It’s encouraging to know that hundreds of people took her side and supported her.
A story recently posted on Reddit shows a mother confidently standing up for her culture and daughter in the face of intolerance. Reddit user Paste-Clouds-808 shared the story on the AITA forum to ask who was right in the situation.
Over 2,900 people commented on the story, and they overwhelmingly agreed that it was her.
The mother, 38, regularly cooks Asian foods for her daughter Lily, 7, and packs them in her school lunch. The mother was raised by a half-Japanese mom, so the foods have always been a part of her life, and her family loves them, too.
“Oftentimes I’ll either give my daughter some leftovers from last night's dinner, plus a fruit/veggie and a snack, or I’ll make her a quick little bento box or some other thing really quick,” the mother wrote.
One day after school, the mother allowed Lily to play on the playground for a few minutes before they went home. The mother was approached by another mom, whom we will call Debra, and she immediately began criticizing the lunches the mother had packed for her daughter.
“What? How are they bothering him?” Lily’s mom responded.
“She then proceeded to start talking about how her son was complaining about my daughter's lunches smelling terrible and that he thought it was disgusting,” the mom wrote. “She also said her son didn’t eat most of his lunch because he was so grossed out.”
The mother politely rejected Debra’s request to change her daughter's lunch habits and suggested it wasn’t her problem. “Okay…I understand your son doesn’t like the smell, but can’t he just sit somewhere else?” she asked.
Debra then became angry. “Are you kidding me?” she asked. “My son shouldn’t have to put up with whatever crap you make your daughter bring to this school. It’s disgusting!”
Lily’s mom says that Debra then began making more “vaguely racist” comments. She became fed up with the woman and sternly put her in her place.
“Listen, I understand your son might not like my daughter's food, but he can very easily just not sit next to her,” the mother said. “I’m not changing what’s in my daughter's lunches because you and your kid don’t want to exist near Asian food. F*** off.”
The mom asked people on the Reddit forum if she went too far by using foul language when talking to the woman, but they thought it was an appropriate response to the woman’s entitled racist attitude.
“Setting a firm boundary with a colorful exclamation usually does a wonderful job in preventing a busybody parent from bothering you in the future,” Johnny9k responded. Some commenters mentioned that she should go further and report it to the school’s administrators and the mother thought it was a good idea.
“Yeah, after thinking about it more, I’m going to talk to her teacher about this,” she wrote. “I’m gonna talk with Lily to so I can be sure this kid isn’t being racist towards her or anything.”
It must have been hard for the mother to stand there while Debra degraded her family’s heritage. But it’s encouraging to know that hundreds of people took her side and supported her in doing what they deemed appropriate.
The story is an interesting example of the two ways that people can go in this world. When Debra’s son complained about Lily's lunch, she could have just as easily taught him a lesson in acceptance by educating him on different cultures and teaching him the beauty of diversity.
Instead, she lashed out at the mother on his behalf, perpetuating the cycle of intolerance.