they notice something odd. Very often people seem to pretend the thing isn't happening at all in front of them.

    Conversely there is also plenty of evidence that people jump to conclusions.

    Personally I consciously try to be someone who doesn't jump to conclusions and tries to think of an explanation for things I see that isn't the absolute worst possible.

    But maybe that's a mistake. Maybe I should be more concerned if I see a young teenager going into a hotel room with an adult.

    Which is a scary thought, I've been that parent lots of times.
  • Isn't this thread intended to be about how the policies of the horrible Govt in power in the USA caused Ohher to have a possibility occur to her that she never thought would enter her head?

    My feeling is that the policies might well be enabling child exploitation.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Isn't this thread intended to be about how the policies of the horrible Govt in power in the USA caused Ohher to have a possibility occur to her that she never thought would enter her head?

    My feeling is that the policies might well be enabling child exploitation.

    Nail. Head. Direct hit.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Several immigration organizations have been tasked with providing foster parents for unaccompanied minors. This woman may have been one of those foster parents. The

    Which brings up a point. If any American here is willing to become a foster parent of unaccompanied children, contact the local immigration service in your area. You have to meet the requirements of your state to become a foster parent. You will get a stipend to help cover the cost of your foster child.

    Here is a website for more information.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Here is a website for more information.

    @Gramps49 That's a link to a PubMed article about treatment for chronic leg and back pain. Is that the link you meant to post?
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Here is a website for more information.

    @Gramps49 That's a link to a PubMed article about treatment for chronic leg and back pain. Is that the link you meant to post?
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Here is a website for more information.

    @Gramps49 That's a link to a PubMed article about treatment for chronic leg and back pain. Is that the link you meant to post?

    Opps https://www.immigrantjustice.org/issues/unaccompanied-immigrant-children
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