yo is this racist? a typical evening experience

If you have to ask, yes.

When can you turn it off? Should you? Being at a social gathering, in a very mixed group, consisting of few people I know, which is rare in a small town, I have found that people have a tendency to say some really questionable things. Case in point here. I am a hopper, I go from group to group, always wanting to learn new things and meet new people, it’s who I am, it’s why I know so many people. I come into a converation and join in and it’s a mixed gender group of white mid to late twenty year olds, I was probably on the older end. One individual, who is newer in town starts talking about the neighborhood that she moved into, and how it was perhaps a little “ghetto” but that everyone she has interacted with is really great and she likes it.

I am unaware of this area of town as it’s nowhere near me but when she used the term ghetto, I assumed she meant economically depressed, no racial bias held within this phrasing (outwardly intended anyway). Then another guy, who I happen to have met a few times startes talking about this area and how bad it is and it’s a rough neighborhood, “but it’s ok, I went to a school that was 50/50”.

Skeerrrt. Put the brakes on brother. What?! Who said or mentioned anything about race? It’s these micro-aggressions that I have the hardest time dealing with. Here is a man, who is seemingly well-educated who says things like this. I opted not to say anything, so as I wouldn’t come across (once again) as the angry social-justice activist in a party full of folks who were less than sober.I have ideas how I could have handled it, but I chose not to, what would you have done?

See you next time.

One thought on “yo is this racist? a typical evening experience

  1. Oh, what a familiar position. I’d like to say I would have done something different but I’ve been in this position enough times to know that I probably wouldn’t have. Of course there are times, usually when I’m with family or friends I know well, when I hbe no problem calling them out when they say something that is in some way offensive. I try very hard to turn that side of me off when I’m at a party or other social function, especially when folks have been drinking. First off, it is unlikely you can have a Productive conversation with the person, and it I likely that you might be a major buzz kill. If the comment is simply beyond the pale, forget about being a buzz kill and lay down the social justice law. This is why I do when I hear a slur of some kind being used, including those times when my guy friends feel it necessary to refer to a woman as a bitch (yeah, I’m that guy). After thinking about it, however, if you find that it maybe best to address the person one on one at a later time, schedule a coffee date, drop them a note or wait until they’ve sobered up to talk with them about it. Ultimately, most people just aren’t as sensitive as we are to these things, which means our lives are full of opportunities to teach. Let’s take advantage of as many as we can, even of it means waiting until the next day.

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