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To feel disgusted at my DB?

(57 Posts)
CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 14:35:29

This isn't an easy topic, and it's been clear over the last few years that I hold very different opinions to a few members of my family when it comes to issues like this. So please try to see this as a wider problem rather than a one off as that's what I'm struggling with.

I have a younger DB who last night sent me a text from my DFs phone using an awful racial slur, it was in relation to an earlier text I'd sent him about meeting a celebrity at work. When I received the text I initially thought it was from DF and called him- all these reasons running through my head, was it autocorrect(!), was it a typo, or was my DF actually using such an awful word?

My DB answered the phone laughing, and I immediately realised it was him and hung up. My DF called me back without knowing what had happened and couldn't understand why I was so upset, he was laughing and assuming my brother was just being cheeky about something. I said he needed to read his phone and I would speak to him tomorrow, I was mortified and embarrassed.

This morning I receive a text from DB saying:

"I am sorry about yesterday, it wasn't meant to aggravate you it was just meant to be a joke and I understand that you don't always understand my jokes so I will think about it more next time before joking around."

AIBU to not just let it drop? I haven't replied but this is the last straw, he's always been borderline offensive and everyone always made out he was just doing it to be a wind up, but I can't allow my own family to act like this and pretend it's okay. I am so ashamed of him and he just doesn't understand what the problem is.

I have spent so much of my time working with asylum seekers, with victims of trafficking, and have seen first hand what happens when prejudice is allowed to run unchecked. I feel like that if I let this slide I'm contributing to the problem when I'm in the position to be able to help. Just because I'm fortunate enough to be born in a good area, to an educated affluent family does not mean I don't understand the damage this kind of behaviour causes.

Imnotbilly Sat 25-Jun-16 14:37:42

Hard to say without knowing what he said.

Probably YANBU.


CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 14:41:23

It was the N-word.

Imnotracistbut Sat 25-Jun-16 14:46:05

I know it's an offensive word, but I think that unless it's being used against someone as a personal attack because of the colour of their skin, then it's pretty powerless. It's just a word. Ask Jay Z, or Snoop, or any other black artist that have no problem dropping the n-bomb.

Probably gonna get railed for that, but whatever.

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 14:51:54

What an apt username.

It was used against someone as a racial slur, we weren't trading Kanye lyrics FFS.

Imnotracistbut Sat 25-Jun-16 14:53:29

It was used in a text sent to you.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 25-Jun-16 14:54:42

How old is your brother? Very young there might be space to educate. Older, I wouldn't let it drop.

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 14:54:43

Yes- about a black celebrity.

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 14:55:32

27 unfortunately. Thought he'd grown out of it, but his gf of 2 years is incredibly racist and they seem to encourage each other.

SapphireStrange Sat 25-Jun-16 15:00:09

Tell him it's unacceptable and 'just a joke' isn't any excuse.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 25-Jun-16 15:00:28

So what do you want to do about it?

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 15:02:19

I just don't know how to handle it. I feel like I can't accept it as a joke but have no idea how to make him explain that the way he behaves just isn't on.

He thinks I'm oversensitive and doesn't understand why a slur against a minority would bother me, because I'm white.

I'm just tired of hearing this kind of thing from people I love sad

JudyCoolibar Sat 25-Jun-16 15:03:26

I initially wondered whether he might have some sort of social communication problem, but if his girlfriend is racist it probably was nothing but outright racism.

I think you're right not to let it drop. If possible, I'd suggest you sit down with him on his own and, in a non-judgmental way, discuss why it upset you, why it would be deeply hurtful to members of ethnic minorities, and why using that word as a joke simply isn't acceptable in any context whatsoever. I'm not sure if it will get through to him, but at least you will have tried; and maybe something will sink in and have an effect at some point.

SapphireStrange Sat 25-Jun-16 15:03:28

Just keep telling him you do not want to hear his comments, jokes or no.

Becky546 Sat 25-Jun-16 15:05:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 15:10:33

Becky There are older members of my family who occasionally air views like this, but he's definitely the worst. May be worth getting others perspectives, although not my DM as she has never understood what's wrong with racism.

WeekendAway Sat 25-Jun-16 15:14:37

You should just say 'I do understand your jokes, DB, I just don't appreciate their nasty and blatantly racist nature and I am disappointed that you seem to be quite an unpleasant person at heart.'

EttaJ Sat 25-Jun-16 15:14:59

YANBU it is absolutely unacceptable. How your DF thinks your brother sending that and using that vile word is ok is beyond me. How awful for you to have such ignorant relatives.

alltouchedout Sat 25-Jun-16 15:18:06

Not railing you Imnotracistbut, but don't you think black people choosing to use the word themselves is totally different than anyone of another race doing so? And I know there will be poc who say it's fine and they don't care, but what about the many many who find it hurtful and offensive and care very much?

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 15:20:21

What would be a good response? I'd resigned myself to ignoring his faux apology tbh

SlinkyVagabond Sat 25-Jun-16 15:24:49

"It's not me being overly sensitive, you are just racist."

Beeziekn33ze Sat 25-Jun-16 15:25:41

You could try 'I don't get it, could you please explain what is funny?'
I'm trying that for racist and sexist 'jokes'.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 25-Jun-16 15:26:07

"Every time you use words like that it makes the world just a little bit shitter. I don't want to hear it any more." And decide what you will do if he carries on. I find just leaving, quietly and without comment every time is very effective.

Theoretician Sat 25-Jun-16 15:28:15

I think disgust is much too strong, reserve that for him using it in the hearing of someone it could be applied to.

CowPatRoberts Sat 25-Jun-16 15:29:29

"Please- explain to me how being racist is 'a joke'? Every time you use a word like that you make the world a slightly worse place to be, and I don't want to hear it anymore. I'm really ashamed of you."

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