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How do you deal with racist friends?

Billie Hoe

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So, a classmate of mine has become a bit problematic recently... (and I say classmate because I'm not sure I can call her a friend anymore.)

I'm no fan of hers anyway since she showed some homophobic tendencies ever since I started to talk to her this semester, which has really bothered me and another friend who is bi, but it was really mild and I thought "meh, she's Russian. what do I expect? she was probably raised this way". But she didn't do shit to help us during our group project and will probably still get a good grade. I often contemplated talking to our professor about her lazy behavior but I never never had the heart to go behind her back, so I didn't. After our group presentation (which went marvelous by the way) we planned to take her to the side and talk to her that we didn't want to do group projects with her anymore. I left before I got the chance (I carpool with another classmate to uni), so I don't know if my other two friends talked to her. Later I got the message: "Oh, you left so soon, I didn't even get the chance to give you your goodbye present! The other girls already got theirs, I will give it to you next week!" And suddenly I really felt bad and thought "she's so nice. i just can't bring myself to tell her she's a terrible group member." So things have remained friendly and I had no plans to change it.

Well, yesterday Germany played against Italy in the Euro Cup and everyone, including me, absolutely went nuts (there were cars honking and fireworks in the sky until three hours later), but then I receive a message from her, a white girl, saying: "A n**** just stole my flag on our way to the car :(:(:( "
I was completely shell shocked by that comment because I never expected anyone I know to be so blatantly racist and to never once think "this might not be a wise thing to say". 

When I called her out on it, calmly (but disappointed) saying that that's incredibly racist and that you should never say that no matter how angry you are, she actually defended herself by saying that stealing a flag is stupid too! :/ Which obviously set me off because I couldn't believe she was justifying a racist slur because someone stole a flag she can buy for 2 euros in the next corner store. And then she has the audacity to tell me "fuck racism, that guy just ruined my good mood", when I angrily call her out on it. On top of that, she made a Facebook post saying: "a black man just stole my flag" and actually felt the need to emphasize that it was indeed a BLACK MAN who stole her flag which just proves that she felt her prejudices were confirmed.

She wasn't even acting like she was sorry for her comment. She actually believed that she was being wronged here. 

When I started telling her how incredibly disappointed I was, that I expected more of her and that her lack of insight on top of the racism says a lot about her character, she started making excuses like "I wasn't thinking" and "I was drunk, alcohol does bad things to people", which is just plain bullshit. Alcohol loosens your tongue and makes you lose your inhibitions, but it doesn't turn your value system upside down. I've been more than drunk several times before and I never acted like this. She added that it's "forbidden in Germany", which it isn't, it's just common sense, "and not the whole world" and that she didn't know it was such a taboo in this country, because there is no racism in Russia, it's an USA thing. She then started making apologies because she suddenly realised I was being serious about cutting her off. Her apologies were so hollow and I didn't believe it for one second and she got really desperate, saying she was ashamed and anything.

I didn't feel bad about it at all, because I don't need friends in my life who are racist and refuse to take responsibility. But I'm also angry at my two other friends who didn't say anything the entire time the fight was going on, even though I know they were just as annoyed with her as I was. Now they're acting like nothing happened (literally my friend just asked something completely unrelated), and I'm the bad guy. I approached the problem and dealt with it, so they didn't have to and now they're safe and can continue being friends with her, while I'm the evil wrangler.

Now I'm a bit conflicted, maybe I was acting too harsh by trying to cut her out of my life and think maybe I should give her a second chance, even though her attempts at remorse were pathetic and she should know better, since ignorance is really no excuse anymore in 2016. Maybe she's learning now though.

[all text messages in spoiler]

Spoiler

Her: 

A nigga just took my flag out of my hand :mad::mad::mad: 
While we were in the car
:cry:

Me:

Daria
That is incredibly racist
You should never say that no matter how angry you are
:dry:

Her:

Stealing flags is stupid too :ermm:

Me:

THAT STILL DOESN'T JUSTIFY RACISM
STEALING A FLAG =/= DISCRIMINATING OTHER RACES
Jesus FUCKING CHRIST it is 2016
And not the damn 50s
And you're still justifying it

Her:

My flag is gone
:mad:

Me:

Fuck your fucking flag
I don't believe this right now
You don't get the problem do you
:mellow:

Her:

Not fuck. He had no right to take it out of my hand 

Me:

And you had no right calling him that
No matter what he did

Her:

Ok

Me:

That's the bigger problem here.
It's annoying but they cost like 2 euros and you can buy another. that doesn't justify racism.

Her:

Fuck racism... i'm not making a drama out of it, i said it without thinking. i could have said the stupid young man ruined my mood :mad:

Me:

Geez Daria you're really playing the wrong note here. at least admit that you made a fucking mistake and ACCEPT THAT RACISM IS NOT OKAY no matter what happens to you
with things like "fuck racism" you're out of favor and if that ruins your mood i'm not sorry.
there's worse things than a stolen flag
:ermm:

Her:

I have no problem with racism...

Me:

You obviously do

Her:

I chose the wrong word

Me:

Honestly, you're not even sorry
I don't care then

Her:

I have no prejudices against races

Me:

You used a word, an insult towards an entire race, of which every CHILD knows that you can't use it and you don't even give the slightest impression, that you're the least bit sorry, but instead search for excuses and justifications for your behavior. and your facebook post, where you just had to highlight that it was a BLACK MAN who stole your flag, proves that you feel like your prejudices have been confirmed. that's the lowest of low and in the year 2016 you should know how to deal with such a topic.
and the fact that you so vehemently try to defend yourself instead of realizing you made a mistake is more than disappointing and says a lot about you. sorry not sorry

Her:

It's forbidden in Germany and not in the whole world... and I was affected... i wrote it here and didn't say it to him and he is the only one i should apologize to, if it had happened. and for you personally i will say it again: it wasn't a racist comment but an angry fit

Me:

You really don't get it
I didn't say you should apologize to ME
But that you should apologize for your statement
No angry fit justifies that.
Bye.

Her:

Ok sorry for my statement

Me:

Yes I'm aware of how serious you are
Not
You're done

Her:

No I'm serious

Me:

I noticed
You already showed that you're not sorry at all and you obviously don't get what the problem is and a "sorry" is a bit late now, sorry.

Her:

I understand that you don't say that in Germany. No matter what happens. And I'm sorry. Alcohol does bad things to people. I'm sobered up now and can think clearer.. now I wouldn't say that.... if you're prejudiced against me now you obviously won't want to accept that I'm sorry

Me:

Lol now I'm prejudiced against you
Of course
You don't say that anywhere. Maybe in Russia but not here. Alcohol loosens your tongue but not your value system. I was drunk often too but never allowed myself such things. Good that you're apologizing but that doesn't change my mind...

Her:

But I'm not prejudiced against them! !!!!

Me:

If you say so

Her:

It's not forbidden in Russia because we didn't have racism problems, it all comes from the USA. It's less relevant for us. And the meaning of the word is not as important as it is here

Me:

Yeah you have other problems in Russia

Her:

I feel ashamed... i'm sorry again... it was really stupid... it shouldn't have happened

 

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Billie Hoe

Posted

3 hours ago, Varda. said:

Yes, you are right. But still this does not justify the rasict comment Justine made in the acutal post. That was my original point.

Dude, I'm sorry if that offended you but that's not what I was trying to say. My point is that in my experience people from Russia are very conservative because that's how most of them were raised. I wasn't saying that all Russians are inherently homophobic, because I KNOW that there are also gay russians and supportive russians, I'm not stupid. I also know that you're not defined by how you were raised. Again, IN MY EXPERIENCE the Russians I KNOW (which are not many!!!), with VERY FEW EXCEPTIONS, were always homophobic. So that's why I figured that this is how they were raised - my parents are from Poland and I too grew up being homophobic, and so did they, and so did their parents. I never said this was just about Russians either. Also at no point did I say that my views were in any way correct. They could be wrong. We don't always form opinions on hard facts.

I know a lot of Germans are homophobic too and gay people still aren't allowed to marry, but they aren't as frowned upon as they are, i suspect, in Russia. I've never been there, I only know what I've heard from the news and other media. And that wasn't that Russia welcomes LGBTA people with open arms.

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E X H A U S T E D

Posted

Thanks for this. A rich white kid at my school just said 'white privilege is a myth'. His arguments were 'institutionalized racism is a thing of the past' and ‘I've been discriminated against!’ I'm not saying that he's inheritly racist because he's white. I'm asking him to admit that in certain situations he's got it easier than a person of color. Oh, and then he said black lives matter is a racist organization. And he says cultural appropriation is fake too, so he can use the N word at will.

This made me feel less crazy. So, thanks.

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