Post # 1
My newly four year old daughter has a little brown bear that she loves dearly. It is her most prized possession. Since she was two she has refered to this thing as “Brown Baby”. A lot of times we get strange looks from people when she says this. It happens often enough that I have begun asking myself “is there a racial or otherwise derogitory meaning for the term brown baby?”.
Post # 3
I’ve not heard the term before, but the two things that popped into my head that may be what are making people give the side eye were:
-some sort of not-so-great term for an African American baby, or
ETA- Not saying that I think she needs to change the name, just that these are the only negative connotations I could think of.
Post # 4
Brown baby could be taken as referencing a Hispanic child. However I had a dog named Buster Brown and called him Brown baby all the time. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to refer to something, whose name has the word brown in it, as Brown baby. It should be clear if your daughter is holding a brown bear what she is talking about.
Post # 5
@indibee: Same here!
Maybe she could call him ‘Baby Brown’ instead? (Probably hopeless at this point, I know…)
Post # 6
Brown baby, Baby Brown, doesnt matter to me since it’s a child who has named it. They are not jaded by the racial placement unless they are raised that way.
Some people just like throwing the racial card around to feel importance. And I don’t mean this as offense to anyone, but I have seen it done so many times in very petty situations where race had nothing to do with anything.
Post # 7
@mrssrm: Yep, at this point it would be more likely to win the lottery than to get her to refer to him as another name.
Post # 8
I had a brown teddy bear growing up that I called ‘Brownie.’ I think people should mind their own business and I wouldn’t judge you or your child for the name she calls her bear.
Post # 10
Um, I just know it’s a Nina Simone song
Post # 11
My son had a red one that he named “Teddy Red Bear” and I had a white bear that I just called Bear. Red bear, Brown Bear, White Bear or just Bear; it doesn’t make a difference to the child, so it shouldn’t to any adult.
Post # 12
@beekiss: Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I had a “Blackie.” ::buries head::
@MrsFuzzyFace: Maybe if you’re getting the stink-eye you could try grinning and saying something like “gosh, wouldn’t it be great to be that innocent again?”
Post # 13
I’ve never heard it used in a derogatory manner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did use it that way. I’ve heard “brown baby” a lot referring to Black, Latino, Indian, and any mixed race baby. I use brown baby (I’m brown myself)! There are lots of blogs and websites that use this term in a positive matter.
Your daughter should call the bear by it’s name, there’s nothing derogatory about her bear being Brown Baby. I think it’s cute 🙂
Post # 14
Who cares- If they can’t figure out that your child calls it brown baby because it err, BROWN, then it’s their hangup.
Post # 15
@punkin83: Like. That is pretty much where I stand too.
Post # 16
I wouldn’t take offence. She clearly isn’t being racist or trying to discriminate against some one, she is just a little girl. I would just let Brown Baby be Brown Baby. 🙂