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How to handle racist MIL?

(57 Posts)
MrsMacaroon Wed 09-Jul-08 14:13:30

Almost every time I go and see her, she drops racist comments into the conversation...most along the line of- 'nice place but too many coloureds' etc

DH had told me her parents were ignorant and racist when we met (been together for 11 years, married for 6)and in fact he has no contact with them for many reasons. She is monumentally sensitive and bears grudges forever so she's very hard to be honest with (this is why DH doesn't see her- they fell out after he tried to have a heart to heart about past issues.

I take the kids up to see her about once a fortnight and so far have either ignored her comments, have reasoned a bit 'maybe you didn't like her/him because you weren't used to their accent...' (pathetic I know) and have pointed out that I am not racist and mentioned my best friend's partner is black and they have a child together who is like a nephew to me.

She just says- 'oh I'm not racist either, I don't mind chinese people...but did I mention that another polish family moved in down the road tuttuttut'

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

itati Wed 09-Jul-08 14:15:05

Just walk out of the room when she says anything. She is racist.

itati Wed 09-Jul-08 14:15:44

BTW it is big of her to not mind Chinese people. hmm

GreatAuntieWurly Wed 09-Jul-08 14:17:59

my MIL and SIL are exactly the same and they make the same sort of comments.

MrsMacaroon Wed 09-Jul-08 14:21:52

what do you do GAW?

GreatAuntieWurly Wed 09-Jul-08 14:24:08

I do make a point of saying that is there opinion but obviously its not my view and ask them not to voice their opinions in front of my children. SIL gets very heated over it and doesnt understand why I find terms like "paki" and "chinky" offensive.

savoycabbage Wed 09-Jul-08 14:24:27

The ones who say they are not racist but..... are worse than the ones that are big fat racists and really quite proud of it.

You need to say something to her if she is saying anything like this in front of your dc. It is NOT AT ALL ACCEPTABLE. When my mixed race child started nursery one boy refused to sit next to her on the carpet because his grandad had said that black people were dirty and smelly.

Talk to her and if she doesn't stop, don't take your children to see her anymore.

bornagaintart Wed 09-Jul-08 14:26:19

My In-laws are exactly the same, "immigration will be the end of this country you know." Their family were German immigrants only 1 generation ago shock but of course they're white. I've given up and find changing the subject the only way to deal with it. They really are Daily Mail readers - that paper is poison, I only ever see it at their house and am shocked every time.

ilovemydog Wed 09-Jul-08 14:27:20

Same as my mil.

She doesn't realize it is racist behavior.

Mine was going on and on about a particular race; about how they are getting all the benefits etc. I was so fed up with her ranting, I asked her if she knew how much they received a week? She didn't know. I told her and she said that they should go and get a job. I explained that they cannot get a job due to their immigration status as refugee status.

She then started ranting about the government, which is something we both agree on! smile

Anglepoise Wed 09-Jul-08 14:34:13

My mum is increasingly anti-immigrant/refugee (I think they're the same in her eyes). I've occasionally challenged it but generally just let it go. Not sure how I'd approach the "too many coloureds" thing though hmm.

As regards people saying things in front of the DC, surely it's useful for them to know that these views exist and are wrong, ie you can challenge them when they arise, either at the time or when discussing it later with DC? Or am I being hopelessly naive and idealistic (DC1 is still cooking so no personal experience of this yet!)?

TheDevilWearsPrimark Wed 09-Jul-08 14:38:39

My uncle who has been on incapacity benefit for almost 12 years moans about 'polish builders' 'taking all the jobs'.

He is perfectly capable, he's an alcoholic ho has refused treatment. It makes me really angry.

He relies on 'subs' from the rest of my family so he can buy his cheap lager and watch tv all day.

He also says he's going to get a 'chinky'. It makes me spitting mad.

MrsMacaroon Wed 09-Jul-08 14:42:08

anglepoise- i think i agree with you about not censoring it from kids but it is a worry...my DD1 is like cousins with friend's mixed race DS and we have other friends who aren't white so i can't ever imagine them behaving in a racist manner towards other children.

Tortington Wed 09-Jul-08 14:42:52

i think you should kick her in the fanjo and say " TAKE THAT YOU OLD BITCH"

UnquietDad Wed 09-Jul-08 14:46:46

Oh, my mother is just as bad. You can't win. It's the way they look at you pityingly as if you don't understand because they lived through the WAR, you know, and now this country is being INVADED. (Pitying look, head on one side.) "Oh, but it is." (In tone of voice one would use for someone who had denied earth was round.)

Oh and, do you know, everyone thinks the same. Oh, yes, they do. Those who claim not to are just "safeguarding their own jobs" or "don't dare speak up."

sandy4 Wed 09-Jul-08 14:46:58

Maybe she really doesn't realise she is being racist!

My (adoptive) mum goes on about 'too many immigrants', & my birth parents are jamaican & irish hmm

Kewcumber Wed 09-Jul-08 14:48:31

sandy thats bonkers! shock

Kewcumber Wed 09-Jul-08 14:49:01

Have you thought of using the naughty step?

sandy4 Wed 09-Jul-08 14:50:20

And character-building!

sandy4 Wed 09-Jul-08 14:53:43

Mrs M - she does sound like hard work though.
(my sympathies)

Maybe everytime she comes out with one of her negative comments, you could diffuse it with something positive?? iyswim??

SubRosa Wed 09-Jul-08 14:54:37

The trouble is that they grew up in a society that was tolerant of racism. Not that I'm excusing it, as I hate any form of racism.

I could have screamed at my mum last week, some new people have moved in opposite her and she told me: "Even though they're black, they're very nice people." Arrrrgghhhhhhh.

cornsilk Wed 09-Jul-08 14:55:02

I am fed up of hearing people moan about immigrants. Even some of the teachers where I work have made the odd comment.

madamez Wed 09-Jul-08 14:55:26

The one that worked on my mother (another Daily Mail reader) was 'Well you don't like it if I say 'Cunt' in front of you so please don't say 'Yid/Darkie/Paki' in front of me'.

Sadly this won't work in front of DC as they will pick up all the offensive words and repeat the lot at the next birthday party.
But you can say to MIL let's agree to disagree and not discuss this, and tell your DC that it's a shame Granny has these mental opinions but the poor old bat can't help it, never mind, some people are a bit silly about these things.

LynetteScavo Wed 09-Jul-08 14:56:09

Tow hands around the throat. Squeeze hard.

Creole Wed 09-Jul-08 14:58:05

Anglepoise - yes I agree. It's better that they've heard it whilst you're there than in the playground etc

Nothing wrong with awareness...

My ds had a problem with his friends at school a while back. He was told to play the baddie because all black people were bad.
Their parents were mortified when they were told and later found out that it came from Star wars.

But we didn't take it too seriously (although the school did, and a bit OTT if oyu ask me, but they were following procedures).

My point is, its sometimes best that they're aware of things like these

swiftyknickers Wed 09-Jul-08 14:58:58

sorry but custy that comment just made me laugh out loud and am at work!!!

My MIL the same-thankfully my mum is a lesbian and after she said the word lezzer i had it out with her, asked her not to be racist or bigoted infront of me otherwise she wouldnt see DS (in the nicest possible way)

now she is fab but still says coloured people-she does try though!!

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