@everyone that I seem to have offended:
It’s quite upsetting to wake up in the morning to find you have been branded a racist!
First, @Magwitch, thank you for your concern for my education. I don’t usually read the Telegraph, but will look at this article, though I think you may have misunderstood my comment, which I perhaps didn’t put clearly enough. I wasn’t particularly concerned about the child’s mixed race and of course it’s a given that all babies are beautiful @almost everyone (except for the one of mine that looked like a pug). but this was a case of two extremely good-looking people producing a particularly good-looking baby. It doesn’t mean that I think all mixed-race babies are ipso facto beautiful. My son’s white South African brother-in-law and his black Zimbabwean wife have a son who is, of course, gorgeous to us, his family, but most people would find just normal-looking.
@Zandra, I do see what you mean and am sorry if I have offended you. I think a little history is in order:
I studied Urdu, Persian, Indian and African music at SOAS and afterwards continued with my main interest in African music by studying in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau (sadly I can remember hardly anything I learned and certainly can play no instruments) but I have great memories of my times in those countries. During the past few years I have had several stays in Nigeria where I have been teaching soapmaking in the Delta. It’s been a fascinating experience to be a minority race (my colleague and I only saw one other white person in Port Harcourt) and I certainly wish that minorities in the UK were treated with the friendliness, openness and good humour that we were … and yes, we got a lot of “we don’t really like white people but you’re different.” Not really surprising as most whites in the Delta region are working in the oilfields, hate being there and are loudly contemptuous about “the blacks”. I also have several Nigerian friends in our church and am godmother to two of their children. I am very aware of the difficulties they face here in Spain, but I believe that slowly things are changing. And I also realise that for many people “slowly” isn’t fast enough.
So, @Zandra, I completely understand your point and I wouldn’t dream of suggesting you should or should need to ride on anyone’s coattails to get an Airbnb booking. All I am doing is quoting the experience of one guest family, what they said (and remember that the “race warrior” quote was from Serge from Cameroon, not me) and how I couldn’t bring myself to blame them if that was their chosen strategy.
The only point of your post that I do take some issue with is that I actually do believe that while there must be universal laws of human rights and equality, I also believe that one of the things that breaks down prejudice is actually knowing, interacting, socialising with and indeed loving people of other races on a one-to-one basis. But I grew up in the optimistic sixties when we thought if we “gave peace a chance” the world would turn out perfect … I shall leave this answer up as I particularly wanted @Zandra to read it, but as I hate confrontation I will delete all my other posts since I seem to have caused such offence.
And go back to kettles and duvets …