Author Topic: Their house, their rules, but...  (Read 10499 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

YoginiSaysYes

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 56
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2014, 01:13:36 PM »
Quote
Quote
    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.

POD right here. I think the argument that calling someone out on being a racist is just as offensive as you know, BEING a racist, is a disturbingly common view and one that tends to be used to defend bigotry and intolerance. No, I do not have to tolerate your hatred and no, me calling you out on it does not violate your right to free speech. You can say whatever you want, just like I can say you're being racist.

/soapbox

Quote
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.

I really don't think it's "name calling" to point out someone's racist behavior. Sure, saying "you're a dirty filthy racist" is certainly not polite, but stating, "When you make comments like that you are being racist and I am offended" is not.

It sounds like there might not even be a problem once the trip happens, so I would not warn your DS in advance. But the first time a comment is made I would probably pull him aside to talk to him about it and how you want to act going forward.

Janice

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2014, 01:54:37 PM »
I probably wouldn't assume that this will be The House of Prejudice right off the bat, as it may make you hypersensitive and stressed before you arrive and make your reactions to things worse.

In cases like this where you're a guest in somebody's house, I'd go with "that's an interesting assumption" or complete silence followed by either beandip or quietly removing yourself and your kids from the conversation. The hotel/tourist thing gives you a polite "out" if needed.

If you think that they'll listen to you when you say "I'm afraid I find that statement to be offensive" or "please don't use that language around DS", those could be helpful, but if they're not going to change my goal would be to show/tell the kids that not everyone's views are the same and how you can gracefully deal with rude/negative views in people you otherwise love. As other posters have pointed out, your kids will certainly hear worse...your job as a parent is to raise them so they're not the kids repeating these words!

Figgie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 418
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2014, 08:24:56 PM »
My in-laws had some incredibly racist things that they used to say out loud.  They then would be horribly offended when told that that was inappropriate.  My spouse and I had both decided that we didn't want out children exposed to them saying racist things.

While our youngest was still a baby, my father-in-law made some breathtakingly nasty racist comment and my spouse told him to stop.  He asked his Dad if he wanted to be around his grandson.  His Dad said yes, of course.  He then told his Dad that if the racist talk didn't stop right now, the grandparents would not be allowed to be around their grandchild as neither one of us wanted him exposed to it.

There was some huffing and puffing, but they both knew that their oldest son (the quiet one) never, ever made a threat without following through.  The racist comments stopped in our presence and the topic never had to be revisited.

My spouse didn't call them racists.  He focused completely on our not wanting our son to hear that kind of language and because neither of his parents were emotionally toxic, they heard what he said and stopped.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8545
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2014, 09:47:53 PM »


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.

Calling someone a racist  is a description based on their voluntary, public behaviour. Calling someone a lazy N* or a dirty I* is an insult based solely on the colour of the skin, something completely out of the person's control. I know which I think is  more rude, by a wide margin.

I would recommend, though, that instead of saying "You're a racist", going with "That's a really racist thing to say". That makes it more clear that you are objecting to their behaviour, not just calling names.

For the OP - your son is going to encounter all sorts of racist, misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted, intolerant and hateful people and statements; you can't protect him from that. What you *can* do is teach him how to respond to it. You can sit quietly and say nothing, and teach him that it's okay to say things like that. You can talk to him about it afterward, which gives the message that we don't believe this, but it's okay for people to publicly say things like this, and the appropriate response is to listen quietly and not object. You can show him how to calmly but firmly stand up to it - "Why would you say that", "I've got lots of black friends, and they're hardworking and intelligent people, so I don't know where you get that idea", and that you can leave when it gets too much. You can teach him to respond more violently - "You're all racists!" and stomping out of the room (or starting a fist fight, for that matter).

So it's up to you what lesson you want to teach him, but this will be the really important part of the visit, not what he hears from your hosts.

 

ettiquit

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1662
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2014, 04:58:34 PM »


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.

Calling someone a racist  is a description based on their voluntary, public behaviour. Calling someone a lazy N* or a dirty I* is an insult based solely on the colour of the skin, something completely out of the person's control. I know which I think is  more rude, by a wide margin.

I would recommend, though, that instead of saying "You're a racist", going with "That's a really racist thing to say". That makes it more clear that you are objecting to their behaviour, not just calling names.

For the OP - your son is going to encounter all sorts of racist, misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted, intolerant and hateful people and statements; you can't protect him from that. What you *can* do is teach him how to respond to it. You can sit quietly and say nothing, and teach him that it's okay to say things like that. You can talk to him about it afterward, which gives the message that we don't believe this, but it's okay for people to publicly say things like this, and the appropriate response is to listen quietly and not object. You can show him how to calmly but firmly stand up to it - "Why would you say that", "I've got lots of black friends, and they're hardworking and intelligent people, so I don't know where you get that idea", and that you can leave when it gets too much. You can teach him to respond more violently - "You're all racists!" and stomping out of the room (or starting a fist fight, for that matter).

So it's up to you what lesson you want to teach him, but this will be the really important part of the visit, not what he hears from your hosts.

These are excellent points. I don't believe in silently allowing bad behavior, and I want my son to know he can politely call someone out when they say inappropriate things. Although to be honest, I don't know that I'd have the guts to say anything since the circumstances of why we're there are so...weird, I guess.

The one specific example my nephew gave me was that when they were all watching football, there was a lot of yells like "Run, n-word, run!". It made me sick just hearing it by proxy. Luckily, my DS and DH like sports even less than I do, so we can keep ourselves away from that pretty easily.

Mikayla

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4086
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2014, 12:41:12 PM »
I don't see a problem calling someone a racist, or saying a statement is racist, but I'd put it under the category of "pointless dialogue".  They know they're racist, and they know their statement is racist.  They just don't attach the negative connotation to it that most of us do.

I don't have a lot of experience with this, because I don't have racist friends/family, but when it's happened in the past I use a subtler approach and one that asks yes or no questions.  "So you're saying......"?   

The one I recall more specifically was a racist comment about NFL players and my question was more like "So, if you had to choose a role model for your kids, you're saying you'd pick X over Y?"  I don't remember how it ended, but I had to repeat "you didn't answer my question" several times.

jackie jormp jomp

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2014, 08:22:28 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."


Agreed. And when the user says "Oh come on, I didn't mean anything by it!" (they always do), just say "Oh good--then you're ok not using it."
If they challenge this logic, stay firm. This goes beyond etiquette--we are now entering the realm of verbal abuse (even if the "target" is not in the room).

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31753
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #37 on: February 02, 2014, 06:43:17 PM »
It's also unassailable because, what good host would want to make his guest uncomfortable, right?

So your son should just keep saying, in an increasingly bewildered tone, "But it makes me uncomfortable. I don't like to hear it."

Promise

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 372
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2014, 06:47:44 PM »
It might actually be good for your children to hear how you handle in a respectful way people who might say offensive things. If they don't hear a proper way of how to handle it, how else will they learn? If in the meantime, you find that it's worse than you know, a hotel booked almost a year in advance is easily cancelable.

GrammarNerd

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 569
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #39 on: February 03, 2014, 09:06:45 AM »
Would this be one of those times when it's appropriate to get a bewildered look on your face, blink a few times in confusion and then say, "Umm...do you realize you just said that out loud?"  Subtle, yes, so they may not get it, but if it causes them to think about what they said, even for a second, then you've accomplished something with a minimal amount of confrontation.

And re: the title of this thread, you're staying in a hotel, so I would suggest that you just avoid their house if you're uncomfortable. You're not forced to be in their house (although I get that you're supposed to visit with them even though you're not sleeping there). Frankly, they're hosting you (in the hotel) AND they're paying you back for a big favor, so they should be doubly conscious of not offending you and making you uncomfortable.  So if you hear something racist, pack up and leave immediately, no matter what you're doing.  If questioned, say, "The racist remarks and terms make us really uncomfortable, and we don't want DS to be exposed to that and think it's okay with us.  So we're just going to go back to the hotel now.  We'll see you tomorrow."

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1826
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #40 on: February 03, 2014, 12:23:46 PM »
The example you gave: "The one specific example my nephew gave me was that when they were all watching football, there was a lot of yells like "Run, n-word, run!". makes it a bit easier, I think than a lengthy diatribe about a specific group.  It sounds, to me, like a very non-thinking comment, which gives you a great opportunity to say something along the lines of, you know, a lot of people would find that very offensive, and then you stop talking and see what they say.  I think a likely scenario is they'll say they didn't really mean anything by it, at which point you can suggest they find another word, since that one they've chosen would set a lot of people off.  You never have to call them a name, deserved or not, but it does get the point across. 

ladyknight1

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8350
  • Operating the logic hammer since 1987.
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #41 on: February 03, 2014, 01:15:08 PM »
My aunt's husband is also of the mindset that it is perfectly acceptable to yell racial slurs at the television. I refuse to be around him because of it.

jackie jormp jomp

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2014, 11:53:19 PM »
Would this be one of those times when it's appropriate to get a bewildered look on your face, blink a few times in confusion and then say, "Umm...do you realize you just said that out loud?"  Subtle, yes, so they may not get it, but if it causes them to think about what they said, even for a second, then you've accomplished something with a minimal amount of confrontation.

Like this very much and will use. Very nice.

jackie jormp jomp

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 120
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2014, 11:57:33 PM »


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.

Calling someone a racist  is a description based on their voluntary, public behaviour. Calling someone a lazy N* or a dirty I* is an insult based solely on the colour of the skin, something completely out of the person's control. I know which I think is  more rude, by a wide margin.
So well said.  Some things go beyond impolite and become hateful.  And there is no etiquette that makes  hate speech something  you have to bear.  Speaking up is not only ok, here, it's the right thing to do.

Kiwichick

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1786
  • Is anyone else hungry now?
Re: Their house, their rules, but...
« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2014, 02:27:32 PM »
Would this be one of those times when it's appropriate to get a bewildered look on your face, blink a few times in confusion and then say, "Umm...do you realize you just said that out loud?"  Subtle, yes, so they may not get it, but if it causes them to think about what they said, even for a second, then you've accomplished something with a minimal amount of confrontation.

Like this very much and will use. Very nice.

I wouldn't, unless you want a confrontation.  It's not subtle and is widely accepted as a way of pointing out someone's faults.