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INCOGNITO

How to Address Racism, Bigotry, Intolerance?

11 posts in this topic

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching the unavoidable IL gathering is looming.  One of my issues with the ILs is that invariably throughout a gathering various racist, bigoted, etc. comments get thrown out.  In the past DH and I have ignored and simply left as soon as we could.

I am done with that approach.

But what do you say in response?  Is it just a blunt "Do you know how racist that is?"  Is there a better approach?

I wish I could think of examples but the bias is prevalent against just about any minority - lots of "them" type comments.

Help please!

Anonymous poster hash: cbd9a...900

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There are a lot of "those" people out there.  Some hide it better than other. 

I don't think you have a right to tell anyone how to think or believe.  You can think them wrong and even horrible, but you don't have a right to "make" them think differently to please you.

I think the old adage- You aren't going to change people.  You can only change how you react to them. is in order here. I doubt saying "Do you know how racist that is" is going to work. 

I would do my best to ignore the comments. And leave as soon as I could. 

Your only alternative is to cut them off. 

If I couldn't stand to be around people that spout opinions that are different than mine, I wouldn't have a job.

ETA- I do think you could say- comments like that bother me and I'd prefer that you not say things like that when I'm around,.

Edited by skipped

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 If you ask if they know how racist it is they will just get on the defensive and it invites an answer.  the way I responded to my bil was to state "wow, I don't relate to that at all and it makes me extremely uncomfortable".  

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20 minutes ago, INCOGNITO said:

invariably throughout a gathering various racist, bigoted, etc. comments get thrown out.  In the past DH and I have ignored and simply left as soon as we could.

I am done with that approach. But what do you say in response?

I said "please help me find my coat, we don't approve of racist (whatever) talk."

We left right then, at the utterance of unacceptable words. It was a one off, but we'd do the same again.

For me, silent acceptance is tacit agreement. And we don't agree, we have POC in our family that deserve better.

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DsD is part Hispanic, SIL is Chinese, #1GB is 1/2. I have friends of all ethnic backgrounds & sexual orientations. It would be the odd duck coming into my house spouting anti-anything. Going to someone else's gathering is another story altogether...

One of my go-to responses is "For pitty-****-sakes, George, they're just people, bean dip?" George usually shuts up. In political misdirected conversations "we're doomed either way" does the same thing. (people who know me well know I my political leanings are 'socially progressive' & 'fiscally conservative'....My dinner party talk has never gone off the rails.

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"And with that racist remark, I've lost my appetite. Bye." and I'd leave.

Skipped is right, I can't force anyone to be a decent human being, and not view those of different skin tones, heritage, religion, or sexual orientation as equal human beings, worthy of respect and decency.

But I'll be ****** if I tolerate that sort of hate being spewed around me, my biracial husband, or our children.

Edited by SueSTx
5e
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I agree that you (general) can't change someone's else' beliefs, etc. And if I were just by myself or w/ DH, I could ignore and bean dip or maybe leave. But if the bigotry were spouted in front of my kids when they were growing up, I would have to speak up for their benefit. If the offending person made a bigoted generalization about this/that group ("They always..."..."That's how they are..."), I'd probably come out and say, "That's very racist (or whatever word applied)." Depending on the time and circumstances, I might go on to talk about some people I knew in the targeted group who didn't fit the stereotype referred to. All to show my kids how to think beyond stereotypes, etc. (Sure, we discussed this stuff at home, but I would want to do it in the moment, anyhow.) Fortunately, we never had this happen when our kids were around.

If the offender used an actual slur, I would feel compelled to object. In fact, I've done so.  If this had ever happened in front of our kids, I'm certain DH and I would have taken them and been out the door. To us, slurs are worse than curse words. We especially wouldn't have tolerated that around our kids. But again, fortunately, we never ran into that while we were raising them.

If anyone ever uttered a bigoted remark in front of my grands, I would speak up immediately also. That is, if YDD, ODD or SIL didn't beat me to the punch! Whether or not to take them away, would be up to YDD, of course. But I "just accept" bigotry, especially in front of little impressionable children.

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3 hours ago, Mame925 said:

DsD is part Hispanic, SIL is Chinese, #1GB is 1/2. I have friends of all ethnic backgrounds & sexual orientations. It would be the odd duck coming into my house spouting anti-anything. Going to someone else's gathering is another story altogether...

One of my go-to responses is "For pitty-****-sakes, George, they're just people, bean dip?" George usually shuts up. In political misdirected conversations "we're doomed either way" does the same thing. (people who know me well know I my political leanings are 'socially progressive' & 'fiscally conservative'....My dinner party talk has never gone off the rails.

yep. My husband and I for the first time in our lives walked out of someone's house due to one of the guests who would NOT stop stating bigoted remarks. There is just no way we  would sit and listen to it.  

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18 hours ago, skipped said:

I don't think you have a right to tell anyone how to think or believe.  You can think them wrong and even horrible, but you don't have a right to "make" them think differently to please you.

I think the old adage- You aren't going to change people.  You can only change how you react to them. is in order here. I doubt saying "Do you know how racist that is" is going to work. 

I would do my best to ignore the comments. And leave as soon as I could. 

 

I agree with the first half, I can't agree with the second.

Sometimes ignoring a problem is the same as condoning it, especially in this situation. How will they ever know it's not ok if no one points that out?

19 hours ago, INCOGNITO said:

I am done with that approach.

But what do you say in response?  Is it just a blunt "Do you know how racist that is?"  Is there a better approach?

 

 

This ^^^ is what needs to happen at certain times for certain people. Not with the intention of starting a riot, but if nothing else, to shut down that type of talk around you. 

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There are six of us siblings and as we have matured, we pretty much stand in two separate lanes.  (The loud mouths on one side and the calm sisters on the other).  At mothers the "fuss and bother" upsets her so we three sisters implemented along with Mother that any conversation about, politics, religion or the armed serviced has to go outside where you can discuss/argue to your hearts content as long as you don't disturb the neighbors.  All those on the "other side" usually stay indoors and cook and clean the kitchen.  It has worked like a charm for over 30 years, all mother says is "take it outside".  The great-grands also tell their own parents to "take it outside" if they are getting loud while visiting.

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My fil likes to say racist things, I don't say anything to him I do talk to dh and tell him our children can't be alone with fil that I have to be there to supervise his behavior. So now dh changes the subject when fil starts talking saying racist things.

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