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AIBU?

To not want this friend to visit again

106 replies

Spinderellacutituponetime · 28/12/2019 23:04

Really shocked that a very old friend of my DH has come to visit and has said something racist during the course of the conversation. I was very upset and surprised by this as have known him a long time and never heard him say anything remotely similar. In fact he’s always been very leftie-liberal. I called him out and shut down the conversation making it clear I wasn’t happy and his comments were unacceptable but now I feel really uncomfortable about having him in the house. I certainly don’t want him here again but he’s DH best friend. Would I be unreasonable to say he’s not allowed to visit again? The whole thing has made the atmosphere in the house awful and I have gone to bed early to avoid more confrontation.

OP posts:
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RubbishRobotFromTheDawnOfTime · 28/12/2019 23:59

People are positively salivating at the thought of hearing it

Hmm yes, MNers famously love a good racial slur.

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Floydian · 29/12/2019 00:02

What a waste of time this thread is with nothing to give a clue what was said. And anyone who does say something that is racist should be challenged in a constructive way so that they can be shown the error of their thinking instead of stomping off which you've done. Waste of time.

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Bluerussian · 29/12/2019 00:04

You're not unreasonable, Spinderella.

I wouldn't want him around any more, if your husband is that keen he can see him outside of your home.

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WorraLiberty · 29/12/2019 00:04

Well I’m not going to say so if that’s the case then there’s no point in continuing the thread but thank you for your time.

You sound like a petulant child rather than an adult who's started a chat thread on a chat forum to you know....chat.

Or were we all supposed to say "YANBU, you sound like a lovely person OP"? Thanks

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HypatiaCade · 29/12/2019 00:04

The details do matter.

Making comments about a culture is not necessarily the same as being racist. There are a lot of cultural and religious practices I find disturbing. I couldn't care what colour the person's skin is or what their race is, but does the fact that there also happens to be a particular race associated with those cultures and religions make it racist?

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Graphista · 29/12/2019 00:17

@eryn6556 you and your friends are a group of racists. It being acceptable within the group doesn’t make that less true.

Exactly what I was going to say.

No ifs buts or maybes.

Even without knowing what he’s said I’m going to say yanbu.

Why? Because he KNEW it was racist and still said it!

He’s not ignorant or naive he’s prejudiced and I don’t take anything to do with bigots.

I’d also be questioning staying in a relationship with someone who was close friends with someone who thought like that.

When I first met my ex he had in his circle of friends this utter arse who never took to me (I don’t know if his bigotry was why or not as I don’t know if he knew of my background before he made the comment), and I had a gut feeling about him too. He was northern irish Protestant background and on a night out with my ex and friends he made a horrible comment about catholics. He’d edged towards similar commentary before but he went over the line on this occasion - to the point there were gasps from the group even those who would admit they didn’t know much about the troubles etc

We left and went to another club and my ex took no more to do with this guy without me having to say a word.

I’m Scots, but of irish catholic descent and while lapsed I was raised catholic.

The guy desperately tried to backtrack/apologise especially as it turned out (unbeknown to me at this point too) that ex’s best friend (also part of the group) who whilst English born and had English accent and surname had an irish catholic mum.

Whole group cut him off. and quite honestly I think that’s what should happen to bigots. It should be made clear to them that such thoughts and comments won’t be tolerated.

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paranoidmum2 · 29/12/2019 00:17

It sounds like (and I could be wrong) that the friend has said ‘Pakis’ at least and that would be completely unacceptable. You should not have to have someone who says that word in your home.

Was it a poverty slur, OP? I know Pakistani and African ethnic groups have some of the highest poverty figures in the UK.

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dionysus19 · 29/12/2019 00:18

I belong to one of the races you mentioned. I have made comments about my own race previously...but then again is it racist if I make such comments about my own race? TBH we have good qualities but we do have loads of bad rotten apples. Nothing wrong if he was mentioning a fact.

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paranoidmum2 · 29/12/2019 00:20

@dionysus19 stereotypes are not facts.

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TheClaws · 29/12/2019 00:20

I’ve banned a family member from my house for the same reason. So, YANBU. He can see his friend elsewhere if he wants.

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AutumnRose1 · 29/12/2019 00:29

Hypatia “ There are a lot of cultural and religious practices I find disturbing. I couldn't care what colour the person's skin is or what their race is, but does the fact that there also happens to be a particular race associated with those cultures and religions make it racist?”

This is what I was thinking. If it’s that sort of remark, it’s not so clear.

Though the OP description has made me think that two particular words were used...if so, instant ban from my home.

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mediumbrownmug · 29/12/2019 00:42

YANBU. If your DH wants to see his friend he can do so in other ways, but it’s your home too and you shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable in it.

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BoomBoomsCousin · 29/12/2019 00:48

The trouble with outright "banning" someone for one comment is that it stops their ideas from being challenged. And we are virtually all racist unconsciously in some ways, it can be easy for an idea to slip in, get reinforced a lot and then people find themselves thinking something they wouldn't have previously. If they just get shunned by the people who recognize it's racist they're going to spend all their time with people who don't recognize it, don't challenge their idea or provide them with a counter way of thinking and probably reinforce that way of thinking instead. And so we build a more polarized society. It's a bleak future.

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NearlyGranny · 29/12/2019 00:53

Trouble is, you had a glimpse of a side of him you hadn't seen before and you can't under it now. Well done you for calling him out on it. So many people let talk like this slip past unchallenged and that:s how racism flourishes.

It says something about the national mood that, after all this time you've spent together, he only felt comfortable saying such a thing now.

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Elindab · 29/12/2019 00:58

What people say is not so important. It's what they do that matters. This is something I realized after marrying a black guy. There's no relationship at all between how accepting people are of us and how woke/pc their conversation was prior. None at all. So, I think just challenge the comment, stay nice, don't leave the room next time, get over it.

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PanicAndRun · 29/12/2019 01:15

Why context and the actual mattered was because for example a decent human being that you like and respect saying "let's order a chinky" could be out of ignorance and not malicious. When pulled up on it more than likely they'd apologise and try(in most cases successfully) to not use it again.


Since he prefaced his comment with "this is slightly racist" there is no ignorance. There is malice because he knows its (slightly?!?) wrong but he still wants to say it and for others to hear it. At this point the actual comment is irrelevant indeed. Just like any comment after "I'm not racist, but..." would be.

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Equanimitas · 29/12/2019 01:15

The issue of what was said matters because OP is saying that this is someone with no history of racism, rather the reverse. It therefore seems surprising if he said something deliberately racist. It may be that it was something ambiguous, or that is not racist in a particular context, or there may be another explanation. If you want our views on whether YABU, OP, you do need to say what it was. It would also be helpful if you say how he reacted when you called him out.

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Equanimitas · 29/12/2019 01:17

Since he prefaced his comment with "this is slightly racist" there is no ignorance.

There's nothing suggesting he prefaced the comment in that way, @PanicAndRun. His admission seems to have come after OP called him out.

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PanicAndRun · 29/12/2019 01:19

Ah fair enough, I read that post slightly wrong.

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GreenTulips · 29/12/2019 01:26

Did he apologise?

What would you do if it was your child who said it rather than a life long friend? Ban them as well?

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Bluerussian · 29/12/2019 01:34

I'm glad you called the friend out on it, op, and then left him alone with your husband. He'll have got the message.

You say the guy's wife posts on here which is why you don't actually want to repeat what he said but there's no reason to suppose she reads every thread and I get the impression she wasn't present when he said what he said. It would help us all to know what it was - perhaps you could alter it slightly if you're that worried.

It sounds as though it was a shock to you so I guess it was an out of character remark for him to make, especially as you've always considered him a 'liberal leftie'. I've heard some totally out of character remarks from people in recent times over Brexit but, thankfully, not from friends or family.

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WhatTheActualFlock · 29/12/2019 02:03

I have no idea why the comment needs to be repeated and analyzed and taken apart by MN and everyone then giving their two cents.

The OP was uncomfortable with what was said. It's the OP's home! They can do as they please.

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Bluerussian · 29/12/2019 02:11

Fair points, WhatTheActualFlock. It doesn't bother me one way or t'other but other posters seem to want to know and they've given reasons, not just being nosey.

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Jenasaurus · 29/12/2019 02:27

It does depend what was said, I got wrongly accused of making a racist comment once. A colleague mentioned being on TV recently and I jokingly said, What Crimewatch?, he accused me of being racist, I wasn't even taking note that he wasn't English, and it was a joke remark not intended to cause offence, but he took it as racist and made a complaint, luckily my manager who knows it is out of character for me, realised it was taken out of context, that's why it matters what was said

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PenelopeFlintstone · 29/12/2019 02:30

Why don’t you name change and repost so we can know what he actually said?

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