Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


To think that just because you are married to someone overseas it doesn't give you the right to make racist comments?

19 replies

Lighthousekeeping · 10/04/2013 07:09

I don't know how to tackle this. Someone is is much more senior to me. Affable chap. Not old so we can't say it's a generation thing. I've heard it a couple of times. Always brings the conversation around to whatever country whoever he is speaking to is from. Then has an outright dig at some aspect of it. That's ok though is his wife is Indian, he always adds. Then, I never saw this myself, he came into work the other day and in a jolly way asked two of my colleagues if their visas had expired yet?!!!! I mean, really???

OP posts:

ImTooHecsyForYourParty · 10/04/2013 07:40

Complain to someone more senior than him.

You certainly can be racist if you are married to someone of a different ethnicity to you.

Just as you can hate women yet still be married to one...


NotTreadingGrapes · 10/04/2013 07:49

Does he preface all his shite with "I'm not racist but" as well?

He sounds a dick.

I would definitely complain to his line manager.


Toadinthehole · 10/04/2013 08:37

Of course it doesn't give you the right to be racist. That's hardly questionable,

But what does he actually say?


nkf · 10/04/2013 08:39

Can you complain if you didn't hear it though?


ImTooHecsyForYourParty · 10/04/2013 08:54

She says she's heard it.


ImTooHecsyForYourParty · 10/04/2013 08:54

I mean that she could report what she's actually heard.


nkf · 10/04/2013 08:56

She writes, "..I never saw this myself..."
I assumed she was told it by the colleagues. I don't know the protocol for raising complaints.


ImTooHecsyForYourParty · 10/04/2013 08:58

I know, but she said before that she'd heard it a couple of times. I meant that she could report that. She could also mention what she's been told, but base the report on what she heard.


Lighthousekeeping · 10/04/2013 09:12

I never heard the visa thing but was told. It's like you can't put your finger in it because he always follows up with he knows this is true because his Indian wife told him/does the same thing so is distracts from what he says. He is well liked and respected amongst his peers.

OP posts:

nkf · 10/04/2013 09:13

His wife being Indian is neither here nor there. It's not a get out of jail free card for offensive statements.


Bejeena · 10/04/2013 09:29

What on earth is racist about asking someone when their visa expires? That is a piece of paper.

Also I live abroad and constantly when talking about things in work what we do, what I am doing the projects I am working on or anything the conversation often reverts to me being British. It is not being racist it is called cultural diversity and differences. I don't know what you mean by an outright dig at an aspect of a culture but I do it all the time about the country I live in and my colleagues do it to me too and I have never ever seen it as racist.


nkf · 10/04/2013 09:33

Interesting. I assumed the visa bit was said to someone who was British and not white. Not a job related paperwork query. And that the dig was of a "you're all crooks in wherever," rather than, "cold climate over there" nature.

We all clearly bring our own assumptions to bear. Hard to say, OP. You know what he said best.


Toadinthehole · 10/04/2013 10:01

Have you any reason to believe your colleagues were offended by the remark?


NotTreadingGrapes · 10/04/2013 10:04

I had the same assumption as nkf. Which of course may be wrong.

Perhaps sadly because we are conditioned to expect ignorant racists to think it funny to ask that kind of question of say, a Pakistani rather than of a backpacking Australian....


Lighthousekeeping · 10/04/2013 10:34

A job related enquiry would be said more dead pan. This was more a case of breezing in and saying loudly " are you lot still here, haven't your visas ran out yet?!" Followed by big belly laughs. Maybe it annoys me more than others.

OP posts:

NotTreadingGrapes · 10/04/2013 10:36

That's what I imagined.

That's unacceptable.


lljkk · 10/04/2013 11:19

I would say that was obnoxious not racist. Are your colleagues even on Visas? One imagines they have as many generations going back in UK as does your senior colleague.

You need to compose a witty reply, along lines of "No, but has your sense of boundaries and propriety expired, perhaps?"


Toadinthehole · 10/04/2013 19:52

I think if your colleagues aren't annoyed, it isn't for you to get offended on their behalf.

And lljkk, if someone said that to me, I'd say "I didn't think you understood such concepts".


RenterNomad · 10/04/2013 20:00

I'm married to a "Johnny Foreigner," but that term is about the limit of my jokes on the subject.

However, as a graduate in languages, I do have a lot of foreign friends (in the UK), and something I have noticed is a tendency towards a shutting-the-door-behind-them attitude. If this man's Indian wife is similarly inclined, she and he may be reinforcing one anothers' xenophobia.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?