I was shocked and appalled at the behavior of an acquaintance recently. Before I launch into the story I want to warn everyone that the following contains a vile Antisemetic behavior that some may find difficult. It also has what may have been bad behavior on my part.
In my little circle of friends there is a young man who is Jewish (Bill). He's a very nice kid and very well-liked. There is another kid who is not Jewish and cannot seem to continue life on earth without slamming Bill every chance he gets. His behavior is offensive to all of us, but Bill takes it in stride and has asked us not to sweat it, as that will be giving Zitbrain the attention that he wants.
But I could not hold my silence the other day. Bill was sitting in the student lounge with us, talking and relaxing. Zitbrain walked up and started tossing change at Bill, crowing about how Bill would leap up and catch the money, calling him "Jewboy" etc.
I lost my cool completely. Bill got up and moved over to another set of seats to ignore Zitbrain. I coralled Zitbrain and told him in no uncertain terms that that was the last time I would sit by and allow him to defame Bill and Bill's chosen faith any further. I told him that what he had done and the things he had done in the past were grossly unacceptable and that if he continued, or ever let me hear him say "Jewboy" again he'd be picking his teeth up off his tennis shoes. Period. Zitbrain started whining that it was just a joke, and that Bill didn't mind and where was my sense of humor. I repeated myself and he wandered off to sulk.
Bill thanked me for the intervention but commented that I had given Zitbrain something to sulk about and that Zitbrain was happiest when sulking. Was I wrong here? Bill was not the only person offended, a couple people actually walked outside with disgust. I just can't stand slurs, or racist behavior and I had had a belly full of it. We all joke, Bill jokes about being Jewish as well (he saw me eating a ham sandwich and started pretending to hide from the "evil" ham, light humor. Nothing blatantly cruel) but Zitbrain's tone has never been all in good fun, it's always nasty.
I want to know what you guys think of my behavior. Was I wrong to step in even though Bill had told me that Zitbrain wasn't worth my time?