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How do you deal with racist people IRL?

There was an obviously racist post here today on CM, and it is so easy for people to confront and deal with others when they are inappropriate on the web. But in real life, it's not so easy IMO. Sometimes, the racist people are our co-workers or supervisors, teach our children, they are friends, or relatives, or caregivers. You know what I mean?

Every situation is different, but how do you deal with a situation where you see someone's racism and you feel you must confront it in real life?

In my experience, I try to turn it around with humor if it is a one on one deal. I think that bashing people doesn't win them to your point of view. But in a large group, I often just walk away. Later, if they ask me what is wrong, I will explain to them how I was offended.


Asked by dwmom2008 at 3:28 PM on May. 12, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 18 (5,767 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • It depends on what you are comfortable with. I myself would come right out and point out that the comment was offensive without bashing the rude person. I would say something like "I kind of found that offensive." or "Well not all people of that race are like that..." or "You know, that could be taken the wrong way."
    It is better alot of times to either say it casually or wait to have a one on one discussion later.

    Answer by amber710 at 7:40 AM on May. 13, 2011

  • Depends on the context. Your racist boss has to be handled much differently than the racist mother of another child at the playground.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:31 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • I don't hold my tongue about it...regardless of if it is my boss or a stranger. I will not tolerate disrespect of my child, who is bi-racial. I let them know exactly how ignorant they make themselves look. Everyone has a right to their own opinions, but that doesn't mean I have to listen to them.

    Answer by KennsWifey at 3:41 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • I don't have a problem telling an individual or a group, to their face, about their racist words or actions. To be honest, it was difficult for me to learn how. I grew up in an all white coal town in Eastern PA ... amd never experienced any interactions between people until I moved away when I married. It's a rough way to get that sort of education, particularly when you're trying to teach your children at the same time. I've lived all over the US, and I've seen it/experienced it from all sorts of 'colors', all nationalities, and all ages. It's all pretty sucky. People are people, and deserve to be treated as such unless/until their behavior (not their skin) warrants otherwise.

    The one thing that I have learned is that racism IS learned/taught. No child is born with it ...

    Answer by Farmlady09 at 3:55 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • I have been lucky enough not to experience racism in my real life...the only time I've ever experienced it has been right here on CM...I have no idea how I would handle it in real life but it sure would be awesome if we could just report it and it was deleted..sadly life doesnt work this way and as long as there are ignorant people in the world there will be racism

    Answer by Lucky209 at 3:32 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • If it is a situation where I will be ruining someone's special event, like a birthday party, I usually just walk away. If not, though, I will call the subject on it.

    I believe that if you don't address it, then it will be taken that you agree . . .it also gives power to the discriminator. So, I say something much like I said to the racist poster from today. Not cussing, but giving a reality check.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 3:56 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • I have never PERSONALLY experienced such. I guess since I've never been faced with the question, my first reaction would be to just walk away, ignore, avoid, and think to myself...what a loser! :o)


    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:15 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • You aren't going to win a racist to anything. Shut them down. I am very direct when I experience a racist in real life

    Answer by adnilm at 3:32 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • I don't. They aren't worth my time!

    Answer by Simplicity3 at 3:56 PM on May. 12, 2011

  • I use my judgement depending on the situation. I never entertain it though and I don't sit there through it either.

    Answer by Raccoon at 4:25 PM on May. 12, 2011