Yup. Apparently that's a thing.
Here's the thing: I kind of knew this already. My mother has MAJOR issues with anyone of Middle Eastern descent (whom she refers to under the blanket term "arabs") — it's been a source of arguments between us for multiple decades now. Her mother had the same issues, too, but her mother was a fucking crazy person regardless. What I didn't realize is, my mom is DEFINITELY subconsciously racist about black people.
First, we found out we were on opposite sides of the Zimmerman Trial (they were watching it when we came in, and she asked how I felt about it). She didn't say anything too egregious, but that's probably because I came out HARD on that one. I mean, I was vehement even for me (which is is saying something) about how much the case has bothered me for so many different reasons. LadyTrout was quietly but firmly grabbing my leg in what was unmistakably a "maybe you want to dial this back a bit" relationship maneuver (despite the fact that she agreed with me), and that's probably why I ultimately stopped talking about it. It was clear that if my Mom had said anything too bad, it was going to start a serious fight, and I think she wanted to avoid that.
But the real moment that got me was when I mentioned that Chiwetel Ejiofor (this beautiful, talented individual, if you're unfamiliar with him) was considered one of the favorites to be the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who. I have been unabashed about the fact that such a casting is the ONLY POSSIBLE THING that could get me to ever give Doctor Who another shot — I've been a huge fan of Ejiofor's for a long time (and I think the Agent in Serenity might be my favorite movie villain ever). So I'm very, VERY Team Chiwetel.
When I mention this, my mom wrinkles her nose with a mixture of disgust and confusion and goes, "...but he's black."
"Really? Really? Really, mom?" She started to look mildly ashamed, but I wasn't letting her off the hook just yet. "Way to show your true colors, there."
Maybe I shouldn't have said it, but I was pissed. And if I'm not going to tolerate that sort of behavior out of a random person on the internet, I really should be equally unlikely to tolerate it out of my own mother. I didn't say it angrily, but it was clear I wasn't really joking. She didn't like hearing it, but it looked like she was going to back off...
...and then she doubled-down on the racism. "Well, would you be ok with it if the next James Bond were black?" she asked my brother and I.
My immediate and unequivocal response was, "yes," but, as usual, my brother topped me. "Yeah, that would actually be really awesome." No more was said — it was pretty clear where we stood on it, and since she's headed back to England in three days, Mom again didn't want to pick a fight.
So I wasn't thrilled with that conversation. The one positive, though? It occurred to me that if he doesn't get tapped to be the 12th Doctor (or hell, even if he does), Ejiofor would make a FANTASTIC James Bond once Daniel Craig is done with the role. Can you think of a better actor to be the first non-white James Bond? Very different from Craig, obviously — Craig's Bond is a very "ME HULK SMASH THINGS NOW"-type, while Ejiofor's would get by on cunning, smooth-talk, and a winning smile, but wouldn't that be a fun new direction for the character? Wouldn't it be fun to watch a James Bond who conned his way into and out of everything rather than using brute force, who wasn't the strong, silent type, whose quips were delivered in a posh accent? We've never really had a Bond who sounded legitimately posh (Brits, let me know if I'm fucking up this word, it's new to me); am I the only one who'd LOVE to see that?
Yup. Apparently that's a thing.