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Family sending offensive emails

(21 Posts)
ticketiboo Fri 18-Dec-15 08:17:33

I received an email from my in-laws yesterday, one of those joke ones that people forward on. But this one contained a highly offensive poem about Muslims. I am a bit gobsmacked. I know them to be DM reading types, who have displayed racist attitudes in the past, but not to me and not in such a vile way. If this can be believed, they are otherwise decent people, adn I've no wish to cause a rift. I've ignored more mildly offensive things before, at DH's wish, but it just doesn't sit right not saying something about this one.
How would you word an email to make the point that you regard this 'joke' as highly offensive and unacceptable, in a non-confrontational way?

Catsize Fri 18-Dec-15 08:21:02

'Dear X, just to let you know, your email account seems to have been hacked, as I have been sent a very offensive and racist so-called joke, and I know you wouldn't have sent it. They have even signed it off as though it is from you. Seems quite sophisticated'.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Fri 18-Dec-15 08:26:09

^Sounds good to me.

ticketiboo Fri 18-Dec-15 08:28:07

Quite appealing... even if I can see who sent them the email (friends of theirs I have met) and it's clear as day that they've not been hacked?

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Fri 18-Dec-15 08:30:58

...which is politer than than I've been on these occasions.

Friend of DD's: "Does anyone want to hear a racist joke?"
Me: "Do you like having teeth and ears?"

Eigg Fri 18-Dec-15 08:47:28

Dear X, please don't send me things like this again - I find them offensive.

Kind Regards,

Gatehouse77 Fri 18-Dec-15 08:50:32

Agree with Eigg - keep it short and to the point. No waffle, no room for misinterpretation.

Daffydil Fri 18-Dec-15 08:50:56

Many years ago my BiL sent me a hideous email poem about immigrants.

I replied, correcting it line by line, with supporting links.

It's never been mentioned. He's never emailed me again. We are perfectly civil in person. But it did the trick!

Eigg Fri 18-Dec-15 08:52:34

Don't play games or be passive aggressive. Be straight out about it.

They've escalated to this because you've turned a blind eye to the past comments.

Time to make a polite, but firm stand.

There doesn't need to be a fight about it.

(BTw I am speaking from experience, having recently let publically called out my DH's cousins for racism.)

There was much hand wringing among the older generation but not much that they could do in the face of steadfastly polite determination not to accept such behaviour.

Caprinihahahaha Fri 18-Dec-15 08:55:13

I had to do a similar thing with a relative who several times used the words retard and fucktard as punch lines to funny pictures or anecdotes.
I emailed him along the lines Eigg said 'dear relative, could you make sure you don't forward jokes to me with retard etc in. I find jokes like that really offensive. Love me'
He wrote and apologised and never did it again. <win>

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 18-Dec-15 08:58:12

My aunt (who I love and respect) recently sent me a birthday card with an 'amusing' email printed on a letter within. It was one of those 'In the Middle East they didn't know what honest meant, in India they didn't know what rich meant, in Germany they didn't know what easygoing meant' sort of deals. It was a bit odd considering that my dad is from the Middle East (and Muslim) and we (her nieces) are too.

I quietly binned it and said nothing at all. I view it as a symptom of the mindset of the old-fashioned backwater she lives in - racist '80s humour is still funny there apparently. She's intelligent enough to get the hint.

I was still a bit taken aback though!

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 18-Dec-15 08:59:09

Having said that, your example sounds a lot worse.

reni2 Fri 18-Dec-15 09:23:16

Are they very new to email? It reminds me a bit of the 90s when people started having internet at home and half the inbox was forwarded "jokes", mostly inoffensive of course. People quickly learned it isn't clever to chain-mail, so it might die down anyway if you're lucky.

ticketiboo Fri 18-Dec-15 09:32:18

No, they're not new to email. They forward a lot of this stuff, though not to me - I had thought they had got the message a while back when I questioned an email my SIL sent out Obama being a 'closet Muslim' - I very politely replied putting her straight on how she had misquoted him etc. I wondered if that had got back to them and they had removed me from their list. No such luck.

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Dec-15 09:58:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ticketiboo Fri 18-Dec-15 10:12:45

I know I won't change their minds, and actually I think that if I write something they will give up straight away - they are not on a mission to change my mind, they just think they are sharing a joke with a like-minded group of people. The difference is that I am definitely not like-minded on this one.
I'm more anxious about writing something and then things being tricky with them over Christmas, as - apart from this obvious level of unbelieveable ignorance - they are a bit of a pain in the arse, but not bad people.
But my need to not remain silent over this overrides this anxiety for the first time.

Caprinihahahaha Fri 18-Dec-15 10:15:47

I think it might be that you've reached that point where ignoring it is making you feel complicit.
By not saying anything it's as if you are agreeing with it.
If that's how you feel then you need to tell them regardless of how tricky it feels. Just the 'don't send me this stuff' emails others have suggested.

ticketiboo Fri 18-Dec-15 10:18:32

That's exactly it. I keep thinking of that poem Holocaust poem about "First they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew..." and by remaining silent I will be complicit. I'm just very sad that they feel this way.

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Dec-15 10:19:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EssentialHummus Fri 18-Dec-15 10:21:22

My father did this. I only said something when he started sending the emails to my work email address, which to me crossed a line and could have landed me in shite.

In hindsight, I think Eigg's reply would've been ideal.

Hatethis22 Fri 18-Dec-15 11:06:24

My FIL does this kind of thing. He finds it even more amusing if people react. I'd just block his emails.

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