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Old 12-11-2013, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
6,512 posts, read 7,763,751 times
Reputation: 15868

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I appreciate it. I may not follow them exactly as you wrote as my personality, etc. is different, but they've given me a way to handle it that is my own.

I truly wish a phone call would take care of it, but I"m afraid not. I also feel a bit odd telling someone how to behave in their own home. You've all made me think about how I can make this work for me though. What I might be able to do is give her a call or email about plans, any needed food, etc., drop in the part about BF joining us, how much we like him, etc. and ask if it is okay for him to come along. That would at least put her on notice to be on her best behavior. The "plan" will be to leave if the racist stuff begins.

I have not yet asked DD if she plans on going and if BF will join her. I will though. (DD is out of the house and on her own) Thank you for the reminder to do so. Knowing my D as I do, I am pretty certain that she would plan on attending unless there was a pressing work situation. She cherishes family time. I'll also let her know if BF doesn't want to put himself in that situation, it's perfectly understandable and acceptable to us.

dblackga--you are correct. He has heard this stuff before and generally lets it go. As we've tried to get to know him better, I've asked him about it. We've had some pretty honest, open discussions about race. He understands that I can never know what it's like to be a Y race male, and he can never know what it's like to be a Z race female. I just feel like he shouldn't have to put up with insensitive, rude remarks attending a family event with his GF. He is part of our family right now. Part of me also feels like I"m standing up for any future grandchildren as I suspect BF and DD will marry. I know it's been discussed.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:02 AM
 
10,258 posts, read 9,337,604 times
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Some of the postings suggested that the cousin wasn't aware she was being insensitive, and perhaps didn't mean to come off as racist: BS! Prejudiced people know exactly what they're saying, and making excuses for them is nothing more than enabling.

If it were me: I'd call the cousin and indicate that 'all of you' want to attend the gathering and that all of you want to feel comfortable and welcomed in her home. I would also mention that she has a right to her own opinions, but that it's upsetting to hear negative comments about other races.

Most with her type of personality will be defensive and act as though you're making a big deal out of nothing, and will say they were just kidding. But stick to your guns and be firm/tactful that you and your family (and the BF) will not be subjected to those types of jokes; and that while you respect that it's her home, if she insists on continuing with those jokes, you will decline attending this year.
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:04 AM
 
12,890 posts, read 15,383,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpockIsARock View Post
I wouldn't let one cousin prevent me from spending time with the rest of my family, if possible. I agree with those who have advised you to mention it to her and see if her behavior improves. Otherwise, I'd do my best to avoid contact with her in the future.
I agree...there's always gonna be ignorant racist people around...that's THEIR problem, no way I'd make it mine. The boyfriend and D should just ignore your cousin, and not let her mean tongue get in the way of them enjoying themselves with the others.
If you, or they, cancel going to see the others (just because of this one racist person) then ms.racist has won her cruel little game...and would probably blame your not showing up on the boyfriend...in her twisted mind that's probably how she'd see it.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
15,267 posts, read 12,047,748 times
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You mean visit my sister and a cousin....of course.

That's all I got!
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:10 AM
 
Location: SLC, UT
1,571 posts, read 2,278,966 times
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Stand behind your daughter and her boyfriend. If you make it seem like the BF may not want to come, then it seems like you're putting your cousin above him, or basically, having the opinion that because she's going to do this regardless, you'll just keep the person of color away instead of taking a stand against the racist person.

I know that you really want to see the rest of your family, but if she is hosting, then take a stand, and let your family know that you and your immediate family will be unable to attend the party this year due to your cousin's vocal racism. If she's linking racist organizations to her Facebook page, then that right there is proof that she is in fact, racist, so it's not as if you're being too sensitive. When the rest of your family asks why you won't be attending, don't be afraid to tell them. Hey, maybe they don't like listening to her, either, and you refusing to attend will give them the courage to speak up about it as well.

Your daughter's BF has been in the picture now for a few years, and he could end up being your son in law, and you probably want him to feel like your immediately family, at least, is totally accepting of him. So, if possible, plan to drive the four hours to see your family (minus your cousin) over a weekend (maybe New Years?), and plan your own Christmas celebration at home. If your cousin won't be hosting, then notify her that you won't tolerate any of her racist comments at the gathering, and let whoever is hosting know that there may be an issue with the cousin, in which case you and your immediately family would have to leave - that way, you've given the host a little bit of warning so that if you do have to leave, they know that it's not about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
I agree...there's always gonna be ignorant racist people around...that's THEIR problem, no way I'd make it mine. The boyfriend and D should just ignore your cousin, and not let her mean tongue get in the way of them enjoying themselves with the others.
If you, or they, cancel going to see the others (just because of this one racist person) then ms.racist has won her cruel little game...and would probably blame your not showing up on the boyfriend...in her twisted mind that's probably how she'd see it.
I think the cousin only "wins" when no one speaks up about her. By going and just passively ignoring the problem (pretending you don't hear her vocal racism), then you're letting her know that she can get away with it without any consequences. Or, she may believe that since no one stands up to her, that the rest of her family privately agrees with her.

By making it clear that the OP's family will not attend if cousin speaks in a racist manner, it's letting her know that 1) she can't get away with it, 2) not everyone agrees with her, and 3) it prompts the rest of the family to react to the situation as well. Racist cousin may learn pretty quickly to keep her opinions to herself.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,316,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
Racist people don't change. She might shut up but you know where her heart is. Minimum contact is what I suggest.
I disagree. My wife's grandmother was dead set against us getting married for racial reasons. She eventually came around and told my wife she didn't have to worry about her because she knew I would always take care of her granddaughter. Please try not to make general comments about a group as they are never 100% correct.
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Old 12-11-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Alaska
5,356 posts, read 16,316,438 times
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I would check to see if your daughter and her bf will be going and if so, let your cousin know to hear her reaction. In either case, assuming you go, you need to call your cousin out anytime she makes a remark you find to be racist. She won't learn unless you all refuse to accept the behavior.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:04 PM
 
3,395 posts, read 3,345,523 times
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Maybe if I share a story about my racist mother, it will help you.

My mom was a R A C I S T. I mean, she used the N word regularly, whispered with neighbors when a non-white family moved in, the whole nine yards.

Naturally, one of my sisters started dating black guys. She got serious with one I will call Ned. Ned was a fabulous guy, treated my sister like a queen. My mom knew they were serious and as my boyfriend always came over for our Thanksgiving dinner, she knew she would be expected to invite my sister's boyfriend as well. She came to me for advice.

I told her, "If she is dating him to be rebellious against your stupid racism, then take the air out of her balloon and invite him and be really sweet to him. This way, she won't feel rebellious anymore and the relationship will fade."

"If she is really serious about him, invite him to Thanksgiving as he may become part of the family and you will just have to get used to it!"

So, she did invite him, and guess what? She ended up really, really liking him. Against her will. She was actually upset when they broke up and told my sister that she would never find a better guy (in my opinion, this turned out to be the truth - I compared every new boyfriend to Ned and they all fell short!)

So, don't turn down an opportunity to change a racist mind.
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Old 12-11-2013, 12:11 PM
 
912 posts, read 1,246,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrah View Post
What I might be able to do is give her a call or email about plans, any needed food, etc., drop in the part about BF joining us, how much we like him, etc. and ask if it is okay for him to come along. That would at least put her on notice to be on her best behavior. The "plan" will be to leave if the racist stuff begins.
I think this is absolutely the best plan.

I abhor racism in any form, and any evidence of it on social media gets that person unfriended. Racist/prejudiced comments in person make me walk out of the room.

That being said, you cannot tell anyone how to act in their own home, and picking a fight at the holidays with rarely-seen relatives around is not the mountain you want to choose to die on. My sincere hope is that she will keep her thoughts to herself, even if her thoughts never change. Of course, it would be a delightful bonus if, by interacting more with DD's boyfriend, her thoughts do change, but one issue at a time.

Now, if you ever host these holidays? Do feel free to tell her beforehand that you will not tolerate such language and she will be asked immediately to leave if you get wind of any of her racist nonsense.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:35 AM
 
305 posts, read 305,597 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrah View Post
A little background: my extended family has gathered together for years for a party in December. It started as a family tradition of gathering at my grandparents home so their kids and grandkids could spend the day at home freely. Since the grandparents passed away 30 some years ago, the remaining three original children (my patrent, aunt and uncle) have gathered in December. Some years the aunts, uncles, cousins, and second cousins make the now four hour drive and some years the others of us make the four hour drive.

This year is "our" turn to make the four hour drive. I expect one of my cousins (let's call her B) will host the gathering since her home is the largest there. She's done that since she moved into a larger house.

My DD (early 20's) has been seeing a young man of a different race (he immigrated as a child with his parents) for a couple of years. It's a pretty serious relationship. He is a good young man, and we like him. More importantly he is good to our D. He attended the gathering last year at my parents' home. The traveling family had not met him previously. While he and my daughter were in the basement, "B" and her family arrived. As we were just catching up with each other, etc. "B" made several comments/jokes that were a bit racist and directed towards this young man's particular race. He never heard it. While "B" continued with her racist baloney, I stood up and said "Well, I think I'll go downstairs and get DD and BF. BF is DD's boyfriend. BF is very nice. I said his name very clearly several times as it very clearly a name from a particular area of the world and a different race. I hoped B got the hint to shut the heck up.

So cousin B today posted some racist crap on FB. It was pretty over the top, crazy stuff from a clearly racist organization. Would you go to cousin's house knowing that DD will probably attend with BF? Honestly, my D and her BF are more important to me than racist cousin, but I would enjoy seeing my aunts, uncles and other cousins. This maybe the only time I see a couple of my sibs during the Christmas season. It also means a lot to my parents. I would perfectly understand if BF did not go and DD did. (He now knows about the incident last year as we've discussed race many times.) I'm not quite sure what to do. Part of me says skip it. Part of me feels like my parents and aunts/uncles won't be around forever.
I'd still go but tell your daughter to skip it. After all, it's your cousin's family too. Your daughter's boyfriend is still just a boyfriend and those come and go. If they were married that might be a little different, as then the BF would be part of the family, which would bring up a whole different set of issues. Tell daughter to skip it for now. I doubt the BF wants to be there anyhow.
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