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See a Nanny? You may be racist.

Asian Lady sitting with Caucasian Child

Asian Lady sitting with Caucasian Child

Copyright © Maria Sbytova /

Or at least that's what they would have you believe.

Seemingly everyone has seen the video by now: Robert Kelly, a political science professor and international security analyst, conducting an interview with BBC from his home office. The interview was just about a trivial matter of some President of South Korea being impeached or something like that. So when it is interrupted by his two kids, a panicked lady rushes into the room to scurry them away.

Since then, the video has drawn a lot of reaction from the social-media masses -- no, not because of the impeachment, but because of the interpretation of the scene that unfolded with the kids. Some think it's adorable, some think it's unprofessional, some think it shows how racist people are. Wait, what? You read that right. Apparently some people jumped to the conclusion that the lady who rushed in was the nanny, and others find that to be a sign of racism or at least stereotyping. So first be honest, did you think it was the nanny? In case you missed it, here's the video:

When I watched the video, I actually didn't think about the status of the woman who rushed in. My first reaction was that she was a little rough with the kids, which is supported by the subsequent crying in the background. It was an important interview about an important topic, but if she had reacted more calmly and reasonably I don't think the kids would've been so upset by it. I also think people would have been less inclined to believe she was a nanny.

If you jumped to the conclusion that the lady is a nanny does that make you a racist? It doesn't really mean you are or are not one. It makes you possibly ignorant, biased, bigoted, or even a racist. If you thought she was the nanny because you think all Asian women should be in subservient roles then you are a racist (and a sexist). If you thought she wasn't the wife because you think a Caucasian guy shouldn't marry an Asian lady, then you are a bigot. Conversely, if you thought she was the wife because you think all white guys like Asian women, then you are still a bigot.

But if you thought the lady was the nanny because of her extreme reaction to the incident, I think you are just being analytical albeit in ignorance. You might think a mother wouldn't react with such urgency and so harshly. But her response may speak more about how important the interview was (in her eyes) rather than a caretaker who is afraid of losing her job. Also, if you look closely enough you can tell the kids (especially the older one) is mixed. But to be fair, does that mean that a mixed couple still couldn't have a nanny who is Asian?

So let's do some role reversal here. Let's say it was a Caucasian female giving an interview and an Asian male ran into the room to escort the kids out. Does it make you sexist if you wouldn't think he was the nanny? What if it were a Caucasian female giving an interview and the same Asian female came in to get the kids. If you assume they aren't married (or a couple) does that mean you are bigoted against lesbians?

In truth, you're only human.

We all have biases and underlying bigotry. Jumping to conclusions based on limited facts doesn't make you a racist, it just makes you human. Drawing on past experiences to form conclusions is what the mind does instinctively -- it's what makes it so amazing, but also so imperfect. That isn't a free pass to continue through life with your stereotypes and bigotries. Take this as an opportunity to open your mind, learn, and evolve. So the next time you see a situation where you might be drawing hasty conclusions, you can ask yourself...what was the topic of that interview again?

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Big Ed's picture
Big Ed is the Chief Editor for Bigatorial.

1 Comment

beta's picture
beta says:
on Thu, 03/16/2017 at 19:12

hahaha yeah i thought it was nanny guess i'm racist! whatever man

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