What You Said Sounds Racist

At some point this video will come in handy. Watch it. There is a difference between addressing someone's deeds or words and calling someone a name. It's easier and less threatening to say, "That sounded racist," than it is to call someone a racist. The former is more likely to start a discussion and the latter is more likely to start an argument.

hat tip nctodc via twitter

Found at Ill Doctrine.

Comments

It's so much easier

to simply say, "That sounds racist. I'd rather you not talk like that in front of me." With the right approach it completely disarms people. Don't give anything a pass even if it seems small.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Changed the headline

to be more in line with the post.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yep.

n/t

How the other half lives

This advice does not address my needs!

Like Larry David's character on Curb Your Enthusiasm, I live in fear of someone telling me "what you said was racist".

Forgetting the "what I am" aspect of things, and focusing on the "what I did", how do I just, er, hand someone their wallet back?

(It is interesting to me that the analogy offered in this video is one that is to an action that is unlikely to be accidental or benign in nature.)

Okay, so this has never yet actually happened to me, but is:

"Oh, shit. I'm sorry. That was a dumb thing to say."

(with "dumb" amended to "really dumb" as the situation warrants)

really enough?

Somebody help a wisecracking jackass out.

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

How about a simple....I'm sorry.

I didn't mean it that way. Help me understand how it sounded that way to you.....and the discussion goes on from there.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Glad my instincts were on the right track

Thanks, Betsy.

I offer people no shortage of reasons to think I'm a jerk, but I'd rather not be a cracker-ass cracker as well.

(The link is to an excerpt of a Chris Rock comedy special, so mind your audience when clicking...)

--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

I used this last night,

while talking with an old friend from my former "literalist evangelical" surroundings. But I didn't use it in the context of race. I used it in the midst of a spirited exchange that kept inevitably returning to gay=immoral. The technique proved to be totally transferable.

As anyone who has ever had one of these exchanges knows, pulling the other person's head out of the 12th century and into this one and injecting some sound reason into the conversation can be quite a challenge. I was feeling more and more sensitive each time the line of morality was drawn between me as a human being and me as a human being in a relationship with another human being. Focusing on what was being said rather than the person who was saying it really helped keep the conversation open and going. Mountains were not moved, but because the conversation remained open, I think a tiny window of progress was cracked open.

Hey, I'll take what I can get. Besides, enough windows cracked open can often keep a house from turning into a toxic environment.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I think I pretty much do this

Most people who know me know that I am not racist, although I have been called one by one of the most outwardly racist person I have ever met. Therefore, even if inclined, they don't go down that road with me. When I have been talking with newer acquaintances in one-on-one situations, I will usually call them on it, but not by directly telling them what they said sounded like. It has been a little while since I have had to do it, but I usually say something along the lines of "I don't think that way and this is not a line of discussion I want have." They get the message and pretty much always apologize. I think that approach is non threatening too as I am addressing what they said and not who they are. If the only victory is that they are less likely to assume every white guy born and raised in the South is not interested in perpetuating racism, it is progress.

If it is in a more public setting, I choose the non-verbal approach. I have found that silence and looking down or away sends a pretty clear message to all involved that I don't approve of the subject matter. This usually leads to a quick subject change without fully putting someone on the spot.

Race is such a difficult, scary discussion to have, I don't do it except with people I think can "handle" a rational discussion of the issue, but it is usually pretty easy to get a racist to shut up and maybe even feel a little guilty without getting into a fight with them.

I was called a closet racist recently

because I stood up for the dignity black people lose when a white person (or anybody) uses the "n" word.

The argument was: because I chose to speak up for black people, it showed that I (secretly) had little faith in their ability to stand up for themselves. So I was a closet Social Darwinist or something.

What, the f**k, ever. ;/

Quit bragging, Steve

I mean, REALLY, must you pound your chest?

Bru'

That's amazing...

I must be so in love with myself that I don't even know when I'm bragging. ;o

Thanks!