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redstatebluegirl

(12,291 posts)
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:15 PM Feb 2014

Today I should have said something and didn't I am very angry with myself.

I was in a local business today having my car worked on. I overheard a conversation about one of the young men at the counter who was Hispanic. He was a very nice young man, seemed to enjoy his job and care about the customers. These two men were making some horrible racist comments. I shot them a look but ignored them. I'm always afraid they are "carrying" and would harm me.

The next time I promise to speak up, remaining silent gives them permission to be bigots!

33 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Today I should have said something and didn't I am very angry with myself. (Original Post) redstatebluegirl Feb 2014 OP
i don't think you were wrong in thinking they could be armed JI7 Feb 2014 #1
You were cautious; elleng Feb 2014 #2
I used my Mother's look, it is the one I used to give kids who came in my office redstatebluegirl Feb 2014 #4
It's hard to speak up Warpy Feb 2014 #3
My car broke down half block away madamesilverspurs Feb 2014 #5
Unfortunately, a whole lot of folks who carry arms in the city are bigots. Hoyt Feb 2014 #6
I always feel better when I do libodem Feb 2014 #7
people are crazy, you probably did the right thing. spanone Feb 2014 #8
What would you have said? Squinch Feb 2014 #9
I have been thinking about that I'm not sure except to say redstatebluegirl Feb 2014 #12
In a similar situation, I try to be extra-nice to the person who's being slagged. MH1 Feb 2014 #15
I would have simply said ... frazzled Feb 2014 #23
Shame them Bandit Feb 2014 #24
That would do it! Squinch Feb 2014 #31
As hard as it might be for you you can't be everyone in the worlds protector madokie Feb 2014 #10
Mumble under your breath...then if they threaten you...SHOOT THEM angstlessk Feb 2014 #11
k&r Liberal_in_LA Feb 2014 #13
I understand your apprehension steve2470 Feb 2014 #14
What can you say that would change them? Savannahmann Feb 2014 #16
I think if a person is shamed enough in public it may just change their behavior Bandit Feb 2014 #22
It would let them know they are beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior treestar Feb 2014 #28
Shaming only works(and it never really works take fat shaming for example) on people with liberal_at_heart Feb 2014 #33
I think you were right to keep silent (at least to them). ladyVet Feb 2014 #17
I think you have to follow your conscience .... oldhippie Feb 2014 #18
You might well get him fired too. bemildred Feb 2014 #19
Racists + Guns Go Together otohara Feb 2014 #20
Hate to be the bearer pipi_k Feb 2014 #21
I think OP did the right thing, but here you are treestar Feb 2014 #29
I think many things have changed when we make them unacceptable. Squinch Feb 2014 #32
Not smart of those two morans assuming the guy working the counter didn't hear them, too. Ikonoklast Feb 2014 #25
I don't know what the answer is get the red out Feb 2014 #26
Hey, you gave them the look. JEB Feb 2014 #27
I'll always remember the one time I heard "n**r" directed at a black person by a white in anger. Tommy_Carcetti Feb 2014 #30

redstatebluegirl

(12,291 posts)
4. I used my Mother's look, it is the one I used to give kids who came in my office
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:21 PM
Feb 2014

with a bogus excuse for screwing up , I think they noticed.

Warpy

(112,228 posts)
3. It's hard to speak up
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:20 PM
Feb 2014

I'm too old to care what any man thinks of me so I exercise my big mouth.

However if you didn't feel safe, you were probably right to go with your gut.

madamesilverspurs

(15,891 posts)
5. My car broke down half block away
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:24 PM
Feb 2014

from a mechanic's garage. They came out and looked under the hood, determined what the problem was, said they could fix it for an amount I could afford. The owner of the shop called her son and asked him to buy a part and bring it to the garage. So far, so good. Then the kid arrives with the part, doesn't see me sitting there and proceeds to say to his mom, "There's a car out there with an Obama sticker. Want me to spray 'nigger lover' on it?" About that time the mechanic announces that the car is fixed. I wrote a check, then dropped their business cards (which I'd planned to recommend them with) back on the counter with a "Never mind."

Last time I drove by there, the place was all boarded up. Shucky darn.

 

Hoyt

(54,770 posts)
6. Unfortunately, a whole lot of folks who carry arms in the city are bigots.
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:31 PM
Feb 2014

Last edited Mon Feb 10, 2014, 10:19 PM - Edit history (1)

libodem

(19,288 posts)
7. I always feel better when I do
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:32 PM
Feb 2014

And I admire and respect my friends when I have heard them stand up. It helps empower others when they see it demonstrated. Here's to next time. You'll be ready. And you will feel good.

Squinch

(51,481 posts)
9. What would you have said?
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:37 PM
Feb 2014

I'm curious, because I'm sitting here trying to think of what I would say in that situation. "Please don't talk that way" or "that is offensive" or "that is racist" seem too bland for the situation. I was trying to come up with a real zinger, but I can't think of an appropriate one. What would be a great thing to say in that situation?

But, by the way, if you had a neck tingle telling you these guys might not have been safe, you did the right thing.

redstatebluegirl

(12,291 posts)
12. I have been thinking about that I'm not sure except to say
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:39 PM
Feb 2014

if you want to be a bigot do it in private...but the hair was standing up on my neck so I kept my peace.

MH1

(17,901 posts)
15. In a similar situation, I try to be extra-nice to the person who's being slagged.
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:46 PM
Feb 2014

If it's obvious they are aware of the slagging, I might even say something quietly to them about ignoring the shitheads. Or I just try to joke around or otherwise distract in a pleasant way.

I think you are right to be concerned about the a**holes being armed, unfortunately. It's perfectly reasonable for you to be cautious. We need your vote for a few more elections yet!

frazzled

(18,402 posts)
23. I would have simply said ...
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 12:31 PM
Feb 2014

He seems like a very nice young man to me.

No, it probably would not shame them or change their minds (nor would it be cause for them to pull out a gun and shoot me). But I would feel better for having said it.

But the OP shouldn't beat him/herself up for not saying anything. We often can't react the way we want to on the spot.

Bandit

(21,475 posts)
24. Shame them
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 12:31 PM
Feb 2014

Shame on you for expressing such bigoted views in public. You should be ashamed of such behavior.

madokie

(51,076 posts)
10. As hard as it might be for you you can't be everyone in the worlds protector
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:37 PM
Feb 2014

In my way of thinking racist bigots assholes are the classic type of person who could or would be carrying so I'd say you did the right thing.

angstlessk

(11,862 posts)
11. Mumble under your breath...then if they threaten you...SHOOT THEM
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 08:39 PM
Feb 2014

No not really...but mumbling is something you can do..and SCREW the shitbags!!!!!!!!!

 

Savannahmann

(3,891 posts)
16. What can you say that would change them?
Mon Feb 10, 2014, 09:58 PM
Feb 2014

You could point out that Chevrolet and Ford are made in Mexico and interestingly enough the reliability ratings have increased. The problem with bigots is they are close minded, and nothing you can say will elucidate them. It would take more time than you probably have in the waiting room to make the smallest surface scratch in the wall of their ignorance.

Invest the effort where it may do some good, neighbors and associates. It's probably best to ignore the random jackass you come across.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
28. It would let them know they are beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 01:15 PM
Feb 2014

They are doing it to test that they can without getting any pushback.

Then of course they would complain of "persecution," but that just shows they are on the defensive.

liberal_at_heart

(12,081 posts)
33. Shaming only works(and it never really works take fat shaming for example) on people with
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 06:09 PM
Feb 2014

low self esteem. Bigots do not have low self esteems. I have several bigots in my family who would simply cuss you out and go about their business.

ladyVet

(1,587 posts)
17. I think you were right to keep silent (at least to them).
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 11:54 AM
Feb 2014

Nothing you said would have changed their minds, and they might have been the kind to exercise their stand your ground rights. I might have said something nice to the clerk, to let him know not everyone agreed with the bigots.

You aren't obligated to risk injury or death because of insults.

 

oldhippie

(3,249 posts)
18. I think you have to follow your conscience ....
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 12:04 PM
Feb 2014

... when you decide to criticize others in public. But, as you did, you also have to consider the possible consequences.

I carry a handgun pretty much whenever I leave home. I never even think of trying to criticize someone for their behavior. It never even comes up. Maybe I just don't associate with rude people?

pipi_k

(21,020 posts)
21. Hate to be the bearer
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 12:24 PM
Feb 2014

of bad news, but do you honestly think that your saying anything at all would change their attitudes?

Especially if you would be chastising them in public.


Sorry, but I don't think it's a good idea to go around trying to correct the manners/morals/attitudes of perfect strangers.

It might make YOU feel better, but it's not going to change a damned thing. So if you're out to assuage your own sense of guilt over not speaking up, then have at it. But if you think you're going to change someone else's deep-seated beliefs by lecturing them in public, don't even waste your time.

treestar

(82,383 posts)
29. I think OP did the right thing, but here you are
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 01:17 PM
Feb 2014

not being quite sympathetic - the good it would do is that it is shown more that society doesn't accept it. If someone uses the F word in court, they will hear about it, no? It shows what the standards are. If appropriate, why not let them know they are beyond the bounds? They want to think it's OK and that's why they are doing it. To show their white dominance and prove it to themselves.

Squinch

(51,481 posts)
32. I think many things have changed when we make them unacceptable.
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 06:08 PM
Feb 2014

I bet I would still be a smoker today, 15 years after I quit, if it were still a socially comfortable and acceptable thing to do.

Many things that were once acceptable are vastly reduced when we let it become known, en masse, that they are no longer acceptable.

Ikonoklast

(23,973 posts)
25. Not smart of those two morans assuming the guy working the counter didn't hear them, too.
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 12:34 PM
Feb 2014

Sometimes an "Idiot Tax" gets added to the bills of people acting like assholes, and they never even know it.

get the red out

(13,474 posts)
26. I don't know what the answer is
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 12:47 PM
Feb 2014

You gave them "the look" and that is good. I'm a lot like you, I KNOW that in my area the most heavily armed people are the bigots since they live in their world of fear, ready to attack at a whim.

Sometimes I just try to make a point of showing my appreciation to a good person who is being marginalized by idiots, or at risk of such.

 

JEB

(4,748 posts)
27. Hey, you gave them the look.
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 01:11 PM
Feb 2014

Having received the look many years ago in my youth from my mother, I can tell you it is a very effective form of communication. Armed idiots are still idiots. My mother could quiet a noisy classroom with her look.

Tommy_Carcetti

(43,364 posts)
30. I'll always remember the one time I heard "n**r" directed at a black person by a white in anger.
Tue Feb 11, 2014, 01:21 PM
Feb 2014

I was walking in the parking lot of my local grocery store and I see a white woman in a car, with the window open. A black woman was standing outside by the car window, and I heard it, clear as day: "You n***r!"

And I immediately could tell that it was being said in an angry--and not joking--context. I have no idea what the argument was about, but I knew there was hatred behind it.

I remember being in shock. Something in my mind wanted me to go up to the woman and say something, but I just remember being shocked at what I heard. Because I had never heard it before in my life said like that, outside of the movies. I'd heard the word before, including by white people to describe black people, but I'd never heard it actually being directed to a black person by a white person.

And by the time the shock had lifted, the woman had driven off. But I often fantasize about going up to that woman and giving her a piece of my mind for what she said. It was disgusting.

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