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To think that whilst DS' comment was wrong it was not racist?

(590 Posts)
HaHaLOL Tue 25-Nov-14 17:13:01

DS is in year 7. An Indian girl was talking very quickly in English to him and being silly. He said "stop talking flippin' Hindu".

Today we've had a letter saying he has been given a Senior Staff Detention, in big bold letters - "for making a racist comment". He told me he had to write a letter to her and her parents (don't have a problem with this at all). This is all because the parents have made a complaint against him.

Now he has a fiery temper and we can imagine him saying sth like that out of anger/frustration. DH is sure it's not actually a racist comment and thinks it's like saying to someone "stop speaking double Dutch" and he thinks its PC gone mad.

DS' head of year told him today that his comment will go to the local council and be recorded in a "racist comments" book. Is this true?! Surely she wouldn't have made it up!

I would add that DH's best two best friends are Chinese and Indian. We lived in Asia for a year. DS went to a huge international school. He would have had more nationalities in his class than the whole of our town I would imagine. His best friends were Japanese, Korean, American and English. For 2 years DS has been learning Mandarin. I cannot imagine a more culturally aware 11 year old among his peers.

DH wants to write to the Head to challenge the racism angle, particularly if it's gone down in some record at the council.

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone. I just want to get some other views, please.

Thank you.

YouTheCat Tue 25-Nov-14 17:15:32

Not culturally aware enough to know not to be so horribly disrespectful.

I'd say it was racist.

Viviennemary Tue 25-Nov-14 17:17:24

I can see why the school said it was racist. It was said in a derogatory way. So he should have got the detention.

Schoolaroundthecorner Tue 25-Nov-14 17:17:25

sorry Op but this does sound like a troubling comment. An indian girl was speaking English, but quickly so your son said 'stop talkin' flippin hindu' - I don't think I'd be fighting the school on this one. I'd be having words with your son about acceptable comments when someone is annoying you do not include digs at another persons background/race.

Vitalstatistix Tue 25-Nov-14 17:18:24

I think it was. I can certainly understand why it was treated as such.
She wasn't speaking hindu, she was speaking english.
He had the choice to say "stop speaking so fast" he had the choice to say "stop speaking double dutch" he chose to say Hindu.

I think you would be fooling yourself if you believed that the fact that she is Indian played no part in his choice of words. When angry and attempting to silence her and even though she was in fact speaking english, he chose to say that.

I am sure he is not maliciously racist, but that does not mean that his choice of words, on this occasion, were not.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 25-Nov-14 17:18:25

I'd say it's racist too, sorry.

Not the same as saying your eleven year old is a racist^ but that was a racist thing to say.

crocodilesarevicious Tue 25-Nov-14 17:19:20

I think the reaction is very strong and am fairly certain it's not going to go down at the local council.

However I do think it is a little bit racist. It's nothing like saying 'stop speaking double Dutch' - it's saying 'you sound different to me and I object to that.'

Live and learn.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 25-Nov-14 17:19:29

Would he have said that to a white British kid who was gabbling? No? Then it's definitely got racist overtones and you should back up the school.

imnottoofussed Tue 25-Nov-14 17:19:31

I'd agree yes it is racist

Nightboattocairo Tue 25-Nov-14 17:19:34

She was speaking English - so yes, I think he meant to upset her. Year 7s are aware enough to know what they're saying.

hesterton Tue 25-Nov-14 17:19:46

He doesn't have to have meant it to be racist for it to BE racist. It's about perception not intent. The girl perceived it to be racist. To other ears it sounds racist. I would interpret it as racist. It was rude, and ignorant. Hindu is a religion... Hindi is the language.

fourwoodenchairs Tue 25-Nov-14 17:20:01

What a horrible thing to say. He deserves to be made an example of, and rightly so.

Bean89 Tue 25-Nov-14 17:20:27

I agree with the school.

DoraGora Tue 25-Nov-14 17:20:46

If not racist, then it's an anti-religious slur. I'm not sure what the benefit of trying to narrow down the technical definition of the insult was. It was very bad. I personally would leave it be. I think the overall goal is not to do any of it.

hesterton Tue 25-Nov-14 17:21:13

And it will be logged as a statistic, but not with your son's name. That's a statutory duty of the school around every racist incident.

HaHaLOL Tue 25-Nov-14 17:21:16

That's a good way to look at it Original. Thanks for that. It's good to get some different perspectives. We've spoken to him very sternly about his choice of words and he has learnt a lesson here I hope. Also, happy that the school gave him a detention and made him write a letter. In fact I spoke to him before the detention to say he will write a letter so am glad the school thought the same.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 25-Nov-14 17:21:22

I think he may have said it without meaning to be racist but it was racist. This is part of his education OP.

Can I hijack and ask if it's ok for me to "like" a facebook friends post if it;s entitled "to my black sisters" or not? I'm white by the way. I do like her post...I'm just not sure it liking it isn't ok?

OfaFrenchMind Tue 25-Nov-14 17:21:35

But isn't saying 'Double dutch' racist too, in this case?

TheCrimsonQueen Tue 25-Nov-14 17:21:42

I'm astonished you even need to ask.

26Point2Miles Tue 25-Nov-14 17:21:51

I think its wrong the council keep a record of childrens remarks. they say something wrong,they are corrected,apologise and move on. but recording them? that sounds almost threatening.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Tue 25-Nov-14 17:22:01

It doesn't literally mean her sisters by the way. It's just the tone of the post and what it's about is a good message.

waithorse Tue 25-Nov-14 17:22:08

I thought you were going to say your son was much younger. He said it in a derogatory way, it was racist and I would expect
an 11 year old to know

HaHaLOL Tue 25-Nov-14 17:22:15

Yes, we are aware that Hindi is the language.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 25-Nov-14 17:22:38

And he may well be a great kid - we all say the wrong thing sometimes, and I think that learning to apologise gracefully and dissociate yourself as a person from the wrong action rather than getting entrenched in self-justification is a good lesson at this young age.

TheWitTank Tue 25-Nov-14 17:22:49

It does sound derogatory and racist. If he was frustrated with the speed she was talking at in English he could have asked her to slow down. 'Flippin Hindu' implies he thinks little of this religion, thus using it as an insult. Maybe not intentional, but still wrong. I would be having a chat with him about acceptable ways if talking to people and dealing with his frustrations, not complaining to the school.

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