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How should kids handle racism?

Posted by on May. 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM
  • 21 Replies
My oldest is 13, in 7th grade. A kid that is as big as my DH and in the 10th grade was telling racist jokes on the bus today. My kid is mixed. Evidently the kid realized it was bothering him and stopped, and kinda half way apologized without saying sorry. So the mom in me wants to call the bus driver, get the kid's parents name and call them, then meet the bus in the morning and let the kid know exactly how I feel about it. But obviously this won't help my son. It isn't a regular thing, but he will probably have to deal with things of this nature again in the future. How should he handle it? I mean obviously if someone keeps doing it I will get involved in a big way. But what exactly should I tell him to do on his own? If he comes running to mommy every time someone makes fun of him he's going to be picked on a lot. I get that. Doesn't make it easier for me to not throw a huge fit about it. Idk what to do. Opinions?
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by on May. 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM
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Barabell
by on May. 1, 2012 at 9:18 PM
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I just asked my son how he would handle it. He is usually pretty outspoken, and I know he's spoken up against bullies picking on classmates in the past. I guess he hasn't come across this situation at his school, but he stated he would tell the kid making racist jokes to stop it. I know that doesn't work in all situations. In some situations, some kids would be relieved that someone spoke up, and in other sitautions, it could create bullying. It's a tough call.

Zamaria
by Silver Member on May. 1, 2012 at 9:33 PM
Mine is outspoken when defending others, but when it comes to himself, he rarely says a word. I hate that for him. It's so hard to know what to do. We live in a really small town and have never had a problem with racism here before. Ever. I hope it doesn't start now. thanks for the input. And kudos to your son for standing up for his classmates! The world needs more kids like that!


Quoting Barabell:

I just asked my son how he would handle it. He is usually pretty outspoken, and I know he's spoken up against bullies picking on classmates in the past. I guess he hasn't come across this situation at his school, but he stated he would tell the kid making racist jokes to stop it. I know that doesn't work in all situations. In some situations, some kids would be relieved that someone spoke up, and in other sitautions, it could create bullying. It's a tough call.


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KristinawithaK
by on May. 1, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Yikes. Well... I know that racist jokes will never end. And there will always be a mixture of races. He can let it roll off of him, ask politely to stop, remove himself from the situation. And rest assured knowing that at least he has enough respect (good job mama) to be kind to others and not say ugly things like other kids.
Sorry I don't have much to say. This makes me sad.
good luck.
Zamaria
by Silver Member on May. 1, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Thanks for the support! :-)


Quoting KristinawithaK:

Yikes. Well... I know that racist jokes will never end. And there will always be a mixture of races. He can let it roll off of him, ask politely to stop, remove himself from the situation. And rest assured knowing that at least he has enough respect (good job mama) to be kind to others and not say ugly things like other kids.

Sorry I don't have much to say. This makes me sad.

good luck.

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Wyldbutterfly
by on May. 2, 2012 at 4:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Generally I would report it. However if that is not the route you want to take. I would see if it persists. If it does and I hope it doesn't, most definitely report it. I can't stand racism.

Your poor son, he had to feel horrible :(

auroragold
by on May. 2, 2012 at 6:50 AM
4 moms liked this

At 13 I would encourage him to confront it in a way that is comfortable for him. That could be as easy as saying:

"I'm going to move so I don't have to listen to this anymore"

or has direct as saying
"That's offensive, please stop."


As for finding the parents of the child and/or reporting it - - I think it's overkill unless it is directed at one specific child constantly (aka bullying behavior) 

zombimomma
by on May. 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM
3 moms liked this

I agree, it's best to diffuse it rather than draw attention to it. I would suggest having your child respond in a way that makes the 'joker' realize that his comments are not welcome, then redirect the topic.

"Wow, dude, everyone knows jokes like that are SO lame. Can't you think of something that's actually funny?" Then redirect the topic to a hunorous tv show, movie, video game, etc. This not only diffuses the orginal offensive remark, but also challenges to instigator to come up with something better to save face.

"You want to know how to end racism? Stop talking about it." - Morgan Freeman

 

RoxyLynn4
by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:29 AM
2 moms liked this

I was the same exact way, still am, I get really angry when I see/hear someone being treated badly and I (calmly even though I'm angry) say something about it but rarely ever stick up for myself. I'm also mixed so I've gotten racism from both sides and the best thing he could probably do about it is say casually something like "well I'm mixed, so is that how you feel about me, because I don't think race has anything to do with the kind of person I am" since the person doing it seemed to stop once he realized it was offensive. When it comes to more seriousness and someone who couldn't care less and won't stop I always would say something like "It's sad that you have to try to make other people feel that way for no reason just to feel better about yourself" or "you sound really miserable and insecure about yourself when you put other people down for something so stupid" or "so, in order for you to be happy or to feel good about yourself you have to try to make other people just as miserable? That's too bad, I feel sorry for you." Those are all calm and non-argumentative ways to speak to someone without feeding into someone's negativity and anything else ignorant they say back can easily be ignored or responded with "exactly" lol because they always respond with a lot of defensiveness and/or more racist comments.

Quoting Zamaria:

Mine is outspoken when defending others, but when it comes to himself, he rarely says a word. I hate that for him. It's so hard to know what to do. We live in a really small town and have never had a problem with racism here before. Ever. I hope it doesn't start now. thanks for the input. And kudos to your son for standing up for his classmates! The world needs more kids like that!


Quoting Barabell:

I just asked my son how he would handle it. He is usually pretty outspoken, and I know he's spoken up against bullies picking on classmates in the past. I guess he hasn't come across this situation at his school, but he stated he would tell the kid making racist jokes to stop it. I know that doesn't work in all situations. In some situations, some kids would be relieved that someone spoke up, and in other sitautions, it could create bullying. It's a tough call.



Zamaria
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 9:46 AM
1 mom liked this
I was actually so irritated by this situation that I looked up the N word. When my kid got up, I asked him what a N was. He said "a black person". WRONG!!!!! The definition of the word is "Something or someone that is unable to learn,cooperate, or function correctly." so I asked him if that described him. He said no. So I told him that he could explain the definition to kids if they brought it up again, and also tell them that racism is caused by ignorance, so they should educate themselves because without black people they wouldn't have tennis shoes, potato chips, peanutbutter, be able to get a blood transfusion if they needed it and a whole bunch of other stuff. That did seem to perk him up a little! I've never really been big teaching them about important black people specifically, because I don't like to focus on the color of the skin, but the person themselves. We have studied important black people, just not focused on the fact that they are black. I guess we need to do that.
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Maevelyn
by on May. 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM
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I would try to highlight the positive, the kid realized he was making ds uncomfortable and with out saying anything gave some form of apology. Obviously, this young man is learning this behavior some where and I think going in guns a blazing may not be the best way to help him over come environmental failure. It might not have been a great apology but I think in this situation forgiveness goes a long way. If he was, in his heart, a hateful racist, then he wouldn't have felt any guilt. I would talk to ds about it and his feelings. It would be nice if our kids were always eloquent and clever in these situation but they are still growing too. He shouldn't feel bad that he didn't call the kid out.

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