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Racist friends

(228 Posts)
GagaJo Tue 09-Jun-20 12:15:03

I'm struggling with this.

I have a multi ethnic family. My friends ALL know my family. Consequently, I have perhaps naively assumed my friends were all non-racist.

The current Black Lives Matter protests have shown me my ignorance. I've had a lot on and hadn't posted anything in my social media about BLM. 2 or 3 friends have clearly taken this to mean I must be anti BLM and have either posted stuff online and tagged me in it or sent stuff to me via email/private messages.

I don't really know what to do. Some of these people I have known for over 20 years and have been very close to.

I've messaged them and expressed my shock but don't know what to do now. Do I wipe out people I used to regard as close friends? In the past, I've entered into dialogue about racism/politics and am happy to debate. BUT out and out racism is never acceptable.


Curlywhirly Tue 09-Jun-20 12:30:22

We have friends who have completely opposite political views to us; I don't know what they think of the BLM situation as we haven't spoken to them for a couple of weeks, but I think I know what their opinion will be. I really hope it doesn't come up in conversation, and if it does I shall not be joining the discussion- I know from experience there is absolutely no point, as whatever each of us say, the other will never change their opinion. You have told your friends what you think of their comments, but I doubt that will make them alter their opinion. I love my friends in all other aspects and just have to try to ignore their far right politics and I am sure they feel the same about us.

grandtanteJE65 Tue 09-Jun-20 12:36:02

I would drop them, but that is because I cannot accept that people are racist.

You have told them how shocked you are at the opinions they hold. I don't honestly see that you have any options but to drop them.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 09-Jun-20 12:46:04

You either sacrifice long standing friendships or you sacrifice your principles?

I have stopped seeing people who in my opinion are racist.

MissAdventure Tue 09-Jun-20 12:49:09

I think I would state my case, then refuse to discuss it any further, ever.
I wouldn't necessarily lose friendships over it.

paddyanne Tue 09-Jun-20 13:24:51

Message deleted by Gransnet. Although the post itself was not racist and was in fact standing up to racism, there were terms included that we don't allow on the site so we've deleted it for now. Best GNHQ

Riverwalk Tue 09-Jun-20 13:26:07

It's a difficult one Gaga as it depends on what they are saying.

If it's along the lines of BAME people taking to the streets, mob rule, responsible for street-crime etc., that's very different from someone who says, BAME people are inferior or they wouldn't be treated by such a doctor. The former is from ignorance, the latter out and out racist.

On the Farming Programme I heard a country vet (his name sounded Indian in origin) say he faces all sorts of racism from covert e.g. jokes or comments, or overt as in being told to get off the farm!

lemsip Tue 09-Jun-20 13:32:20

drop them, they are not friends!

Luckygirl Tue 09-Jun-20 13:32:45

I have had several experiences of racist acquaintances, including one mother who would not send her DD to play with mine after coming to collect her and finding her, my DDs and a black lass who was staying with us (under a scheme for city children to experience the countryside) snuggled up together under a quilt watching Mary Poppins.

I also had to deal with the fact that my OH came from racist parentage - that made life difficult on several occasions, as you can imagine; and it resurfaced in him when his mind went from PD and he refused black carers. So difficult. It was not him at all; but his mind seemed to have flipped back to life as a child. Very upsetting.

I would find it hard to be with people who were openly racist - it is hard for you with these friends. I do see your dilemma.

BlueBelle Tue 09-Jun-20 13:34:59

I am afraid racism and friends don’t go together and if I had a friend who I found out was racist even after 20 years I would not want to have them in my social circle they would be dropped and I would tell them why
I also have mixed race family and I m vocal and don’t apologise for that at all I m thankful that so far I have found no one who is not on my own wavelength
I can’t condone what I don’t stand for myself I did find a cousin sprouting some nonsense on fb a couple of years ago so he went straight in the bin Surely it’s disingenuous to have strong views on something so majority important and keep friendship with others who obviously think the opposite we re not talking about a subject that could have a right and a wrong as many subjects do, this is only a one way subject

And you can’t be a little bit racist either as I ve heard someone excuse Johnson as

Oldwoman70 Tue 09-Jun-20 13:37:36

You could take it as an opportunity to change their point of view. I was visiting family abroad when it became clear some of them had racist opinions.

I was able to put the alternative viewpoint and have a heart to heart discussion at the end of which they admitted their previous views were wrong. I had a look at their social media today and every one of them were supporting the BLM movement.

Starblaze Tue 09-Jun-20 13:44:41

I haven't lost any friends in this way thankfully. One of my uncles doesn't speak to me because I voted Labour but I don't mind because his standpoint was nothing policy related, he just told me I was disgusting and a bad mother for voting Labour and stopped talking to me. To be honest, I rarely post anything political but I do make my position clear because it does matter.

Honestly, friendship for me is about what you have in common and how you connect. This isn't a difference in life style or interests, this is a difference in morals. I'd let them go. How else do we teach others it's not acceptable

MissAdventure Tue 09-Jun-20 13:56:44

Do you think that would teach them anything though, apart from what not to say to you?
You can't police someone's inner thoughts, and I doubt they are easy to change.

Toadinthehole Tue 09-Jun-20 13:59:00

Is it that they think you’re racist, suddenly....after 20 years? It does seem a bit odd. I personally would let the dust settle. It always does proven by similar past events. They may be overly sensitive at the moment, and it seems a shame to let good friendships go. After so long, I would have thought they would know you better.

Hetty58 Tue 09-Jun-20 14:05:42

I just couldn't be friends with racists.

I do understand that many people were against the public protests, though - in this time of pandemic - considering it very unwise to march and ignore social distancing. Being anti-protests is perhaps understandable atm, as is disliking violence and vandalism.

Toadinthehole Tue 09-Jun-20 14:14:37

Reading it again, I thought you meant they were having a go at you on social media, because you hadn’t posted anything about BLM, so they assumed you were racist. I would still give the same advice, let the dust settle and maybe you’ll be able to talk further down the line.

sarahellenwhitney Tue 09-Jun-20 14:18:42

My experience of rascism was many years ago when my then seventeen year old youngest daughters black boyfriend ended their relationship due to HIS parents pressure of ' isn't your own race good enough'?

EllanVannin Tue 09-Jun-20 14:32:50

Why doesn't everyone SEE the person and NOT their colour ?
Why the awareness that some people are a different colour ? So what ? We all know that just by looking so why not just get on with your lives and accept the differing nationalities ?

Blimey, there are worse things happening on this planet than " racist or anti-racist " arguments. You really do badly need something to be bothered/ worried about.

If you had enough going on in your lives, the subject wouldn't enter your head. Speak as you find ( and I get along with anyone of any colour but I don't make a meal of it ) and neither does anyone else in my family/ friendships.

Since 1955 I've worked alongside every nationality you can name in the nursing profession and even had a friend, Cecelia who was West African, but I saw her as a PERSON and not a black girl. There wasn't even a hint of racism in those days as everyone was welcomed into the profession.

Right now we have this ugly auto-suggestive society hell bent on causing trouble.
I can tell you now that there's none better than an educated black person. I've met them and they're a pleasure to be with and certainly not ignorant in any way. Chinese, Japanese the same, a delight.

Maybe further education is needed to teach whites how to behave.! And I'm not running for cover ! I mean it.

GagaJo Tue 09-Jun-20 14:56:16

I'm the one getting stuff sent to me. It's offensive stuff.

Good for you for having a black friend EV. Just the one? Ever?

I certainly don't see colour. My family are my family regardless of their various shades. And my GS who isn't my colour is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

But not everyone feels that way. Some of them apparently were friends of mine.

I think the 'calm down dear' advice was good. I'm going with that. And then later, I'll address it with them. WHY you'd send racist stuff to someone with a mixed race family I have no idea. Unless it was intended to be insulting.

janeainsworth Tue 09-Jun-20 15:12:00

gagajo have I got this right? These ‘friends’ assumed you were racist because you hadn’t expressed support for BLM on your social media and then sent you far right stuff to show you the error of your ways?
How odd. I would actually feel very miffed.
I would just message them back & ask them not to send you any more stuff like that.

And then ignore them for a while.

Toadinthehole Tue 09-Jun-20 17:23:39

That’s exactly what I thought Jane, and then I realised gagajo meant they thought she was one of them....racist, because she’d said nothing on social media to state otherwise, not because she was racist as well, but because she’d been busy!

Oopsminty Tue 09-Jun-20 17:37:50

Saying you don't see colour is not helpful. A young family member gets most annoyed when told they didn't notice that she was black.

There are many articles about this subject.

EllanVannin Tue 09-Jun-20 17:45:04

GagaJo, the first one of very many to follow, when I was 15 !!

Strewth, have you got a chip on your shoulder !

EllanVannin Tue 09-Jun-20 17:45:39

More like a ruddy boulder on some.

FarNorth Tue 09-Jun-20 17:46:23

You've let them know what you think, so now you need to wait and see what responses you get.

It does seem very odd that they'd make a point of sending you racist stuff.