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How do I deal with my racist pig of a father?

(46 Posts)
CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:24:08

God he drives me bonkers. I have had so many fallings out with him in the past about this, with particular flash points in my life eg when I got mugged by black kids in Brixton and twatted on the head with a baseball bat, whenever there is obvious racial tension of any description that make the news, 9/11 and now these bombings.

He is almost 70, I am not going to change his opinions. He is also a hypocrite - he has a black neighbour and an Indian one to whom he is delightful (presumably in his book it is ok to be from a different ethnic origin if you are a barrister or a TV producer living in a small hamlet in Hampshire as these two are). I don't want dd growing up hearing his crap but I don't want her to miss out on her grandfather who is quite delightful in many other ways.

The night of these recent bombings, I got home after being stuck in the city for 10 hours, he had called dh and been racist and really pissed him off. I called him back and all he could do was say "see I was right there are too many of these people over here, send them back" etc. He then asked when I was going to move out of that "rat hole" (london) to which my response was along the lines of "I would rather stay here with normal non-bigoted people around me and get blown up than move to somewhere where it is socially acceptable to be a racist"

So, I know next time I see him, he is going to be a nightmare about this. He is coming up for dh's bday at the end of the month. I am considering calling him and saying that he is not welcome unless he keeps his opinions to himself. Is this over reacting? Is he entitled to his opinions (obviously he is) but is it OTT to demand that he alters his behaviour when he is in my house? He has never been like this towards me, he has always taken me for what I am.

I am in a quandry and need wise mumsnetters advice.

(I have even considered making a citizen's arrest for incitement to racial hatred, or shopping him to his neighbours to whom his is so two-faced!!!!)

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:24:39

I should add that he goes through long periods without being like this otherwise I would never see him!

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:26:47

(oh and he DOES know it is wrong as he doesn't mention it in front of for eg my friends)

TracyK Thu 14-Jul-05 13:28:13

He is indeed allowed to have his opinions - but surely you could ask him not to talk about these things in front of your dd at least and maybe threaten him with losing contact with dd if he can't control it.
You both need to agree to disagree.

TracyK Thu 14-Jul-05 13:29:02

maybe you should become ageist and moan about OAPs driving, queueing, moaning old gits etc!

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:29:07

Oh we do believe me. I have told him before that he is not to spout his crap to dd. I have no idea whether he does or not when I am not around though!

TracyK Thu 14-Jul-05 13:29:50

what age is dd?

suzywong Thu 14-Jul-05 13:30:38

well CD, you are right, you are never going to change him. Ever.Despite all thoe films with Morgan Freeman in them where he melts the redneck's hearts, it ain't gonna happen

While his attitude irks you, it will not be absorbed by dd and she does benefit from grandpa contact as you say, I think you are going to have to grin and bear it and invite him to the birthday and just not rise to the bait and keep a bottle of smirnoff in the freezer.

Mosschops30 Thu 14-Jul-05 13:31:16

Message withdrawn

Janh Thu 14-Jul-05 13:32:20

I thought this was going to be from Toothache!

When he comes out with remarks like this face-to-face, how do you react?

TracyK Thu 14-Jul-05 13:32:39

my dad used to be the same tho it was after a few drinks that he spouted nonsense - but I just learned to bite my tongue and change the subject as soon as poss.
Just one of those things and as SW says - dd won't be sucked into it from ocassional rantings.

TrophyWife Thu 14-Jul-05 13:34:17

i dont think that you are over reacting at all,
my mother dose the same, she is french and hates anyone who is anything other then, english/french or white, dispite the fact that she wantted me to marry a brown bloke so she could have chocolate colour g/kids.

i must admit to telling her that (when i did see her, we dont talk anymore) she was to keep her opinions to herself or that she wouldnt be welcome in my house as i didnt want my ds thinking that it is ok to say things like that.

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:34:35

Yes he does do it for effect!

I really don't want to fall out with him as I love him dearly (amazingly!). I will just keep re-iterating that I don't want him talking to dd like this.

I really don't want to impose "house rules" on him when he has always accepted all my weird phases like orange mohicans, pot smoking in bedroom etc!

suzywong Thu 14-Jul-05 13:35:02

I remember my dad being loudly apprehensive that he was going to get jumped by a "queer" when I took him to Valerie's in Old Compton Street years ago - he should be so lucky at his age

ScummyMummy Thu 14-Jul-05 13:36:07

Oh no, CD. Very difficult one. I think I'd insist that he doesn't make those sort of comments around your daughter and really stress that it also pisses you and dh off no end to hear this rubbish. I honestly think it's a bit of a toss up as to the damage/benefit equation if an otherwise loving grandad is blatantly racist around his grandchild. I think I'd have to go the "talk like that don't see your grandchild" route until he got the message or the child was old enough to understand that he's talking crap. I don't think it is OTT to demand that he alters his behaviour in your house for that reason alone.

Mosschops30 Thu 14-Jul-05 13:36:18

Message withdrawn

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:36:18

Janh I just try to calmly state my point of view but sometimes it does end up with me calling him a racist fucker or something

frogs Thu 14-Jul-05 13:36:31

Does he say it in front of your dd?

I too have a father like this, and have decided that:

a) I'm not going to change him, so no longer expect to;
b)Will challenge unacceptable comments by pointing out that they are offensive, but w/o getting snarled up into a big discussion;
c) Will not accept any comment of this type in front of the children. They go to a multiracial inner-city primary school, and quite aside from the fact that I don't want them hearing this nonsense at all, the consequences if they parroted any of it at school would be appalling.

As a result he will say it in front of me with an "aren't I being naughty" smile, but I don't let myself be provoked by it. He doesn't do it in front of the children at all. Although my mum was recently reading ds a (no doubt long-out of print) book by Enid Blyton (no less) in which one of the dogs was called N*gger'. She did eventually agree to humour me by editing the dog's name as she read it, but obviously thought I was making a bit of a fuss about nothing.

They live in deepest rural England, so to them the whole nonracist, multicultural thing is all entirely hypothetical, and likely to remain so.

suzywong Thu 14-Jul-05 13:37:06

I know he winds you up Cd but your dd is too little to take it on board, as I have learned from experienc ( when MIL tells ds1 to put his pants back on or ds2 will think his willy is a worm and snap it off) that young kids don't listen to the words but they will get the sense of tension if you remonstrate and get huffy about it.

Plus you can come on here and tell us all about it to vent after his visit

Toothache Thu 14-Jul-05 13:37:44

CD - My Dad is exactly the same. It's so upsetting.

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:38:54

I'm so glad (or sad) that other people have this too. I also find it EXCRUCIATINGLY embarrasing that he holds these views. I can't believe that I could have been born to someone who is like this! Where did I get my pinko genes?

TracyK Thu 14-Jul-05 13:39:10

you could always treat him like they do on little angels. when he starts off - get up and leave the room, saying that you will return when he has finished talking like that - or on the phone - just say i'm hanging up now and hang up!
don't rise to the bait.

CountessDracula Thu 14-Jul-05 13:39:31

dh and I were going to go down there this weekend but tbh I just can't face it!

ScummyMummy Thu 14-Jul-05 13:39:32

Ah! If he's doing it for affect then just totally ignore him! He's winding you up. Could you devlop an irritating little phrase to annoy him? Like "Moving swiftly on..subject change" and then not let him get a word in edgeways?

Janh Thu 14-Jul-05 13:40:45

Well I know he doesn't do it just to wind you up, but I bet he enjoys your reaction anyway, like a naughty toddler; I wondered if you've ever tried smiling blankly at him instead and refusing to acknowledge what he's said?

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