Author Topic: Their house, their rules, but...  (Read 10094 times)

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sammycat

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2014, 07:48:49 PM »

I suppose it would be rude if my DS said to my SIL's dad "that's racist" when he uses the "n" word, huh?



I guess I am going against the consensus, but I absolutely do not think it's rude for your DS to point out that using the n-word is incredibly racist. I can understand that it might make people uncomfortable to be confronted with their behavior, but I feel that not saying anything is endorsing the idea that it is an acceptable thing to say. While we should, of course, be tolerant to other viewpoints, we have no obligation to tolerate racism.

I guess there is such a huge range of behavior that we could consider racist and it's true that I often don't say anything to my grandparents, for example, when they say something that seems uncomfortably old-fashioned because I know that they aren't using the language in a hateful way. On the other hand, I can't imagine someone in 2014 using the n-word without knowing that it is incredibly hateful.

So, yes, I do think that you can and should say something. And, if necessary, be prepared to leave once the conversation passes your tolerance level.

I agree with fidelejavert.

Oh, and welcome to the forum.  :)

gramma dishes

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2014, 08:11:48 PM »


I suppose it would be rude if my DS said to my SIL's dad "that's racist" when he uses the "n" word, huh?


Yes, it would--but he can say, "I really don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable."



I also like the idea of asking your Bro to help with this. He can mention it ahead of time, maybe, or also stick up for you if it comes up.

I agree with this. 

I would NOT be in favor of calling someone a racist.  That's just name calling and labeling and really isn't a whole lot better than the names they are using for others.  The "I don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable" statement should get the point across loud and clear, and it's true and not offensive because it's about the speaker and  no one else.

turnip

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2014, 08:18:06 PM »
For me, "That word makes me uncomfortable" would not adequately describe my feelings on hearing a white person use the 'n' word as a serious description.  ( I'm assuming they are not quoting their favorite rap lyric or something. I wouldn't love that either but it's a different context ).

"That word is hateful and disgusting and represents centuries of enslavement, raping and killing of men, women, and children" might cover it better.

I don't know.  I wouldn't want to be around these people if they are truly this unpleasant.  I don't know why I'd want my children around them either.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2014, 08:26:13 PM »


I suppose it would be rude if my DS said to my SIL's dad "that's racist" when he uses the "n" word, huh?


Yes, it would--but he can say, "I really don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable."



I also like the idea of asking your Bro to help with this. He can mention it ahead of time, maybe, or also stick up for you if it comes up.

I agree with this. 

I would NOT be in favor of calling someone a racist.  That's just name calling and labeling and really isn't a whole lot better than the names they are using for others.  The "I don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable" statement should get the point across loud and clear, and it's true and not offensive because it's about the speaker and  no one else.

There are few if any people I would call racist to their faces (and I am unlikely ever to wind up in conversation with any of them). But I think it's reasonable to say "that's a racist remark" in response to "All X group people are stupid" or "of course he's lazy, he's a Purple," or to tell someone who uses the n word or certain other slurs "if you use that word, people are likely to think you're a racist."
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

gramma dishes

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2014, 08:31:51 PM »


I suppose it would be rude if my DS said to my SIL's dad "that's racist" when he uses the "n" word, huh?


Yes, it would--but he can say, "I really don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable."



I also like the idea of asking your Bro to help with this. He can mention it ahead of time, maybe, or also stick up for you if it comes up.

I agree with this. 

I would NOT be in favor of calling someone a racist.  That's just name calling and labeling and really isn't a whole lot better than the names they are using for others.  The "I don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable" statement should get the point across loud and clear, and it's true and not offensive because it's about the speaker and  no one else.

There are few if any people I would call racist to their faces (and I am unlikely ever to wind up in conversation with any of them). But I think it's reasonable to say "that's a racist remark" in response to "All X group people are stupid" or "of course he's lazy, he's a Purple," or to tell someone who uses the n word or certain other slurs "if you use that word, people are likely to think you're a racist."

As adults, we're able to better judge the severity of the offense and how to react to it in the moment, keeping in mind that there are other people we do care about who might also be affected by our reaction.   Keep in mind here that we're talking about what a child could safely say in response to a racist, bigoted, misogynistic, or other offensive remark. 

AnnaJ

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2014, 08:32:15 PM »
Part of the problem I have with some of the suggested responses is that it sounds like the people making these statements are the same people who are paying for the OP and her family to visit and for their hotel. 

In a normal situation these are some good suggestions but I admit that calling someone a racist or storming out is something I'd be uncomfortable doing when the only reason I am there is because they have paid for my trip.

If it were me I'd think long and hard about whether I would want to be beholding to people that I have such a fundamental disagreement with - but this may well be my hangup and not yours, OP.  You also said that this trip was in return for a favor you did for family, so again it may all cancel out and you do not feel any such obligation.

Mikayla

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2014, 09:20:40 PM »

As adults, we're able to better judge the severity of the offense and how to react to it in the moment, keeping in mind that there are other people we do care about who might also be affected by our reaction. 

Very well said!

My parents were able to set a very good example to me on how to handle this and they were proud of me when I'd recount to them how I handled peer to peer stuff.

But correcting adults, especially at age 10, would not have gone over well.  And it's for the reasons you mention. 


ettiquit

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2014, 09:20:54 PM »
So, one thing I'm debating (while taking in everyone's advice) is whether I should prepare my DS beforehand. For all I know, the family is on better behavior when there are guests present. I really haven't spent much time with them at all, but the time I have spent, they've behaved. I don't know that I want my son going into that situation anticipating someone being inappropriate, because maybe it won't happen while we're around.

Part of the problem I have with some of the suggested responses is that it sounds like the people making these statements are the same people who are paying for the OP and her family to visit and for their hotel. 

In a normal situation these are some good suggestions but I admit that calling someone a racist or storming out is something I'd be uncomfortable doing when the only reason I am there is because they have paid for my trip.

If it were me I'd think long and hard about whether I would want to be beholding to people that I have such a fundamental disagreement with - but this may well be my hangup and not yours, OP.  You also said that this trip was in return for a favor you did for family, so again it may all cancel out and you do not feel any such obligation.

The favor I did was for my brother and his wife (my SIL). It was huge. A vacation doesn't really begin to make things even (that's not something I'm looking for), but I know it will be her parents actually footing the bill. That's also what makes me a little conflicted. SIL extended the invitation and reserved the hotel, but as far as returning my favor...not so much. My family is in a weird place right now, but it has nothing to do (or affects) my SIL's parents/siblings, etc.

I'm confusing things, aren't I?

AnnaJ

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2014, 09:41:54 PM »
So, one thing I'm debating (while taking in everyone's advice) is whether I should prepare my DS beforehand. For all I know, the family is on better behavior when there are guests present. I really haven't spent much time with them at all, but the time I have spent, they've behaved. I don't know that I want my son going into that situation anticipating someone being inappropriate, because maybe it won't happen while we're around.

Part of the problem I have with some of the suggested responses is that it sounds like the people making these statements are the same people who are paying for the OP and her family to visit and for their hotel. 

In a normal situation these are some good suggestions but I admit that calling someone a racist or storming out is something I'd be uncomfortable doing when the only reason I am there is because they have paid for my trip.

If it were me I'd think long and hard about whether I would want to be beholding to people that I have such a fundamental disagreement with - but this may well be my hangup and not yours, OP.  You also said that this trip was in return for a favor you did for family, so again it may all cancel out and you do not feel any such obligation.

The favor I did was for my brother and his wife (my SIL). It was huge. A vacation doesn't really begin to make things even (that's not something I'm looking for), but I know it will be her parents actually footing the bill. That's also what makes me a little conflicted. SIL extended the invitation and reserved the hotel, but as far as returning my favor...not so much. My family is in a weird place right now, but it has nothing to do (or affects) my SIL's parents/siblings, etc.

I'm confusing things, aren't I?

Have to laugh because I swear there is nothing currently in my life that isn't confused  ;D .  Sounds like you have not reason to feel obligated beyond the normal guest thing, even by my paranoid standards.

I like gramma dishes distinction between saying that certain words or phrases are racist rather than calling a person a racist.  Is that a distinction your son would be good with?

Lynn2000

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2014, 10:11:57 PM »
Since you don't have personal knowledge/extensive reliable reports of their behavior, I don't think I'd mention anything to DS. I know when I was a kid and my mom over-prepped me for things I just got more anxious.  :P

I would have a lot of different strategies prepared to deploy myself, though. In a way, in-your-face racism (racial slurs, racist rants, etc.) would actually be easier to deal with--forget DS, *I* wouldn't want to sit there and listen to that garbage! I wouldn't give it too long before I said, "Sorry, we're going back to the hotel now," after which I would severely limit contact with them. At some point I would probably have to tell SIL/Bro, "That kind of talk made me really uncomfortable, and I didn't want to be around it, and I didn't want DS to be around it."

In my experience, though, pervasive prejudice can often be more subtle. You can change the subject, you can fail to respond to comments, you can say something like "Oh. Well, that's not been my experience, no," or "Actually, I do like that kind of food." And then you can talk to DS about those comments later.

I tend to be pretty non-confrontational. Saying, "That's racist" is pretty inflammatory, especially in someone's own home, when you don't know them very well. To me it's more the opening of a debate, not a way to shut down a conversation. I'd rather just "avoid the crazy," personally. Others are able to handle it more assertively, while still being polite.
~Lynn2000

johelenc1

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2014, 11:52:48 PM »
My grandfather was a bigot along with a host of other terrible things.  His bigotry alone was enough for me to decide as a child (he died when I was 15) that when I had children, they would never, ever meet him or know him.  Period.

Since you don't have any first hand experience, I would take the trip.  If things happen that are unacceptable, I would use it as a teaching opportunity.  I would give them one "warning", "that makes me uncomfortable, etc." and if it happened again, the lesson would be how you don't have to spend time with people who make you uncomfortable.  Then I would leave, and never go back.

Since they aren't actually paying for your visit, I don't think you have to feel bad for not spending every moment with them.  But, I would prepare them.  Send an email telling them you are excited to visit and can't wait to see X, Y and Z.  In fact, give them a rough itinerary.  And fill it up!  Ask if you can come over at X time or meet for dinner at Y time. 

I guess it also depends on how much time you want to spend with them.  Are you actually looking forward to visiting with them, or visiting the city.  How well do you know them now?  If you aren't aware of their language and -ists... then it almost sounds like you aren't that close.
 
Another option would be to assume the best and just prepare to plan for the worst.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2014, 10:11:04 AM »
OP, my late FIL was a bigot.  He spoke in racial slurs and generalizations often.  What we did with DS was to tell him "You may hear Grandpa say some things that are not respectful to people and some things that you might not understand.  If that happens, come to me or Daddy and ask about it.  Don't repeat it before asking us."

If things got heated (his vitriol could leave scorch marks) we would take him outside to play or into another room to read.

LadyL

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2014, 10:56:12 AM »


I suppose it would be rude if my DS said to my SIL's dad "that's racist" when he uses the "n" word, huh?


Yes, it would--but he can say, "I really don't like that word; it makes me very uncomfortable."



I also like the idea of asking your Bro to help with this. He can mention it ahead of time, maybe, or also stick up for you if it comes up.

I agree with this. 

I would NOT be in favor of calling someone a racist.  That's just name calling and labeling and really isn't a whole lot better than the names they are using for others.

I could not disagree more strongly. I don't think it is prudent to yell "Racist!" whenever someone makes an off color remark, but I also don't think that the stigma of being a racist is similar in any way, shape, or form to being called a racial slur. There are not hundreds of years of history of institutional oppression of racists. The opposite is true.

DavidH

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2014, 12:03:24 PM »
I'm not sure an argument of it's okay for me to call you names since they aren't as bad as the ones you are calling someone else is really a great one.  I'm not saying it's the same thing, but the way to teach someone not to use labels isn't to use them yourself.  More to the point, if name calling is rude, then it should be avoided rather than trying to find gradations of rude.

If a comment is called for, it needs to come from an adult.  Having a 10 year old correct or rebuke an adult in their own home is rude, whether or not the rebuke is justified.  I'm not totally convinced it's polite even when coming from another adult, but it's certainly better. 


tinkytinky

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Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2014, 12:54:13 PM »
DS can always have an Ipod or something and as soon as the slurs start, its "oops, adult talk, gonna listen to my music now". That gets the point across that DS doesn't like that kind of talk, but he isn't correcting and adult in their home.

why, yes, I do get my parenting skills from TV Sitcoms - ie: two and a half men

Ok, not really.

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