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To think that just because you are married to someone overseas it doesn't give you the right to make racist comments?

(20 Posts)
Lighthousekeeping Wed 10-Apr-13 07:09:35

I don't know how to tackle this. Someone is is much more senior to me. Affable chap. Not old so we can't say it's a generation thing. I've heard it a couple of times. Always brings the conversation around to whatever country whoever he is speaking to is from. Then has an outright dig at some aspect of it. That's ok though is his wife is Indian, he always adds. Then, I never saw this myself, he came into work the other day and in a jolly way asked two of my colleagues if their visas had expired yet?!!!! I mean, really???

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 10-Apr-13 07:40:18

Complain to someone more senior than him.

You certainly can be racist if you are married to someone of a different ethnicity to you.

Just as you can hate women yet still be married to one...

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 07:49:07

Does he preface all his shite with "I'm not racist but" as well?

He sounds a dick.

I would definitely complain to his line manager.

Toadinthehole Wed 10-Apr-13 08:37:15

Of course it doesn't give you the right to be racist. That's hardly questionable,

But what does he actually say?

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 08:39:14

Can you complain if you didn't hear it though?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 10-Apr-13 08:54:05

She says she's heard it.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 10-Apr-13 08:54:40

I mean that she could report what she's actually heard.

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 08:56:56

She writes, "..I never saw this myself..."
I assumed she was told it by the colleagues. I don't know the protocol for raising complaints.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 10-Apr-13 08:58:11

I know, but she said before that she'd heard it a couple of times. I meant that she could report that. She could also mention what she's been told, but base the report on what she heard.

Lighthousekeeping Wed 10-Apr-13 09:12:26

I never heard the visa thing but was told. It's like you can't put your finger in it because he always follows up with he knows this is true because his Indian wife told him/does the same thing so is distracts from what he says. He is well liked and respected amongst his peers.

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 09:13:51

His wife being Indian is neither here nor there. It's not a get out of jail free card for offensive statements.

Bejeena Wed 10-Apr-13 09:29:54

What on earth is racist about asking someone when their visa expires? That is a piece of paper.

Also I live abroad and constantly when talking about things in work what we do, what I am doing the projects I am working on or anything the conversation often reverts to me being British. It is not being racist it is called cultural diversity and differences. I don't know what you mean by an outright dig at an aspect of a culture but I do it all the time about the country I live in and my colleagues do it to me too and I have never ever seen it as racist.

nkf Wed 10-Apr-13 09:33:34

Interesting. I assumed the visa bit was said to someone who was British and not white. Not a job related paperwork query. And that the dig was of a "you're all crooks in wherever," rather than, "cold climate over there" nature.

We all clearly bring our own assumptions to bear. Hard to say, OP. You know what he said best.

Toadinthehole Wed 10-Apr-13 10:01:14

Have you any reason to believe your colleagues were offended by the remark?

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 10:04:06

I had the same assumption as nkf. Which of course may be wrong.

Perhaps sadly because we are conditioned to expect ignorant racists to think it funny to ask that kind of question of say, a Pakistani rather than of a backpacking Australian....

Lighthousekeeping Wed 10-Apr-13 10:34:58

A job related enquiry would be said more dead pan. This was more a case of breezing in and saying loudly " are you lot still here, haven't your visas ran out yet?!" Followed by big belly laughs. Maybe it annoys me more than others.

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 10-Apr-13 10:36:03

That's what I imagined.

That's unacceptable.

lljkk Wed 10-Apr-13 11:19:41

I would say that was obnoxious not racist. Are your colleagues even on Visas? One imagines they have as many generations going back in UK as does your senior colleague.

You need to compose a witty reply, along lines of "No, but has your sense of boundaries and propriety expired, perhaps?"

Toadinthehole Wed 10-Apr-13 19:52:25

I think if your colleagues aren't annoyed, it isn't for you to get offended on their behalf.

And lljkk, if someone said that to me, I'd say "I didn't think you understood such concepts".

RenterNomad Wed 10-Apr-13 20:00:26

I'm married to a "Johnny Foreigner," but that term is about the limit of my jokes on the subject.

However, as a graduate in languages, I do have a lot of foreign friends (in the UK), and something I have noticed is a tendency towards a shutting-the-door-behind-them attitude. If this man's Indian wife is similarly inclined, she and he may be reinforcing one anothers' xenophobia.

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