Though mixed-race couples still report rudeness and outright hostility from strangers—there are plenty of places in this country where they would be reasonably wary of walking in public hand in hand—I would wager that almost as many have experienced the bizarre enthusiasm of strangers who marvel, “Your babies will be so beautiful.” You could be the ugliest man and woman in the world, but if you are from distinctly different races, Americans will chase you down the street to describe the color they imagine your babies will be, perhaps invoking the name of a creamy coffee drink or citing a beautiful cousin of a cousin who has slanted eyes that are green. Politically correct people who would never make normative statements about the beauty of one race over another nevertheless feel liberated to adjudicate physical supremacy when the subjects are composed of multiple socially constructed groups. “Asian and white is my favorite,” a blonde soccer mom at my middle school told me once, as though my parents’ decision to marry and have kids was an ingenuity akin to the creation of a Labradoodle. She meant well, of course, even as she fetishized a preteen directly to her face. Today, I would be tempted to respond, “Really? I kind of like Somali-Inuit-Peruvian better,” though it may be worth noting that I’m a lot brattier about the subject when I’m talking to white people.Yup. Both the hostility on the one hand and enthusiasm on the other are part of my personal experience as a member of a mixed-race couple.
I've never been particularly good at the bratty comeback myself, though.