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BS: Extreme prejudice and friends

Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 04:46 AM
CarolC 15 Jun 01 - 04:57 AM
mooman 15 Jun 01 - 05:00 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 05:06 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 05:20 AM
Lyndi-loo 15 Jun 01 - 05:26 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 05:27 AM
Brian Hoskin 15 Jun 01 - 05:36 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 05:47 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 05:57 AM
Skipjack K8 15 Jun 01 - 06:07 AM
kendall 15 Jun 01 - 06:08 AM
Linda Kelly 15 Jun 01 - 06:28 AM
Bagpuss 15 Jun 01 - 06:29 AM
kendall 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM
KingBrilliant 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM
gnu 15 Jun 01 - 06:43 AM
Bagpuss 15 Jun 01 - 06:44 AM
Midchuck 15 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM
Brian Hoskin 15 Jun 01 - 07:53 AM
gnu 15 Jun 01 - 07:56 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 08:14 AM
CET 15 Jun 01 - 08:19 AM
Midchuck 15 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM
Fibula Mattock 15 Jun 01 - 08:29 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 09:02 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,jaze 15 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM
Gervase 15 Jun 01 - 09:31 AM
English Jon 15 Jun 01 - 09:38 AM
Micca 15 Jun 01 - 09:42 AM
mooman 15 Jun 01 - 09:54 AM
SDShad 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM
SDShad 15 Jun 01 - 10:20 AM
LR Mole 15 Jun 01 - 10:28 AM
Patrish(inactive) 15 Jun 01 - 11:00 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jun 01 - 11:52 AM
wysiwyg 15 Jun 01 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 15 Jun 01 - 12:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jun 01 - 03:29 PM
SDShad 15 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM
Clinton Hammond 15 Jun 01 - 03:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Jun 01 - 04:06 PM
InOBU 15 Jun 01 - 04:37 PM
mousethief 15 Jun 01 - 04:41 PM
Donuel 15 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM
katlaughing 15 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM
Mrrzy 15 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Mickey191 15 Jun 01 - 05:50 PM

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Subject: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:46 AM

I am looking for some advice, so where better to ask.
I have found out recently that some of my friends are infact racist. I tried to put a different point of view, but was so shocked that I made a crap job of it. I then made an excuse and left. I am not quite sure what I do next when I see them. I am not comfortable with having friends like that. Do just mark it up to experience and avoid them - which then means I have to change almost all of my social life(such as it is)I would be interested to know your thoughts on this.

PS These friends have nothing to do with mudcat


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: CarolC
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:57 AM

I had a similar experience not too long ago. It was very unpleasant and didn't end well at all. I don't think there is any good way to handle things like that except to follow your conscience and hope for the best.

Good luck with it, and PM me if you want to talk about it privately.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mooman
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:00 AM

Same goes for me or Lady McMoo Patrish, just PM us if you need to chat. We've encountered similar problems over the years and as Carol says it's sometimes not easy.

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:06 AM

It kind of depends what you mean by "racist" - do they just make rude jokes about foreigners, are are they KKK horsewhipping burning-paper-bag-with-a-turd-in-it-through-the-letterbox style gun-toting loonies?

either way, their prejudices will be based on ignorance - if you can make them see that racial stereotypes aren't actually true, maybe you can save the friendships. Personally I think I'd run quite fast.

Best of luck, and try not to let it get you down. Sympathies,

English Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:20 AM

They are regulars at my local pub, I have known them for years - they did not voice there opinions till yesterday. They started off by talking about immigration and finished off by more or less saying we should bring back the empire! There comments on asians was send them back. They vote BNP!
I think trying to change there ideas is not possible, although I did try.
Thanks for all the PM offers, I am having lunch in the local in about an hour and a half, they are bound to be in there, I think I will just see what happens, I might bring my brazilian friend in (very dark skin and the biggest smile you ever saw!)
Let you know what happens
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:26 AM

A Difficult one. My father-in-law (now deceased) was a racist and a bigot and no amount of reasoned argument, quiet discussion or downright quarrelling could make him change his views. Maybe it was because he was from a previous generation when Britain still had colonies. Thankfully his son sees things differently! I'm afraid I can't really offer any constructive advice, but it would be a pity to lose an otherwise good friendship because of a difference of opinion. Peopple do have differing views on all sorts of things from abortion, religion, death penalty and so on. Racism is just another opinion, albeit (in our view) a wrong one


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:27 AM

I hate to have to say this, but F*** 'em. You do not need Nazis in your life. If I were you I would steer well clear. They may be very nice in many other respects, but this kind of attitude is going to make you feel very uncomfortable to say the least.

The BNP are not very nice people.

Also PM offer if needed.

Cheers,

Jon Loomes


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:36 AM

I have to say I'm with Jon on this, you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends and with friends like that . . .We're clearly not just talking about minor differences of opinion here, people who support the BNP are fundamentally nasty individuals and you'd be better off away from them.

This is not a pleasant or easy situation to be in and we'll all be behind you however you resolve this.

Best wishes, Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:47 AM

Lyndi, these people are average age of about 70 - a different generation. I was always brought up to be polite and respect your elders - I think this is why we all got on so well.
One of them is quite elderly and seemingly very intelligent, I wonder if I spoke to him about how uncomfortable his views are for me, that he would understand. But then after yesterday he surely knows already.
I am not good at confrontations, but perhaps I am about to learn
Patrish


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:57 AM

They still try old nazis for war crimes.

Sorry, but I had to say it.

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:07 AM

Seems to be the theme for the day, Pat. I had a pretty ugly spat in the office this morning after one of my female colleagues (you met her at the Jug last summer) showed me what she thought was a hilarious racist joke.

Like you say, it's insidious, and it's only when the penny drops that you realise that you have to entirely re-evaluate the uncovered racist.

It is easier to cross the road, and talk about the weather. I chose not to, and now we have a hateful atmosphere in the office.

I have had a lifetime beleiving that everything anyone ever said made a difference, but on this issue alone, it seems that normally rational, loving, even religious people are immovable, and age is usually the defining factor. I can only seek to guide my children as they pick up influences in school.

I thought I was the dodgiest creature you hung out with!

Love

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:08 AM

Dont confront, it only polarizes the two positions. Ask uncomfortable questions, such as, "What have the---- ever done to you, personally?" One of my brothers is/was a classic homophobe until he got aquainted with a gay bass player at a bluegrass thing. Now, everytime I see him enjoying this guys company, I just grin! The basis of all hatred, is fear. If we drag that fear into the sunlight, it dies. That is, assuming the person involved has more working for him/her than just the reptilian brain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:28 AM

Its a difficult one Pat, I never cease to be amazed at the levels of racism that exist in this country, but much of it tends to be very subtle and always based on ignorance. As a personal rule, I believe it should always be challenged either personally or professionally, and sometimes you may lose a friend or client and othertimes it may get someone to reassess their position. Most importantly, if they are not challenged then they will be past on to the next generation, and whole families are tainted by this view.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:29 AM

Your Racist Friend

By They Might Be Giants

This is where the party ends
I can't stand here listening to you
And your racist friend
I know politics bore you
but I feel like a hypocrite talking to you
You and your racist friend
It was the loveliest party I've ever attended
If anything was broken
I'm sure it can be mended
My head is tired from bobbing and pretending
Listen to some bullet-head
and the madness that he's saying
This is where the party ends
I'll just sit here wondering how you
can stand by your racist friend
Out from the kitchen
to the bedroom to the hallway
Your friend apologizes, he could see it my way
He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking
Can't shake the devil's hand
and say you're only kidding


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM

Well said Bagpuss.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:39 AM

There are a lot of racists about, and there will be a lot of different reasons why they are that way. For some its just a default position that makes them part of a 'club' - they don't actually think about it properly, its just a point of view they subscribe to.
My dad is pretty racist at times (he's 70 too) - and there's no defensible reason for it, and he's an intelligent man so I'm amazed at him - but its such a fundamental part of his world-view that I know he'll never change his mind. The most he will do is to admit that 'well, the ones I've actually met have been very pleasant people, yes'. (!!!!!!!)
As Kendall says - confrontation will polarize - they'll just dig their heels in. Whether you can educate them is another matter. When these people were young (and forming their characters) Britain was much, much less multi-cultural. They will have been fed all the Empire propaganda about 'primitive darkies' etc etc.
Rationality doesn't come into it.
I don't think you should make a hasty decision to cut off from these people. They need to mix with people like you. Otherwise, if they only get to mix with like-minded people then they will just reinforce eachothers prejudices. My advice would be to carry on seeing them, and just to quietly and calmly disagree with them - or show your disapproval by walking away when they start in with that stuff. If you find that over time it drives a wedge between you then you will probably drift away from them anyway. A hasty breaking-off might just cut off your own nose to spite your face - there is presumably a side to them that you do like? Don't forget there's good and bad in everybody.
Also - is there any possibility that this was mainly just beer talking? Might they have been winding you up a bit? - sounds unlikely, but possible.
I hope you can sort it out & remain friends with them, and that they'll learn a bit of sense off of you!!!

Kris


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:43 AM

Yeah, it is kind of odd that this comes up just now... I had a similar experience with a relative a few days ago, over her use of the term "darkies". She actually meant no disrespect. It was a term she learned from her father from England, years ago. Whether or not he was racist, I have no idea. I let it slide because I knew she meant no disrespect.

As for your situation, it's much more complex. I would be inclined to matter-of-factly tell them that I am uncomfortable with such views, wished that they would refrain from talking in this manner in my presence, and offer to leave their conversation if my views bothered them. Teach tolerance with tolerance.

Of course, if they give you a rough time, you can choose other friends. I've always said that I can get along with anyone or I can get along without them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Bagpuss
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 06:44 AM

Mr Bagpuss's uncle is quite racist. The first time I met him, he said some pretty racist things and I was stunned into silence. Luckily, his daughter argued with him, so it wasn't so difficult for me to argue with him too.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:35 AM

If a friend had an accident that left him in a wheelchair, would you have nothing to do with him because it was embarrassing to be around cripples?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:53 AM

Peter, that is an awful analogy. This is not about being embarrased to be seen with someone, it is about finding their views abhorrent.

Brian


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: gnu
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 07:56 AM

Crippled physically or mentally are a far cry from crippled philosophically. I assume you are not embarrassed to be around the former but are equating the former with the latter. To wit, I would agree somewhat.

However, I WOULD be concerned that others may equate friendship with racists as condoning their views, which is totally different than tolerating their right to their own views. It is a difficult situation to deal with and can't be generalized... each situation on it's own merits, really.

Anyway, keep us posted on this interesting situation, Patrish. Your actions and the results may help us all deal with similar situations until we can all live on the Starship Enterprise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:14 AM

If enough people became racist, would that make it alright? I've got a recipe for Zyclon gas somewhere.

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: CET
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:19 AM

Actually from Charmion who is too lazy to re-set the cookie.

My maternal grandmother (born in the English midlands in 1902) could not bring herself to say the word "Jew" until I was seventeen and brought home a Jewish boyfriend who happened to be the son of her lawyer; her preferred word was "Hebrew." My paternal grandmother (born in Beauport, Quebec in the 1880s) spoke of my cousin Leila's very black Guyanese husband and her Guyanese-English children as "darkies." What I found particularly interesting about both these ladies' attitudes was the apparent chasm they drew between those who are and are not "like us" in appearance or culture. The fact that members of the family had decided that those people were enough like us to draw them into the family circle did not induce them to change their mental labels.

It's so hard to be brave and stand up for a principle when you run the risk of spoiling the relaxed, fun atmosphere of a social centre like the neighbourhood pub. By doing so, you declare yourself a kind of watch-dog who notices when others fail to live up to a standard of behaviour. It's kind of like being a cop -- and they tend to socialize only with other cops because "civvies" won't relax when they're around.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Midchuck
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM

Peter, that is an awful analogy. This is not about being embarrased to be seen with someone, it is about finding their views abhorrent.

Actually, the very first post asked "...do I...avoid them...?"

If you're talking about someone started with an open mind, considered the matter carefully, and made a rational decision to be racist, you're right, it is an awful analogy. If you're talking about someone who was brought up in an atmosphere where racist attitudes were a given, and soaked them up at an early age, before he was ready to question them, I think it's a fairly apt analogy.

And I think most racists belong to the second group. Granted, they're wrong. But that doesn't make them necessarily evil. Ideas and beliefs are never good or evil, only right or wrong. Actions are good or evil.

Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate - and quickly.

- "Lazarus Long" (R. A. Heinlein)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:29 AM

"The fact that members of the family had decided that those people were enough like us to draw them into the family circle did not induce them to change their mental labels". How true that can be. There was, to say the least, some hassle when my parents (one a Catholic, one a Protestant) decided to get married in N. Ireland in the early 1970s. You would think that nearly 30 years later such attitudes would have diminished. Not so. One of my uncles does not approve at all that a cousin of mine is dating a Protestant. I find it bizarre. Ludicrous. I encountered a similar problem myself when I didn't fit the religious requirements imposed by a boyfriend's mother. She made it quite clear she didn't like me, and for a while I actually cared. Now I'm well away from her and her son ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM

It is tricky. On balance, I'd say that if they persist in their racist views even after you've made your feelings on the subject quite clear, then they're not worth having as friends. Particularly if they support the BNP.
It can be tough, though. My only surviving relative on my father's side is an appalling racist, and will brook no argument on the subject. As a result I've completely cut myself off from him and will probably next meet him at his funeral. Which is sad, but some attitudes can't be condoned or swept under the carpet.
You have my sympathies, but be strong, be prepared to stand your ground - politely and with good humour but firmly - and if you can't get them to see reason, then you have a painful decision to make.
Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:02 AM

I have just had lunch and spoken to one of the racist group. I have told them that I am on a mission to change their attitudes, which I said with a smile on my face. I also informed them that I was a card carrying liberal democrat! They were more upset about that, than the fact that I did not share their view on race. I am feeling that these people are so stuck in there own memories of what they think of as the good old days that my mission will never be accomplished - but I know they like me, and perhaps in time I can wear them down. I don't know if I have done the right thing, but time will tell.

BTW Greg, I thought I was the dodgiest creature you hung out with!
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:05 AM

Well, good luck. Seems like you've made a good case for your views - I hope it all works out alright for you.

Best wishes,

EJ


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,jaze
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:27 AM

I must say I realize stupidity and predjudice can be found everywhere, but I actually thought it was predominantly an American failing. I thought England and most of Europe were much more enlightened and tolerant regarding racism. By the way, what's BNP?


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:31 AM

The British National Party - an extreme right-wing party that believes in forcible repatriation and with long links to racist and anti-semitic violence; it's leaders have links with neo-Nazi groups around the world.
Of late the BNP has being trying to put on a more acceptable public face, and has been active in organsing some of the protests against petrol price increases in the UK. It remains an odious fascist organisation, however.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: English Jon
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:38 AM

Bastard Nazi Party. Blacks Not Permitted. Britain Needs Purging.

etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:42 AM

Pat, Much support from here too, This is a problem many of us have faced, and it is ,unforunately the difficult side of the "free speech" issue. They too have the right to hold views, and maybe even to express them, that are nasty and down right wrong. But the alternative, supression of unpleasent views or attitudes is even worse. The way forward ,I feel is well expressed above, engage with them, in a pleasent non-controversial way, and if it gets uncomfortable , walk, for a while, If you do not engage with them they only get reinforcement from each other and their ilk.
I have had to deal with this as the Boss in the work place..and it was difficult not to come down very heavy on the predjudiced person , and thus alienate them from any chance of reform, but by setting out clear ground rules the persons attitude and interaction with co-workers from other ethnic backgrounds improved beyond recognition in 2 years..
So I would say interact with them if you can stomach it and avoid when you can't, and your reasonableness, and personality will gradually (maybe) make them look at their postions and views..
and as you we are here if you need us.
I thought I was the dodgiest character that you and Greg know!!! Micca(the keeper of the Grail and the Gail)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mooman
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 09:54 AM

Dear Patrish,

It can be difficult but I always confront these situations. Diplomatically at first, which tends to be my style and which you appear to have done Patrish, but more forcibly where necessary.

I am Irish by nationality but London born and bred so I don't sound the slightest bit Irish (except a couple of trained linguists have picked up my Sligo roots from the way I say "any" or "anybody", etc. but I digress). To all intents and purposes I sound English.

This has put me in many situations where I have encountered "institutional racism" in the workplace, people not realizing my roots, and I have found it necessary to confront these situations, not necessarily always to my professional benefit but at least to satisfying my personal values.

I have also been in situations here in Belgium where I have ended up playing music with individuals who I know are strong supporters of the VlaamsBlok (a bit like the BNP). I have always felt a little uncomfortable but since the first occasion of overt racism, when I walked pointedly out of a session following an anti-African comment from one of them, the subject of politics or race has never surfaced again. I hope it was because I made my feelings clear.

Maybe or maybe not this might help but I think you have to be YOU and express your opinions where necessary even though this might be a little uncomfortale.

All the best

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM

Good luck in your efforts, Patrish. You're braver and perhaps kinder than I'd be under similar circumstances. I don't know if I could reach out in the way you are.

Being an ignorant Yank and thus knowing very little (okay, nothing) about the BNP, I went to their website to learn more from the horse's mouth. Vile little place, that. Not quite so bad as, say, a White Aryan Resistance site, but very similar in theme. And these people are getting a lot of votes these days, are they? *shudder*

Interesting how the FAQ file is at least half defensive replies to negative questions (is BNP racist? are you antisemitic? and such). Funny too how they claim not to be antisemitic, but use the usual "international financier" euphemistic language we all know and love. I was especially thrilled with the following gem in response to "Why are you against mixed-race relationships?"

We are against mixed-raced relationships because we believe that all species and races of life on this planet are beautiful and must be preserved. When whites take partners from other ethnic groups, a white family line that stretches back into deep pre-history is destroyed. And, of course, the same is true of the non-white side. We want generations that spring from us to be the same as us, look like us, and be moved by the same things as us. We feel that to preserve the rich tapestry of mankind, we must preserve ethnic differences, not 'mish-mash' them together.

Being the great-grandson of a mixed-race woman--white (primarily Dutch and Scots-Irish) and Native American (Baxoje or "Ioway"), this paragraph fills me with a revulsion and frankly, a rage, that is hard to put into words. My Hoover "White family line" that people like the BNC would seek to preserve and protect by having people like me not exist did just fine after this woman, Sarah Bailey, married into it. Indeed, as her husband was the grandson of a Wesleyan Underground Railroader, it was entirely in keeping with that family line's strengths and convictions for him to marry an outcast halfbreed woman without it even being a big deal. He had to shield her against racism from the community--and from her own family--but never from his.

Mind you, given all that, I've no illusions; I'm still primarily a white boy. But were I British, the BNC wouldn't speak for me in any way. The BNC can kiss my multiracial ass.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:20 AM

Oops. BNP, not BNC. The BNP can kiss my multiracial ass.

Chris


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: LR Mole
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 10:28 AM

Oh, the answer is simple: you just


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:00 AM

Well thank you LR, I'll keep on justing :-)
Patrish xx


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:52 AM

When you offer someone friendship, is that conditional? What are the conditions?

That one takes a long time to sort out.

I always thought the answer to the first should be, NO. I found out living my life didn't make sense though, that way.

My conditions (for now) have to do with whether the other person can respect (adhere to) certain boundaries that I believe are sovereignly mine to lay out, and whether they have an essentially positive and strong set of communications principles. Without these, I can't maintain a mutually healthy relationship with someone, because they can't hold up their end and I am doing all the work while having my selfhood chipped away at. And that's a hard one for me, still.

I may love and keep knowing them... but they have ceased to be a friend and become, if there is room at that time, somewhat of a client. They have a need. Maybe I can fill it, or be part of it being filled. My beliefs about service kick in there, and I have good tools to use, and that's a different set of boundaries altogether.

I try to spot these sorts of energy-absorbing people up front, and relate to them accordingly, but once in awhile I misestimate someone.

But someone who can fulfill those conditions (by tending to and trying to, not by being perfect), it may turn out, has this or that dirty little secret. (I have a theory that we all tend to show each other what complete a**holes we are, just as soon as there is enough closeness and safety to do it. So loving someone well will tend to bring up their "Inner Weasel." *G*) If it is a strong friendship, this becomes something to talk about. That's one way change can happen.

Sometimes it's been me who had the dirty little secret, the character flaw or issue to confess or resolve. I thank God for friends whose conditions have not then made me a pariah to them-- who have hung in with me when it was I who needed to change.

I believe racism and other "isms" are installed early and when we aren't looking, when we are too powerless to know otherwise or act otherwise. By the time we are adults and have better information and personal strength, we are so enmeshed, in the grip of the hurtful things that carried in the racism, that we don't really see that we could let it go and see people more clearly and humanly. (I have good theoretical bases for this, as well as long practice as a counselor about it.)

People acting out the oppressor role in prejudice are caught up in something that hurts them terribly. There are few safe places or ways to work on it. The ugly face it wears looks like one intentionally and powerfully chosen... but truly, that's not so. The choice to harm another by prejudice is an unaware and distress-driven one.

Try to keep in mind that whatever you decide about this is up to you and not necessarily the final answer on such matters that your life will ask of you. Trust yourself enough to make a decision, and then act on it strongly. If you pay attention to the things that follow as a result, you will know what you might do differently the next time around. You can only be as smart as you are right now, right now. But you will learn from this, no matter what course you take.

There is some good theory about "isms" HERE. Look in the sections having to do with internalized oppression-- and you will learn about racsim and all the isms. There are also good videos about working on racism there, as well as articles, and I'll have the videos soon, to lend.

~Susan

--- Link fixed. ---


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: wysiwyg
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 11:57 AM

Oops, cross-posting and broken link.

HERE.

E-mail me if I can help.

~Susan

motormice@hotmail.com


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 12:01 PM

Looks like most of the good points have been covered. This is an important issue that many of us face at various times. Just wanted to say that I hope some combination of representing your view & avoiding the parties will work for you, Patrish. This is Mudcat at its best--support & worthwhile thoughts. I really appreciate that.

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:29 PM

BNC - that's Brasenose College, Oxford University. Not quite the same thing.

The BNP got a fair few votes in two constituencies in the North of England where there's been trouble on the streets recently, though nowhere near winning or coming second even. But generally they do pretty dismally, significantly fewer votes than the Greens.

That's no reason to relax about them. But the real racism to worry about tends to be among people who wouldn't dream of voting nazi. In some ways the worst effect of the BNP is it enables people who are in fact very racist to think they aren't just because they'd never vote that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: SDShad
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:43 PM

Or, if you're a geek, BNC is the cylindrical coaxial connector for thin Ethernet cabling.

Which, I guess, means I'm a geek.

Shad "Multiracial Geek" O'Spawn


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 03:55 PM

I'm reminded that there are 3 things not to be discussed at the pub...

Sex

Religion

Politics

Safer that way... talk about the beer... talk aobut the game... talk about the music...

When I discover someone in my life is this kind of bigot, they quickly end up on the 'ignore' list... Life's too short to put up with assholes and idiots!

Good luck eh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:06 PM

That's a recipe for a boring evening. And if you're trying to avoid trouble, talking about the game is just as likely to involve significant controversy. (You might find someone you thought was a friend supports Arsenal for example.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: InOBU
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:37 PM

Dear Patrish:
One thing that hasn't been said, but I would add, is be careful about bringing your Brazilian friend there. Although the intention is right, she is the one who must face the deepest hostility, and unlike you, she is her complextion every day. For many minorities, there is enough battles to be fought living every day, not to add ones when the domentant community discovers there is a problem close to home. I must say my expericence in this come from my involvement in intigrating rowing in boston. Members of my crew who were Black, were of two minds about racing there. Some felt they wanted to work for inclusion, others felt, why bother racing with the racists (no pun intended.)
But, don't give up on the bastards yourself, hold them to the light and use love and intelect to do the job.
A jewish fellow in the US was being daily harrassed by the local head of the KKK, in his town. The guy would call him and say terrible things to which the fellow would respond, "Well, if that is how you feel, but I love you."
Finally the KKK guy began to ask why he didn't get angrey, and the fellow began to tell him about being jewish. The remarkable end of this (it made the evening news) the KKK guy CONVERTED and is now a practicing jew.
There is no limit on what love can do...
However, at times, well, NO PASARAN!
Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: mousethief
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:41 PM

Great story, Larry! I mean about the Jewish guy. What a gutsy --and inspiring-- man.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Donuel
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM

Unconditional freindship is changed when one loses respect for the friend. I put more time and distance between friends with unresolved predjudice but still keep tabs.

When it comes to my racist, jew hating, Catholic* brother in law , I will always have a warm feeling of antipathy for him. He would not advocate a holocaust himself but I would bet he would join crowd screaming for blood in a heartbeat if the situation ever arose.

*I never understood how people who worship a Jew could hate them. If they wanted to hate "his" killers they should rail against the Romans. I guess it is hard to hate an extinct Empire.

{now for somthing entirely different}

John Cleese: "After all what did the Roman Empire ever do for us." "Well, there is the roads , medicine , water systems , eduction and general well being of citizens ."

Cleese: Well besides the roads , medicine , water ,education and well being , what has the Roman empire done for us ."

"Yeah , your'e right, nothin."


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM

My daughter recently dealt with a similar situation, She was over at her friends house.where they all hang out after work and on the weekend. Her friend lives with and helps support his parents, who are both disabled.

The parents are both very kind people, feed the whole group when they've no extra really to go round, any kid can come to them in need, no matter. One night the dad said something about how races should (sorry, left out the NOT)intermarry.

The mother knew that my daughter has twin nephews whose father is from Antigua and a very dark mahagony. She shussed him right up, reminding him. So my daughter took the opportunity to show around the babies' pictures, talk about her brother-in-law, and try to educate them a bit. It surprised me because she is generally hot-tempered about such things, so I think she must relaly value their friendship and also felt she could reach them. I hope they continue to be open to learning and perhaps changing their minds.

SD, it's odd they don't seem to make the distinction with Amerindian blood, at least not that family. They know my daughter is part Cherokee and Mohawk, she's even got the colouring and gorgeous dark long hair to prove it, but they just don't see her as anything but white.

My mom and dad were of the older generations which found racism so common. Dad used to use the "n" word once in awhile until he heard of what a good man my son-in-law is and saw the pics of his great-grandsons; and I've never considered him racist at all. The only prejudice I ever learned from him was against sheepherders!

My mom was concerned when she heard about my oldest daughter planning to marry a black man. She worried for their safety and for that of any children they might have. She learned to not worry and accept.

Good luck, Patrish. Good for you for having the courage to speak up; that's what more people need to do.

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: Mrrzy
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM

Here's my approach, developed from trying to get my Mom to see that even though she's a Serb doesn't make what Milosevic did OK.

Don't YOU ignore/avoid THEM. Just every time you see them, try to change their attitude (I like the idea of presenting them with counterevidence, like your Brazilian friend, who should of course be forewarned). Every time you hear a bigoted comment, pounce. If they get tired of it, they'll start ignoring or avoiding YOU, and you won't have a conscience problem any more. But you just avoiding them, or bowing out of the friendship entirely, is (to my mind) less ethical, it would be I'll ignore the problem and maybe it would go away. Not that I'd blame you if that was what you did! But there would be less bigotry in the world, I firmly believe, if so many people who KNOW BETTER would stop just letting it go, not make waves, etc. If you see what I mean.


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Subject: RE: BS: Extreme prejudice and friends
From: GUEST,Mickey191
Date: 15 Jun 01 - 05:50 PM

I pointed out a beautiful black singer on t.v. to my neighbor who was visiting. He said, "She's just a n----r" I had such a feeling of rage rise in an instant it took me a moment to reply. D


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