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To think that if someone says "I'm not a "xxxx" but", they usually are?

(25 Posts)
Molehillmountain Wed 17-Apr-13 13:04:20

Just overheard (not trying-very loud) a conversation at ds' gym class with two women discussing the parents at their children's school. One of them said "I'm no snob but..." Struck me from my unavoidable eavesdropping that she actually was.

Tee2072 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:11:11

Well, not always. "I'm not a millionaire but..." is something I might say.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:21:19

I hear you! "im not being x but i'm just about to be " makes me smile If someone says Im not being racist but....... to me, i stop them in their tracks and say, well then don't tell me because if you are, i don't want to hear it. Then watch them squirm as they desperately try and find an unracist way to blame immigrants for everything wrong with the world - they can't!

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Apr-13 13:21:31

Oh yes, any statement that starts "I'm not a snob/racist/sexist/whatever but..." will nearly always be followed by a remark that would have you labelling them as a snob/racist/etc if they hadn't gone out of their way to deny it in advance. I'm not sure who they think they are kidding, since it's the rest of the sentence that you will judge them on.

It's probably just something they tell themselves because snobs/racists/etc are always other people, aren't they?

Tiredmumno1 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:23:01

Ah but Tee you could be a millionaire we just don't know grin

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 17-Apr-13 13:23:03

I disagree

I'm not being racist but I don't like afro hair

Someone who doesn't like the texture etc of afro hair might put the I'm not being XXX part in because they don't want their comment to be seen as being racist because they're saying something that could be seen as negative of another race's characteristics. They in fact are not racist but will be scared it may come across as they are. If they said I'm not being racist but I don't like Afro Carribean people because they have funny hair then that would be racist!

I don't think I've worded that very well but I hope someone understands!

Tee2072 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:29:16

Until I know why they don't like afro hair, I would assume they were racist no matter how they proceeded the comment about the hair.

Tired oh how I wish I was!

But I have said. Like: 'I'm not a millionaire but I can see spending £30 on a haircut.'

aldiwhore Wed 17-Apr-13 13:31:56


Though the phrase is often used by those that are exactly what they they're not, but not always.

Mostly people are paranoid that any opinion they may have will be construed as 'ist' in some way or some form of 'ism'.

Of course, the sterotypical "I'm not racist but all immigrants should go home or wear British clothes" (read that this very day on the lovely FB) is racist EVEN IF you remove the "I'm not but..." part.

It depends very much on what is said after that.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 17-Apr-13 13:33:06

Tee I should have put more context to my post. My dear friend once attemped a career change into hairdressing. She soon gave up as she was apalling grin She always said that afro hair care was a challenge for her. She was always afraid to say it because she said it sounded racist. I told her it wouldn't sound racist if she put it in context.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:34:38

But WHY would anyone say they don't like affro hair, no, thats racist right there! Seriously, its like saying, I don't like brown skin. If you say, i wouldn't like to HAVE affro hair, then its ok (i think) because its high maintenance (is it?) then ok, but "i dont like affro hair = racist.

Lucyellensmum95 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:36:13

Your friend would not have been racist to say that she found affro hair difficult to style though, i think it is quite a specialism?

Feminine Wed 17-Apr-13 13:40:59

I agree Lucy.

Why say it at all?

Feminine Wed 17-Apr-13 13:42:13

"I'm not being horrible" is another one.

The nonsense that then spews out is normally quite alarming!

montage Wed 17-Apr-13 13:47:00

"I don't mean to be rude but..." I'm about to be

It works it reverse too - "I'm a really kind/generous/polite person" is generally followed by something that does not attest to that.

I find that people who are very kind don't generally go around declaring they are.

Mehrida Wed 17-Apr-13 13:47:36

Of course you can dislike a certain kind of hairdo/type/colour without being racist.

Lots of kids at school used to get picked out for having frizzy/ginger hair for example. I got slagged rotten and told nobody liked my hair when I got it cut really short.

Sometimes people are just plain old common garden mean.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 17-Apr-13 13:49:45

Sometimes people are just plain old common garden mean.

I've never heard that phrase before but I love it!

GeorgianMumto5 Wed 17-Apr-13 13:57:15

A couple of people I know do this. One says, 'I'm no racist but...' and then says something racist. The other starts conversations with, 'I don't mean to be rude but...' and then is.

So, YANBU. Anecdotally, I have proved you right.

Molehillmountain Wed 17-Apr-13 13:59:29

Phew not just me! The one I overheard today was "I'm no snob but they're just not the same as me. ". And went on to describe what they wore and what their children were called. Erm...

Birdsgottafly Wed 17-Apr-13 14:00:30

I think that people fall into speech patterns and that phrase is on that sticks, as some people don't understand what racism is and take every comment about someone\thing from another culture as racist. People need to learn how to listen effectively to each other and it is difficult to judge a snippet of a conversation from someone you don't know well. My father (White South African), used words which he grew up with, when he first came to the UK, but he wasn't racist, he needed to learn a better way of using language. So you are neither right or wrong, but you need to listen to what is said.

aldiwhore Wed 17-Apr-13 14:00:42

Not liking affro hair is not racist, it's preference. Saying afro hair is shit, is racist I suspect and incorrect because it's stating something as a fact, saying afro hair is shit because black people have it is DEFINITELY racist.

I don't like ginger pubes. There's nothing wrong with people who have them I just don't like them myself. I am married to a ginger!!

He doesn't like female facial hair, he's not sexist, I sometimes have a downy moustache. He doesn't think I should be discriminated against because of it.

megsmouse Wed 17-Apr-13 14:26:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tee2072 Wed 17-Apr-13 14:39:51

That's what I meant HoHo. You cannot like something without hating an entire group of people who have it.

"I don't like working on Afro hair as it is a specialized skill!" is not racist. It's a fact.

LadyEdith Wed 17-Apr-13 15:00:25

Is it racist to object to overseas call centres on the basis that I cannot understand what people say and I cannot get anyone to understand the problem?

Tee2072 Wed 17-Apr-13 15:15:53

No, not racist.

HorryIsUpduffed Wed 17-Apr-13 17:08:55

I think the exception to the rule is "I'm not being funny, but..." because what follows is never ever remotely funny.

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