Not every dispute can be categorized under ‘racism’ just because people from two different races are involved. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be racist to be a jerk. Looks like there are plenty of other ways to do that!

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for being ‘racist’ to my in-laws?”. Here’s the full story for your context.


father daughter fight
Image Credit: Oleg Golovnev, Shutterstock.

By “in-laws”, the Original Poster (OP) means his daughter-in-law’s parents.

So two months ago, OP’s daughter-in-law (F26) gave birth to his lovely grandson.

“My family and I are Bulgarian Orthodox. Before my grandson was born, I told my son and his wife that I’m going to pay for all baptismal expenses and any childcare expenses for the first year, as long as they gave the kid an orthodox name.”, says OP.

The Young Parents Agreed

Happy mother with newborn baby
Image Credits: Deposit Photos

They both agreed without much consideration. They named him David Antoiné. David is the orthodox name and Antoiné in honor of the university professor who mentored both OP’s son and his wife and who sadly passed away during the Covid pandemic.

“The thing is, while my daughter-in-law converted to orthodoxy, her parents are atheists of African origin (Ivory Coast) who moved to France. They really wanted their grandson to have a traditional Ivorian name.”, says OP.

Two Months Ago

Stubborn noisy african american child girl in screaming at annoyed tired black father, naughty kid daughter with attention deficit yelling, manipulation, family fight, parents and children conflict.
Image Credits: Deposit Photos

So two months ago, when the baby was born and they found out about the name and the deal they threw a massive fit, directed primarily at OP and his wife. Name-calling, cursing, accusations of racism.

“Frankly I wasn’t having any of it.”, says OP.

What Did OP Tell The In-Laws Next?

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OP told them that they were insensitive and insulting to not only his religion but also that of their daughter, to their daughter’s decision, and to the mentor of both their daughter and OP’s son.

OP told them they were uninvited to the baptism due to their behavior unless they apologized to the parents of their grandchild. Both OP’s son and his wife agreed with OP’s decision.

The Chaos Continues

I'm tired of listening to you. Family conflict between father and daughter. daughter sits right in front of the camera and looks displeased.
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The baptism is next week and while OP has been in no contact with them, OP’s son tells OP from the discussions they’ve had they’re still pretty angry and unwilling to apologize but they said they will come to the baptism whether OP likes it or not.

“My sister tells me I’ve been acting like a jerk towards them and I should let them join next week if they show up. I maintain that they will not be allowed at the after party. Am I a jerk?”, says OP.

Some More Information

Wrong behaviour. Aggressive angty mother and father screaming on a kid while being in a room
Image Credits: Deposit Photos

OP later edited the post and added the following information:

“But I would like to clear up some things before other people make judgments based on misconceptions.

  1. When I said they would not be allowed at the baptism I meant at the after-party which will take place at my home. Only church officials can kick people out at the ceremony itself and unless they are disruptive I don’t see a reason they’d be kicked out.
  2. My son and his wife paid for their wedding. She converted of her own free will because it is what she believes in.
  3. They originally planned to name my grandchild Antoiné. I suggested an orthodox name so that the child can have a protective saint to call upon in harsh times. But everyone will use the name Antoiné to address him.
  4. My son and his wife can afford the expenses, even without my help.
  5. I don’t want my in-laws to be happy with the outcome. I just want a simple ‘sorry’ and for them to be civil at the party.

You Literally Bribed Your Children

Close-up photo of a sad african american young woman. Brunette bored at home, tired or stressed. Upset girl sitting on the sofa, having a headache or feeling depressed
Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“You’re the jerk for sure. You literally bribed your children to get your way. Also, it’s not up to you who attends the baptism, that’s something for the child’s parents to decide. You’re very obviously using your money to manipulate your grandchild’s life.

In-laws Are Annoyed For No Reason

a woman who is scared
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“Not the jerk. It’s not manipulative when you didn’t state any negative consequences/repercussions and they agreed. In-laws are just annoyed they didn’t get their way.”

You Cannot Put Additional Conditions Like That

hispanic pretty woman open-mouthed and amazed, shocked and astonished with an unbelievable surprise
Image Credits: Deposit Photos

“You are paying for the baptism and the expenses in exchange for the child being named like you wanted. That’s done.

You shouldn’t be the one still waving the money card around demanding they don’t come to the baptism or don’t participate for things you paid because you paid them for the name. You don’t get to put additional strings to this arrangement – if the young family wants to use the baptism to mend bridges, they should have this option. You’re the jerk.”

First Come, First Served

Portrait of angry young teen woman
Image Credits: Deposit Photos.

“Not the jerk – Back to first come, first served. You were able to discuss what family naming would be and sweetened the pot and your son and DIL agreed. They didn’t have to, but they did.

Your in-laws are just mad that you beat them to it and it is also not at all racist for wanting to have your grandchildren given family names from your side, that is just natural and not racist at all.

If they believe that then they would be racists themselves, by their own admission. Finally, what is done is done, the kid is already named. Go forward and bless your grandchild with his new name.

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