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Was I wrong to challenge her over this casual racism?

(39 Posts)
AliceInUnderpants Thu 20-Oct-16 18:18:21

Yesterday I was with a friend in a shop and she noticed that a product her husband buys was about 30% cheaper than where he normally buys it.

"He can come here from now on, he normally goes to the Paki round the corner"

I was speechless. My friend is a very intelligent woman and I didn't expect that to come from her mouth. I told her so. I'm not going to hold it against her -- I know she does not and would not treat anyone differently because of their race.

So knowing that she wasn't intentionally being racist, should I have just laughed it off, or ignored it? What would you have done?

FannyCabbage Thu 20-Oct-16 18:21:05

You did the right thing without a doubt! I hate the P word, it's so offensive. Good on you for calling her out - maybe she'll think more next time before using that word.

Grammar Thu 20-Oct-16 18:22:17

I wouldn't, if I were you. She sounds like a good friend who you are confident would not act on this. It was a throw a way comment, albeit thoughtless and racist. You could bring it up another time, casually saying,' I was surprised...'

Bejazzled Thu 20-Oct-16 18:22:32

What did you do?

ThatStewie Thu 20-Oct-16 18:23:39

You need to call her out. It's racist and even 'thoughtless' racism causes damage.

AliceInUnderpants Thu 20-Oct-16 18:25:03


"My friend is a very intelligent woman and I didn't expect that to come from her mouth. I told her so."

Queenbean Thu 20-Oct-16 18:25:09

grammar why would you let it go at the time then bring it up later? Why not just address it at the time

Of course you were right to OP

DixieWishbone Thu 20-Oct-16 18:26:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AliceInUnderpants Thu 20-Oct-16 18:26:55

I basically stood with my mouth open for a few seconds then said "Wow, I really did not expect to ever hear you say something like that!" She went a bit red and uncomfortable. Then we moved on to a further conversation.

sonlypuppyfat Thu 20-Oct-16 18:26:59

My friend is from Pakistan her husband is half English and half Pakistani I was there when she was cooking and he came in and said, " Is there only paki food in this house!" I wasshock

Bejazzled Thu 20-Oct-16 18:28:19

The reason I ask - my late mil was prone to this type of language. We always said to her not to do it but other family said it was because she was old 🤔 As if that made it ok. Your friend probably won't do it again now you've pointed it out and that's a good thing.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 20-Oct-16 18:29:21

Call her out as you did! If she's a good friend then all the more! As someone who has been called that in the past I'm glad you did

StrawberryQuik Thu 20-Oct-16 18:31:32

Oh gosh how awkward. My MIL says it too but she is also Asian (though from a different country) and I don't think she realises it's seen as racist in this country rather than an abbreviation.

RebelRogue Thu 20-Oct-16 18:48:07

and I don't think she realises it's seen as racist in this country rather than an abbreviation.

This happened to me. I've heard it around after i moved here,and i jumped to the conclusion that it's an abbreviation that made sense. So I used myself quite a bit. Imagine my mortification once OH explained to me exactly what it is and the racist connotations attached to it!!

attheendoftheday Thu 20-Oct-16 18:50:20

I think you should always challenge casual prejudice, I think you handled it well.

JuniDD Thu 20-Oct-16 18:52:07

Why would you feel it was the wrong thing to do?
It would definitely make me feel differently about someone.

TrillKitten Thu 20-Oct-16 18:54:03

I think you should be very proud of yourself! It isn't always safe for the people on the receiving end of these terms to point out their inappropriateness and it's till super scary sometimes to do it when you're not the target of the term, so people like you who are willing/able to help call out harmful and divisive terminology like this are a massive help!

More allies like you, and the woman posting the other day against the use of the word sp@z in a school play and we would have a much safer and happier country for everyone smile

AliceInUnderpants Thu 20-Oct-16 18:54:47

Juni I'm not sure, really, maybe just because I'm 99.9% sure she didn't mean it as a racist slur, and pointing it out isn't really productive in that way, if that makes sense? Me pointing it out was never going to educate her about it, so what was I intending. Meh.

Inyournightdress Thu 20-Oct-16 18:59:16

I think you absolutely did the right thing op. I think we all have a responsibility to challenge this stuff especially from our friends. Unless we challenge it will keep happening.

TempusEedjit Thu 20-Oct-16 19:03:23

Well I'm glad you did alice . I'm part Chinese and yet some people (work colleagues) still thought it' was ok to say "I'm going for a Chinky" until I put them right... they genuinely didn't realise it was offensive or they wouldn't have done it in front of me!

DoJo Thu 20-Oct-16 19:03:37

I have taken my in-laws to talk over this. They argue that it's an abbreviation, like Brit, and I got stuck of trying to explain that it didn't work the same way as Brit when it's a term that's been used to marginalise and discriminate against people, and you can't separate the abbreviation from the context of its use.
It did the job and it was clear that they simply hadn't thought about it like that which made me glad it had come up as I wouldn't have wanted them to use the word with anyone who might not have given them the benefit of the doubt.

PolterGoose Thu 20-Oct-16 19:05:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iwannabelikecommonpeople Thu 20-Oct-16 19:05:21


dotdotdotmustdash Thu 20-Oct-16 19:22:55

I struggle with this word - on one hand, it's been extensively used by racists in anger, and to inaccurately describe anyone who looks Asian - on the other, it's a short version of 'Pakistani' which is descriptive, just as 'Scot' is or 'Pole'.

My DH is of mixed races and is dark-skinned. He's been called 'Paki' as have my children. It tends to take the wind out of name-callers sails if you just tilt your head quizzically and say "but he's/I'm/they're not from Pakistan - what made you think that?" we then go to explain where my FIL came from, including lots of geographical information. Most folk feel silly and have no response.

ThereIsNoFelange Thu 20-Oct-16 19:29:07

Hm, I don't think you were necessarily wrong to say anything, but I don't like threads like this. I think they're a bit disingenuous. Maybe a bit of virtue-signalling. Like, "look how good and against racism I am". Maybe this doesn't apply to you, OP, but threads like this always read that way to me.

I find them similar to when people post things on Facebook like "a homeless guy came up to me and asked me for a pound, I felt so bad for him that I gave him my lunch/hat/car/bank card and he was so grateful more people should help the homeless lolz"

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