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Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Ugg. UGG! This sucks. It's been my experience that you can NEVER change someone's mind when it comes to these types of comments, but I completely understand that it feels like the right thing to do to TRY.

I think that the situation sucks. What you should do about it depends on what you want FROM it.

1) You want to go back to the type of friendship you shared as children with imaginary friends and look alike outfits and potential wedding attendants? You have to call her/ask her to meet you for coffee and have a conversation with her. Tell her that you're hurt by the business in November. Ask her what she was thinking? Based on these responses and/or her defensiveness, you can decide if that closeness is something that can possibly be achieved again.

2) You will only see her at family events from here on out with occasional myspace comments. Maybe just make a passing comment to her the next time you see her about how you wish people were more careful about what they put out there on the internet and see what happens. That way you don't completely ignore the situation, but you don't actually confront her.

It sucks. I'm not sure that much will change in either scenario, but it seems like you'll feel better in the end. Maybe.

I'm sorry you have to go through this.

i'd say see if she makes some kind of remark/posting again, and then say something to the effect of "whoa, that's totally not cool." it might open up a conversation without you having to get all nasty. at the very least she'll know how you feel.

I have a very close friend from college who is a racist. We both grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. There are many times when she would make some racist remark and look at me and be all "right Kris?" and I just wouldn't say anything. I wouldn't agree with her, but I wouldn't say "NO WAY!" Not saying anything was just as bad as agreeing with her.

Still to this day, to me it isn't worth the confrontation. She's not as bad anymore, since she's had children, but every now and then she'll throw out a racial slur and it makes me cringe.

Good luck because I don't know what to do in that situation, clearly, since I haven't said a thing to my friend about it in the almost 14 years that we've known each other.

I didn't vote for our president, but that notwithstanding, it is NEVER okay to make racist remarks.

When I found out my dad had voted for President Obama, I first was shocked, because he tends to be as conservative as I am, but I then was proud of him, because I've heard him make many ignorant racist comments in my life, and this vote was very significant for him as a person.

I'd probably "say" something about being upset by certain remarks, but because I, too, hate confrontation, I'd "say" it via email. I'm not nearly as non-confrontational as I was before the invention of the interwebs! ;)

Hmmm... I'll tell you about a similar situation I had with a friend, though the topic of conversation was mental illness instead of racism.

I said to him, "I'm having a hard time letting go of something you said several months ago. I know that you were probably just blowing off steam, but [thing you said] has been bothering me since it happened. I'm trying to let go of it, but in the future, could you exclude me from messages of that nature? I don't want to damage our relationship, but I couldn't possibly disagree with you more, and it hurts me to know that you feel that way."

In our case, it worked beautifully, and he ended up reading what he'd sent out and admitting that it was not appropriate.

True, it is never okay to be racist. But I think some people just don't think about what they're saying, and they try to be funny but it just comes off as ignorant. I think if you talk this out with your cousin, maybe she'll understand that what she said was hurtful to a lot of people, including you. Good luck.

Ugh. I had a similar problem with a "friend" of mine on Facebook and I finally did the passive-aggressive thing of deleting her from my friend list. I did send her one message about how her racist marks offended me, but I don't think she really took me seriously until I hit that delete button.

I know confrontation is hard, but maybe now that you've had time to think about it and write a calm email, maybe you should tell her what's bothering you?

Well, I'm not a real big fan of passive-aggression, which is basically what your ignoring your cousin is. You are punishing her and she doesn't know why. Wouldn't you want to know why if you were in her shoes?

That doesn't mean you should send her an email saying you think she's a racist bigot. I think the right time to speak up passed, but should another time come to speak up, I recommend doing so. But do so respectfully, because people don't respond well to being told they are an idiot, even if it's true. Tell her simply that you find her remarks racist and offensive, and you are surprised that somebody who was raised as well as she was would say such things.

I don't have any advice for you, but if I were in the same situation, I personally would have a hard time being friends with her again.

I don't think you will ever have the same type of relationship you two had as children, but that said, you are family and just ignoring her doesn't seem to make you feel better.

It is my sincere hope that instead of being an all out racist, she's just ignorant and maybe not so bright? Maybe you could say or email something along the lines of, "hey, I know I've been weird lately, but I was really upset about X, Y, Z, because I don't agree with those sentiments at all nor do I condone them"? Maybe?

Gah, good luck with it all.

I would say something to her, even if it's hard to say, and even if it causes you problems in the future. I think silence fuels racism, misunderstanding, and hate. If she publishes that type of thing and no one says anything, she thinks it's okay, or even worse, she thinks people agree with her.

Of course, it's easy for me to get on my high horse - I'm not the one who has to confront a family member. *shudder*

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