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To ask if you think this comment is bordering on being racist/xenophobic?

(59 Posts)
mytartanscarf Sun 28-Dec-14 18:12:07

My friend has her own little shop. It was quiet this morning and we were sitting having a chat when a fairly regular customer came in and we said hello.

She bought something and then was going to drop the change in the UNICEF tin by the till but then said "oh dear! I don't think I'll bother - I want to support children in THIS country!"

We both said it made us feel uncomfortable (after she'd gone!)

This certainly isn't a criticism of her wanting to support whatever charity she likes, by the way. We can't give to all of them!

Fanfeckintastic Sun 28-Dec-14 18:14:09

I have a few friends like that and I feel the same way you do, it just feels slightly racist.

KnackeredMerrily Sun 28-Dec-14 18:15:07

No not racist.

Annbag Sun 28-Dec-14 18:19:32

I don't think it's racist but would make me slightly uncomfortable.

UNICEF do support UK children anyway, but I know that's not the point!

BeyondTheTreelights Sun 28-Dec-14 18:20:29

Depends why she said it. Why does she not want to help them? Is it because of the appalling conditions some live in here, because money often does not go where it should overseas, or because she thinks x country deserves its suffering?

Sn00p4d Sun 28-Dec-14 18:21:31

I don't think so as supporting children in this country includes children of all races/nationalities that happen to reside here.
Surely it just comes under the banner of 'charity begins at home' as we have so much of the population using food banks and a ridiculously high proportion of homeless children.

Tinkerball Sun 28-Dec-14 18:28:19

Why would wanting to support children in your own country be racist? You can't help everyone in the world and it's ridiculous how many children in the UK are living in extreme poverty.

StevieWonderWoman Sun 28-Dec-14 18:30:24

Nope, not racist.

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Sun 28-Dec-14 18:31:46

Not necessarily racist or xenophobic at all.

There's a perception that a lot of foreign aid doesn't actually help the poor starving children but simply gets syphoned off by government officials etc. I don't know how true this is, but sadly in a lot of cases you can throw shed loads of money at something without it making a significant difference to who the donors think they are helping.

Also, we do have disadvantaged children in the UK and perhaps the customer thought that we (the UK population and government) should be putting our own house in order before we try to save the entire world. And if you are a foreign government, if a rich western country was helping your country, you might be a bit less tempted to stand on your own two feet might you.

Anyway, cash in charity donation boxes is an inefficient way to donate as the charity is missing out on the gift aid contribution.

LadyLuck10 Sun 28-Dec-14 18:33:57

Fgs you are really clutching at straws to be offended or find this racist. I actually prefer to donate to charities back in my home country and what's wrong with that? You're being ridiculous.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 28-Dec-14 18:36:07

If you donate you are helping people you don't know. Why would you rather help British children you don't know than African/Asian/South American children you don't know? I can't think of a fantastic reason...

Optimistletoe1 Sun 28-Dec-14 18:43:35

I agree she was neither racist nor xenophobic. Someone else might have said "I prefer to donate to animal charities" and no-one would have thought much about it.

PortofinoVino Sun 28-Dec-14 18:46:18

Are you struggling to find something to post about, OP? Of course it wasn't racist FFS.

Her money, her choice.

Greencurtain Sun 28-Dec-14 18:47:45

Not sure exactly where UNICEF operate but anyway...

No I don't think it's racist. Children in this country are of all different races so how could it be racist? It's about wanting money to be used more locally probably.

fluffling Sun 28-Dec-14 18:49:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dwarfrabbit Sun 28-Dec-14 18:53:26

I think it's parochial and xenophobic. Children have a right to a free education and health care in this country - denying other children the chance of those things because they happen to be born somewhere else is racist. Doubt her 50p would have helped much, but her vocal meanness would have pissed me off. I'm with you and your friend on this.

PhaedraIsMyName Sun 28-Dec-14 18:56:33

I don't think its racist but it's a bit odd. Presumably we're talking about less than a pound in change.

Hatespiders Sun 28-Dec-14 18:57:53

I don't think it's racist, but parochial and xenophobic - yes.
Children are in need all over the world, here and elsewhere. Who can say some deserve help more than others? A child is a child wherever he/she lives.
I'd have felt annoyed too, YANBU.

JavelinArse Sun 28-Dec-14 18:58:42

Those sort of comments make me feel uncomfortable too, i don't think that comment by itself is xenophobic or racist though.

BakewellSlice Sun 28-Dec-14 19:00:18

Parochial sounds about right.

jammygem Sun 28-Dec-14 19:00:34

My parents are both like this, but their reasonings are different: DM believes that charity begins at home and would rather give to local causes than international. DF refuses to help "bloody foreigners", usually following his comment with a Daily Mail-esque rant.

DM is fine and had perfectly good reasons. DF is just racist in his refusal.

calmexterior Sun 28-Dec-14 19:02:56

Not racist but cold and uncaring - this attitude upsets me too and I encounter it a lot.

andmyunpopularopionis Sun 28-Dec-14 19:04:53

No, not racist. A personal choice, we are still allowed those you know.

mytartanscarf Sun 28-Dec-14 19:07:50

I am aware that sometimes people post on AIBU quite convinced that they are, in fact reasonable - my post is not one of those and I am unsure why I have provoked such rudeness in some of you.

For those who replied politely - thank you. I certainly am not sure that "giving to children we know" is necessarily true: if I was to donate to a cancer charity I wouldn't expect to "know" the cancer sufferers the charity would help, I would just hope that in general it would help.

As someone has said, children are children wherever they live and while I could understand someone perhaps not signing up to a large commitment to a cause a 50p donation as a one-off seemed a bit mean-spirited.

That said, I take on board the point that not all children living in the UK are of a British background.

slithytove Sun 28-Dec-14 19:09:51

Not racist.

When I see families struggling over christmas and turning to food banks, women not able to afford sanitary products or nappies - my help starts here, in this country, for my fellow country men women and children. Race doesn't come into it.

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