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To be FUMING that FiL has used racist language around ds.

(208 Posts)

Ds is 4.4 and has been to see my PiL this afternoon (without me). Dh took him. PIL are in their 70s and are quite ignorant in a lot of ways IMO.

Dh told me that today ds was playing shops with FIL. Apparently ds said to FIL "that will be ten pounds please." To which FIL replied "that's expensive, that's more than the p**is charge."

Dh told FIL not to say that again and ds hasn't repeated it (yet) but I am fuming! Fuming! As well as it being totally disgusting and offensive language I do not want ds repeating it unwittingly at school and being branded a racist. Or them thinking it's something we have said. I am genuinely quite horrified. Am I overreacting to this? Should I say something to FIL next time I see him too? Apparently he wasn't very apologetic and actually didn't seem to think he'd said anything wrong. I suppose partly it's generational but seriously, has this every been acceptable as a phrase? I think not.

nomorecrumbs Sun 06-Oct-13 19:06:51

It's not acceptable, but I would think YABU to be absolutely fuming. To your FIL's generation, such terms are similar to our generation slagging off 'chavs'. I would just have a quiet word with DS if he brings it up saying it's not a nice word.

Thants Sun 06-Oct-13 19:08:23

Yes you need to say something to him. It does not matter how old he is it is completely wrong. Does he use language like this around you?

I suppose I'm so cross because I know what will happen if ds repeated it at school - it goes on their permanent record. I don't want him learning language like this and thinking it is acceptable, because it clearly is not.

Yes, they are generally racist I would say.

However this is the first time something like this has happened.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 06-Oct-13 19:14:14

I don't agree with generation argument. I don't see my nan hand washing clothes or walking to the phone box to make a call. She doesn't have a coal fire any more and has generally moved on with the times.

I would make it very clear, that if racist language is used around DS again then he will not be coming to visit any more.

Feminine Sun 06-Oct-13 19:19:31

I think it is dreadful that it goes on a permanent record.

Children say the wrong thing all the time. They don't always know its wrong.

My daughter told the pre-school "Oh this bloody lunch -box..."

she got it from me. blush

nomorecrumbs Sun 06-Oct-13 19:21:42

That's harsh, Forty shock

After all, I was brought up with parents who use similar language and have what I think are racist views. It's not like I have gone around copying them. But I let my DC's see them and they are free to be exposed to a variety of cultural influences. I certainly wouldn't stop my parents from seeing their grandchildren just because their views are outdated.

And it's a lot easier to keep up to date with technology than it is to change your cultural outlook.

When I was teaching any incidence of racist language had to be recorded and went straight to the head teacher. Right from nursery onwards.

Tikkamasala Sun 06-Oct-13 19:23:45

YANBU its not acceptable and I would not want that language around a child who could easily pick it up unknowingly! When I was about 7 I repeated the word that same P word as I had heard it from a classmate in school and I didn't know it was racist/offensive, just thought it was like a cool abbreviation hmm My mum was not having it at all and explained that its not a word you should use - and I didn't use it again. So even if he does pick it up then just explaining not to use it should hopefully work. I do think the FIL needs to watch his language. Even if he feels he can say P... due to his generation, which I do think is a rubbish excuse, he still knows to watch his mouth round kids and not swear I assume? So he can add the outdated racist language to the list of what not to say in front of your ds!

They are racist there's no doubt.
When the house opposite went up for sale they said they'd buy it and rent it out if any 'coloureds' put an offer in. They live in a small village and are outraged that there are now some none white people living there.

charleyturtle Sun 06-Oct-13 19:25:02

YANBU! I would be fuming. Also I don't buy in to the whole "it's just a different generation" argument, my granddad (80 next week) said he saw some kids shouting "Paki" at "that indian bloke from down the shops" and asked me why they were shouting that. When I explained it to him he just said "Stupid fucking kids, doesn't even make sense. That blokes not even from Pakistan."

I would make it clear that you will not tolerate racist language infront your children, tell him why and make sure he winds his neck in from now on.

Sirzy Sun 06-Oct-13 19:27:10

I would be annoyed but your DH has dealt with it, no need for anything else at this stage.

BillyBanter Sun 06-Oct-13 19:27:58

Maybe have a quick word with the teacher about what happened.

We've had to have strong words with FIL on this - mainly singing racist songs. We told him in no uncertain terms never to sing them in front of dc again and told him that the dc and we would be in big trouble at school if they repeated. I know that is not the main reason why he shouldn't be singing them but he doesn't see anything wrong with them so had to turn it into the impact on the dc if they repeated them. He wasn't happy and confirmed his view that I am a radical leftie trying to censor him, but hasn't repeated them. Maybe another word from your dh laying out exactly what might happen if your dc repeat.

Spidermama Sun 06-Oct-13 19:29:14

OMG! Are you in Glasgow by any chance. I know a lot of older people still say the P word there. It supposedly wasn't considered racist it just meant corner shop and it was a fact that most corner shops in some areas are run by Pakistani families.

My Grandmother used to make racist comments and we'd all wince. We used to talk about it when she'd gone. When she got older we actively challenged her and she'd say, 'you don't understand. I was brought up in a different world. My country has changed so much before my eyes and it's not for the better.'

I think there is a generation argument and sometimes now she's gone I feel bad for being hard on her in this. You have to explain to your children that certain words are really unacceptable even though Granddad is too old to know any better.

SanityClause Sun 06-Oct-13 19:33:38

I feel your pain, OP.

My MIL talks about "darkies" in dinner time conversation. If I pulled her up on it, she would do it all the more, as she loves to upset people. (She deliberately mispronounced her nephew's wife's name for years.)

The best I can do is make sure my DC know what is and isn't acceptable. I'm sure that if your DS says it at school, they will understand that there could be lots of places he could have heard it. Such small children cannot always understand the connotations of various words.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Sun 06-Oct-13 19:38:24

I don't think it is harsh.

In fact i wouldn't even visit them, I can not stand racist people. I don't want my children being around their vile views.

bigTillyMint Sun 06-Oct-13 19:40:26

That is exactly the type of thing my FiL would sayangry He is not 70 yet. MiL is similar (I remember her using the word "darkie" once)
I remember FiL saying that there was a "black man" coming up our path once as if it was something terrible - he is one of our friends. We live in London and all our friends, acquaintances, colleagues, neighbours etc, etc are very ethnically mixed. Which is obviously a good thing.

It used to make my blood boil when the DC were really small as it is difficult to explain to a small child why what they have said is racist. However, we persisted in saying to them that what the IL's said was racist and explaining why.

Now the DC tell them when they are being racist<proud mum> and so they do it much less.

FridaKarlov Sun 06-Oct-13 19:42:46

Yes, I'd be majorly pissed off if my folks did that.

MrsAMerrick Sun 06-Oct-13 19:46:47

YANBU, and I would have serious concerns.
My MiL uses the word "coloured" rather than black, on the grounds that this is "polite". Despite me pointing out to her that it is not acceptable, she is insistent that this is the correct word to use and that anything else is offensive. TBH, now that the children are older, I've given up the battle as it's not one I'm going to win with an 82 year old. I wouldn't give up the battle if she'd used the P or N word though.

FrauMoose Sun 06-Oct-13 19:52:59

My daughter - who is in her teens - understands that her grandfather (in his 90s and suffering from a degree of mild dementia now) has views that reflect the world he grew up in and the way that he was educated. He was a Colonial policeman. Homosexuality was illegal and at the same time something to be mocked. Men behaved in one way and 'ladies' another.

If we decided we didn't want any contact with him because of his views he would be very lonely indeed. All his former friends are dead now. There's also not much use having discussions in which we challenge his opinions. He doesn't understand much, and whatever he does understand temporarily, is forgotten later. (However we do avoid giving him alcohol as he tends to become more outspoken in his views even after just a single glass of wine.)

Even when they were a lot younger my daughter and stepchildren understood that the way in which their grandfather thought and spoke was different from the way people speak and think now, so it wasn't appropriate to copy his words or ideas.

Budgiegirlbob Sun 06-Oct-13 19:54:56

It's not acceptable, but I wouldn't get too upset about it. Have a word with FIL and ask him not to use racist language around your DS. If DS picks it up, just explain its not an acceptable word.

It's not a generational thing, it's racism. My parents are older than my inlaws, but my parents would never use racist language, whereas I have caught my inlaws being racist in front of my children. We asked them not to ever repeat what they said, and we have had discussions with our DCs about racism and the use of certain words.

Although it was frustrating to hear PIL using racist language , it did give rise to a good opportunity to discuss the matter with our kids

FrauMoose Sun 06-Oct-13 20:13:38

I sometimes wonder what we will do when our children/grandchildren tell us that the words we use, and the assumptions we have, are no longer acceptable in, say, 2040.

Will we cling to our comfortable early 21st century ways of behaving - or will we adapt - at least superficially - to please the little ones?

confusedtiredandhormonal Sun 06-Oct-13 20:21:14

That is really appalling. You need to have a strong word with your PILs about the language they use around your DS.

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