General Question

rockfan's avatar

Does this particular situation sound racist to you?

Asked by rockfan (3317 points ) August 27th, 2012 from iPhone

About an hour ago, I went to my local library, and there was an African American family with their 4 year old son having a loud tantrum. Two of the librarians asked them to leave. I’ve been going to this library for the past five years and I’ve seen dozens of temper tantrums from white families, and have never heard the librarians say a word. Should I have said something to them today?

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13 Answers

SuperMouse's avatar

I am not sure it can be called racist without knowing all the facts. Perhaps the child had been tantruming for a long period of time and could not be calmed down. Maybe other patrons complained about the situation. Maybe the child had done something to destroy library property. If the only reason the librarians asked the family to leave was because of their ethnicity, then it is a racist situation.

Judi's avatar

@SuperMouse , Even if others complained, they still should treat this family exactly like tehy treated white families in the past. The people who complained could have had rasist intent.
As a fair housing “expert” I always teach people to treat everyone the same regardless of race. Libraries should have a policy regarding tantrums and enforce it consistantly. “5 minuets and you’re outta here!” Having a writen policy about these things protects them from lawsuits.

digitalimpression's avatar

The way you described it, yes. Is that the way it really happened? Are those all the facts? We’ll never know.

jca's avatar

You only know one side of the story. You cannot say for sure what has happened with other families in the past.

Coloma's avatar

Screaming children are screaming children, period. I would not jump to this conclusion, impossible to know the true motives, but..I would say unlikely.
It is more likely the staff felt the need to restore peace and quiet IMO.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Judi my point isn’t that the librarians weren’t being racist, it is that we don’t have enough information to know for sure. Maybe the OP has only witnessed short outbursts rather than full on tantrums and the rule is to kick people out after five minutes. For all we know this kid had been at it for ten minutes solid before the librarians said anything. I agree 100% that if this family was treated any differently than a family of another ethnicity would have been treated then it is a racist situation.

Judi's avatar

@SuperMouse , we agree. I just wanted to point out that someone else complaining would not be enough reason to treat them any different.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Hard to know….any screaming children in a library should be asked to leave, immediately.

flutherother's avatar

No it’s not racist. The librarian had good reason to ask them to leave.

Kayak8's avatar

I would be more inclined to wait and see what happens the next time a white kid acts out and see what happens. I would go up to the librarian and ask them to evict the kid as I saw them do at a prior time (without giving specifics).

jca's avatar

Another idea is that maybe the library has been very tolerant of children’s outbursts and tantrums, and now they have a new policy for staff not to tolerate it any longer, so you witnessed the first application of the new policy. Again, you only know what you see, and what you see is one tiny little snapshot.

susanc's avatar

It might be better to ask the librarian instead of us.

Leanne1986's avatar

Is it always the same librarians on duty? One librarian maybe less lenient (regardless of race) than another and, up to this point, you have always seen the less officious people on duty. Also, I agree with @jca that there may have been a change of policy after complaints of children being too loud.

I certainly wouldn’t jump to conclusions that it has anything to do with race until I knew all of the facts.

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