Some thoughts on combatting racism, homophobia, etc…

Just had to write this out. Here’s a little piece of mental jujitsu to throw out there for everyone who has ever had to call someone on being racist, homophobic, transphobic, culturally insensitive, et cetera. (And yes, sometimes it’s a friend who is otherwise liberally clueful you have to call out.)
As soon as you say ANYTHING, the person who made the comment is going to be defensive. Usually SO defensive that they can’t hear anything else you say. “I’m not a racist because I’ve been oppressed, too!” or “I can’t be homophobic, I have a gay cousin!” You know the drill.
Usually part of defending themselves is the person will say that they never INTENDED their comments to be hurtful or negative or offensive. Any hurt experienced by people who heard what they said was totally unintentional, because only a racist/homophobic/insensitive person would INTEND to hurt someone with their words or their attitude, right? And that isn’t what they’re about, right?
So here’s the thing I try to say to them. “If you don’t INTEND to hurt anyone, now that you know someone in an oppressed group was hurt/offended/negated by you… don’t you kinda have to NOT SAY THAT AGAIN? Don’t you have to change that attitude, change that language, change whatever it was that hurt the people around you? Because if you don’t, then aren’t you–now that you KNOW it hurt people–doing it intentionally the next time?”
It’s hard to own up to ingrained crap, but we all have it. Me included. Owning up is the only way to get past it. “Own up or the next time, by your own logic, you’ll be the one intentionally crapping on people.”

3 Comments

  1. last time i did this, the person i’d offended first said, “i won’t be your friend anymore if you do this”, and after an apology and saying i wouldn’t, said “what do you want from me?”
    and i said something like, “acknowledgement that we’re friends for some other reason”. this was declined, and we’re not friends anymore.
    i’m sorry we’re not friends, but given the way things went, i figure there wasn’t as much there as i’d hoped. sometimes that kind of lack emerges in the context of when people are willing to hear you apologize and improve yourself, and times when it just doesn’t matter.

  2. The gay people find it difficult to tolerate. Hungary has some pretension to do so. People are quite conservative and therefore likely to be able to accept them as such is difficult. It always will be racism in this country, because of the very large number of those who do not work. They mostly come from the minorities (Gypsies). They scold the Hungarians, that does not work anymore. Therefore, they would receive more contributions to the tax due. Former has already started returning to increasingly accept gays. I’ve also made books. Parents to understand the process.
    https://www.konyv-konyvek.hu/book_images/21a/999640521a.jpg

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