Author Topic: Racist Relatives  (Read 10880 times)

oldtoyota

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Racist Relatives
« on: September 01, 2016, 09:28:13 PM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.

Gondolin

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 09:34:13 PM »
Unless there are other relatives who will be offended....no. Even then, you can probably cut these people out softly and no one will ever notice.

That said, I always keep a few crazy conservative ex-coworker/hs classmates/whoevers as friends on social media. Just to remind myself that these people are out there and that their worldview makes sense to them. Otherwise I feel that I risk being lost in the sympathetic echo chamber of my local peer group.

rothnroll

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 09:43:25 PM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

kitkat

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 09:44:06 PM »
I have quite a few similarly awful relatives. I don't feel the need to cut them out of my life, as I only see them at holidays and they are perfectly pleasant and enjoyable people during those times. And we have great conversations about nonpolitical things. But on facebook........... sheeeeeesh. I certainly do not follow them on there. I try to just take the good aspects of them (which there are many) and ignore the bad. Because like you said, they won't change...

kitkat

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 09:46:12 PM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

I think he was just giving an example of their behavior... and I think its pretty safe to say that someone who post things like that on FB is a racist.

I realize that you may be trying to educate here, but the condescending tone is not needed.

rothnroll

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 09:51:57 PM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

I think he was just giving an example of their behavior... and I think its pretty safe to say that someone who post things like that on FB is a racist.

I realize that you may be trying to educate here, but the condescending tone is not needed.
Hello.
I would not cut this person out of my life.
If you preach tolerance, then you ---  yourself  --- have to be tolerant of the views of others.
That doesn't mean you have to agree with them or like them.
If you only include the people in your life that share the same belief structure as yourself, the world will be a lonely place.

Peace and love..

madmax

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 10:25:38 PM »
I wouldn't cut them out of your life completely. The reason for this is not tolerance - despicable views do not need to be tolerated. However, cutting them off will only bring negativity and hate into your life. I'd probably minimize the amount of time I spent with them and remove their updates from my news feed on Facebook.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2016, 02:37:14 AM »
Facebook has an unfollow feature.

It's great for filtering out annoying/bigoted/overly political posts from people you still don't want to unfriend.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 02:41:31 AM by alsoknownasDean »

nnls

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2016, 02:42:34 AM »
Facebook has an unfollow feature.

It's great for filtering out annoying/bigoted/overly political posts from people you still don't want to unfriend.

If they are pleasant in person and you see them for holidays ect then I would unfollow them on facebook. If you do really want them out of your life then delete them

Tester

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2016, 02:51:02 AM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

I think he was just giving an example of their behavior... and I think its pretty safe to say that someone who post things like that on FB is a racist.

I realize that you may be trying to educate here, but the condescending tone is not needed.

I wouldn't say it is "safe" to label that as racism.
It would be "safe" to label it as xenophobic/islamofobic.
I mean, if we accuse someone of something let's make sure we get the right accusations :-).

Regarding cutting them out - why do you ask this here?
If you don't tolerate their ideas cut them out. Nobody should force you to meet with people you strongly dislike.
If you continue seeing them you will be stressed and nervous before, during and after each interaction...
I know because I was in that situation - not because of racism/xenophobia, but the stress and nerves were there.

mwulff

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2016, 04:35:05 AM »
Just to clarify something in the english language (foreigner here): Racism is obviously meant to indicate some kind of prejudice/hatred of a specific subset of the human race.

But what word would be used to brand someone as hating a particular religion? Relicist? I ask because in my native language racist is used to indicate somebody who doesn't like some sort of designated group and usually applied to both race and religion.

Other than that to answer the OP. Use Facebooks blocking mechanism to just remove the Trump/racism noise or actually confront them. Blocking it is the easy path.

Good luck

Nick_Miller

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2016, 06:19:24 AM »
As religions are basically worldviews, I believe it's entirely appropriate to dislike a religion for what it teaches, just as you might dislike a philosophy (like utilitarianism, for example) or a political view.

That being said, it's easy for someone to slide from "I hate what Islam teaches" to "Those Muslims are so-and-sos!" (we've all heard the pejoratives) So if the "racist" people in your life are in that second camp, I totally get your desire to free yourself from that sort of language.

And yes the FB "unfollow" is a wonderful feature. All of the effectiveness and non of the drama ("Why did you unfriend me??")

And as another poster commented, it's not a bad thing to keep a few folks around who see the world much differently than you do. It's a reminder that we're nowhere near the levels of rationality, acceptance and humanism promised in Star Trek.


plog

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2016, 07:12:20 AM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful. 


Fishindude

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2016, 07:27:31 AM »
If you disagree with someone's views and become upset, mad or very uncomfortable when you are around them, the solutions are very simple.

a.  Stay away from them.
b.  Call them out on it and tell them to watch what they say around you.
c.  Suck it up and tolerate it.

This could be racism, religion, politics, parenting and child rearing, finances ...... pick a topic.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2016, 08:03:52 AM »
As religions are basically worldviews, I believe it's entirely appropriate to dislike a religion for what it teaches, just as you might dislike a philosophy (like utilitarianism, for example) or a political view.

That being said, it's easy for someone to slide from "I hate what Islam teaches" to "Those Muslims are so-and-sos!" (we've all heard the pejoratives) So if the "racist" people in your life are in that second camp, I totally get your desire to free yourself from that sort of language.

And yes the FB "unfollow" is a wonderful feature. All of the effectiveness and non of the drama ("Why did you unfriend me??")

And as another poster commented, it's not a bad thing to keep a few folks around who see the world much differently than you do. It's a reminder that we're nowhere near the levels of rationality, acceptance and humanism promised in Star Trek.

This. Saudi Wahabbism should be considered a serious threat to humanity as should virtually all religious fundamentalism.  The difference is that  Islam is suffering a fundamentalist insurgence (mostly due to Saudi oil money promoting it worldwide but it's multifactorial.)  Christianity suffered some serious fundamentalism over the centuries and the reformation did a great job in diminishing it. Islam is waiting for their Martin Luther. Having said that some of my best friends are Turkish and they think that Islamic fundamentalism is as terrible as I do.  It's easy to conflate anger at religious fundamentalism with anger at a religion. Most of us have been guilty. We should be very welcoming of non fundamentalist muslims but should be very suspicious of the ones who are.  I would try to converse with them and see if you can educate them on the difference before you cut them out.  They are completely right to be intolerant of religious intolerance.

oldtoyota

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2016, 08:16:46 AM »
Facebook has an unfollow feature.

It's great for filtering out annoying/bigoted/overly political posts from people you still don't want to unfriend.

If they are pleasant in person and you see them for holidays ect then I would unfollow them on facebook. If you do really want them out of your life then delete them

Thanks! I did unfollow the person on FB. However, she follows *me* and then comments on my comments on the walls of my friends. FB lets her see the posts and comments on the walls of my friends.

oldtoyota

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2016, 08:19:24 AM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

I think he was just giving an example of their behavior... and I think its pretty safe to say that someone who post things like that on FB is a racist.

I realize that you may be trying to educate here, but the condescending tone is not needed.

I wouldn't say it is "safe" to label that as racism.
It would be "safe" to label it as xenophobic/islamofobic.
I mean, if we accuse someone of something let's make sure we get the right accusations :-).

Regarding cutting them out - why do you ask this here?
If you don't tolerate their ideas cut them out. Nobody should force you to meet with people you strongly dislike.
If you continue seeing them you will be stressed and nervous before, during and after each interaction...
I know because I was in that situation - not because of racism/xenophobia, but the stress and nerves were there.

No, they are also racist. When I wrote the title, I was thinking of the racist older relative who died. My most recent example is not of racism so that is why that person is so confused. They are racist and xenophobic.

Why does anyone ask a question in a forum? To get answers. To see things in a different light.

madgeylou

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2016, 08:51:27 AM »
I would hazard to guess that most people who "hate Muslims" are thinking of brown-skinned people when they say that.

little_brown_dog

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2016, 08:54:55 AM »
My grandparents were outwardly racist and prejudiced. It was really tough to be patient when they got going on these topics. In person, I just really tried my best to avoid any topics where these sorts of sentiments might emerge, and if they did anyway, I simply tried to turn the conversation as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, with FB you have more options. You can unfollow them without completely defriending them. If they post this obnoxious stuff on your wall, you can immediately delete it or have a chat with them (heyI love keeping in touch, but i don't feel comfortable discussing race/religion on my fb page). However, if you are the type to get super political/ideological on FB yourself, you need to understand that you are inviting these sorts of situations (so maybe consider keeping your online profile less controversial to begin with). While prejudiced sentiments are obnoxious, only you know if it is worth cutting someone completely out of your life. My grandparents were great influences in my life overall, so it made no sense to just stop talking to them. But if your only interaction with this person tends to be racist tirades, then it might make sense to just slowly stop communicating with them over time.

I personally have had to unfollow a few extended family members due to their fundamentalist religious beliefs that I found insulting/obnoxious. However, they are very respectful when it comes to other peoples' walls/posts, so the unfollow feature was all that was needed.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 09:00:38 AM by little_brown_dog »

notactiveanymore

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2016, 09:15:24 AM »
I actually have everyone hidden or unfollowed on my newsfeed! I did it back a few years ago and have just hidden each person as I've friended them over the years. It's awesome.

As for other facebook options, you can also limit them from seeing things you post. I am friends with 4 co-workers. I didn't want to be friends with them, but couldn't really say no. So instead, I limit what they see. When you go to post something, at the bottom next to the "Post" button is a button that defines who can see your post. The default is probably "Friends" or "Public" but once you click that, you can hit "More Options" then "Custom" and then you can add people do your "Don't Share With" list for that post.

I mainly just block off the coworkers when I'm sharing an anecdote about work or when I'm saying something political. So they probably don't notice.

Good luck with this situation. As a white person in the midwest, I understand the situation well. Sometimes I think it's worth saying something (at least in person) so that the relative realizes that silence doesn't mean agreement. But cutting people out is not out of the question for me.

Gin1984

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2016, 09:38:13 AM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

I think he was just giving an example of their behavior... and I think its pretty safe to say that someone who post things like that on FB is a racist.

I realize that you may be trying to educate here, but the condescending tone is not needed.
Hello.
I would not cut this person out of my life.
If you preach tolerance, then you ---  yourself  --- have to be tolerant of the views of others.
That doesn't mean you have to agree with them or like them.
If you only include the people in your life that share the same belief structure as yourself, the world will be a lonely place.

Peace and love..
Tolerating intolerance is not tolerance.  And including people who set up a society that harms others, in a horrible place.  Removing those people has made my group nice and pleasant and not at all lonely.

oldtoyota

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2016, 09:46:08 AM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful.

A racist is one who sees their race as superior. Dictionary definition.

madgeylou

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2016, 09:55:22 AM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful.

A racist is one who sees their race as superior. Dictionary definition.

When those who write the dictionary are white, then it's no surprise that the definitions come from a white perspective.

http://www.diversityinc.com/ask-the-white-guy/ask-the-white-guy-is-the-oxford-dictionary-definition-of-racism-too-white-for-you/

Funny how white people expect to get to define what "racism" is, when we never experience it.

oldtoyota

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2016, 10:11:22 AM »
I would hazard to guess that most people who "hate Muslims" are thinking of brown-skinned people when they say that.

Exactly!

dougules

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2016, 10:40:45 AM »
Do they bring it up much when you're around them?  I wouldn't be able to tolerate that.  If they're not spewing their hatred to you, though, I don't know that cutting them off is going to be good for anything.  (I'm assuming you're not Muslim yourself)

ysette9

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2016, 04:25:02 PM »
I think this is a really important topic and am glad we are having the discussion. I have wrestled with this myself on Facebook with relatives and friends of relatives. I know that in the vast chaos of the internets it almost never does anyone good to engaged with people who express extreme views. Most people don't post stuff like that on FB because they want to engage in a thoughtful and open-minded dialogue. I certainly have unfollowed or even unfriended people with appalling (to me) views. On the other hand, I am involved in diversity and inclusion events and groups at work and the idea that keeps coming up as of late is the importance of allies speaking up and participating to making improvements in our culture. The idea there is that it is more powerful when someone in the privileged group speaks up against discrimination/unfair treatment than the disadvantaged or minority person speaking up because the person in power is more likely to be listened to and isn't perceived as coming from a place of self interest. That is why it is important for white people to speak up in support of BlackLives Matter, for men in the workplace to speak up about the importance of family leave policies, for straight people to speak up in support of gay marriage, etc. I also believe that silence can be interpreted as consent when in fact you may be silently horrified.

All that together means that I feel on one hand it is a foolish waste of electrons to speak up against someone who thinks that banning all muslims from the US is a good idea, but on the other hand feel there is a moral obligation to take a principled stand and let the universe know that at least one person finds that unacceptable. I have read articles from the point of view of a repressed party (whatever that may be) and how it was personally meaningful when someone outside spoke up against an unfair situation. As a woman in the workplace, I really am appreciative when I see my male counterparts speaking up to our upper management echoing my thoughts that work/life balance is critical to us so it is viewed as a generational priority and not dismissed as a "women's issue". If I am in a position to do something similar for someone else from my relative position of privilege, I'd like to do that.

MsPeacock

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2016, 05:00:32 PM »
Facebook has an unfollow feature.

It's great for filtering out annoying/bigoted/overly political posts from people you still don't want to unfriend.

If they are pleasant in person and you see them for holidays ect then I would unfollow them on facebook. If you do really want them out of your life then delete them

Thanks! I did unfollow the person on FB. However, she follows *me* and then comments on my comments on the walls of my friends. FB lets her see the posts and comments on the walls of my friends.

If you block someone they can't see you, your posts, your comments, etc. and you don't see them. This is better than just unfollowing because it essentially renders you invisible. They don't even know you blocked them.

SwordGuy

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2016, 05:37:34 PM »
I don't ignore them, I call them on it.

I bluntly point out that what they are saying is, at best, misleading and untrue.  At worst, it is a lie.

They may choose to block me, but I won't let that hatred stand unchallenged.

None of that is likely to change their beliefs, but at least those on the fence who are also reading it know the facts.




dougules

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2016, 07:51:13 PM »
Christianity suffered some serious fundamentalism over the centuries and the reformation did a great job in diminishing it.

?!?!? You have apparently not been to Alabama.  The reformation produced whole new brands of Christian fundamentalism, and they are still alive and well here.  This would be the Protestant version of Iran if it weren't for SCOTUS. 

Sorry for the tangent, but I couldn't let this one go.   

SwordGuy

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2016, 10:26:12 PM »
Christianity suffered some serious fundamentalism over the centuries and the reformation did a great job in diminishing it.

?!?!? You have apparently not been to Alabama.  The reformation produced whole new brands of Christian fundamentalism, and they are still alive and well here.  This would be the Protestant version of Iran if it weren't for SCOTUS. 

Sorry for the tangent, but I couldn't let this one go.

Too true.   Ditto for rural Georgia and NC.

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2016, 12:46:28 AM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful.

A racist is one who sees their race as superior. Dictionary definition.

When those who write the dictionary are white, then it's no surprise that the definitions come from a white perspective.

http://www.diversityinc.com/ask-the-white-guy/ask-the-white-guy-is-the-oxford-dictionary-definition-of-racism-too-white-for-you/

Funny how white people expect to get to define what "racism" is, when we never experience it.

I don't think you have to have an up close and personal encounter with racism to know what it is and describe it in a book.  To say something can only be understood from a specific ethnic POV is like saying Asians are naturally better at math than anyone else. I.e., racist.  BTW, white people historically have had direct experience with racism.  Even if what I typed is all wrong, why bother reading about it in a column titled "Ask a White Guy"?  WTF does HE know about it?  Isn't there a black guy they can tap to write it?

Spiffsome

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2016, 04:56:27 PM »
Do you like these people apart from these opinions? How do they treat people who are different face to face?

My grandparents have always said vaguely racist things, and are getting a lot worse as they get older. I think Fox News is a large part of it, especially when my grandfather started up about how 'Islam is a cancer', not that they actually knew any Muslim people. It was getting really uncomfortable to visit. Trying to argue with them didn't cut it; neither did statements like 'My neighbours are Muslim and they're lovely' or 'Every religion has its zealots' (that one just got Granddad ranting about the Catholic Church instead).

Fortunately for me, my grandparents (a) adore me and (b) do not air these opinions in public - they are scrupulously polite to everyone. Eventually I had had enough and during one visit kept asking my grandfather to stop whenever he started up about Muslims. After the second request, I raised my voice and growled, "ENOUGH". In the resulting moment of shocked silence, I firmly changed the topic. I've never raised my voice to them before or since - I think they were both shocked that their quiet granddaughter had actually shouted at them in their own home. The result is that we don't talk about Muslim people at all, which is a significant improvement.

It really depends on how close you are to your people. Are they people you meet once a year? Do either of you care that much about the other? If it's the same as a random acquaintance showing up on your Facebook page, I'd probably just block them. However, if you are closer and there's more of a relationship between you, there are probably better options than 'burn it down and salt the earth'.

oldtoyota

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2016, 08:52:29 PM »
Do you like these people apart from these opinions? How do they treat people who are different face to face?

My grandparents have always said vaguely racist things, and are getting a lot worse as they get older. I think Fox News is a large part of it, especially when my grandfather started up about how 'Islam is a cancer', not that they actually knew any Muslim people. It was getting really uncomfortable to visit. Trying to argue with them didn't cut it; neither did statements like 'My neighbours are Muslim and they're lovely' or 'Every religion has its zealots' (that one just got Granddad ranting about the Catholic Church instead).

Thanks for sharing this story. I've decided to ignore it. I talked with another relative about it, and it seems like the offender's husband is embarrassed by her behavior and doesn't feel the same. For some reason, that makes me feel better.

ETA: I wanted to add that I think you are spot on about Fox News. My grandmother developed views related to Fox, but we were able to discuss the issues (unlike with other relative who goes straight to anger).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 08:57:11 PM by oldtoyota »

oldtoyota

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2016, 08:55:54 PM »
This. Saudi Wahabbism should be considered a serious threat to humanity as should virtually all religious fundamentalism.  The difference is that  Islam is suffering a fundamentalist insurgence (mostly due to Saudi oil money promoting it worldwide but it's multifactorial.)  Christianity suffered some serious fundamentalism over the centuries and the reformation did a great job in diminishing it. Islam is waiting for their Martin Luther. Having said that some of my best friends are Turkish and they think that Islamic fundamentalism is as terrible as I do.  It's easy to conflate anger at religious fundamentalism with anger at a religion. Most of us have been guilty. We should be very welcoming of non fundamentalist muslims but should be very suspicious of the ones who are.  I would try to converse with them and see if you can educate them on the difference before you cut them out.  They are completely right to be intolerant of religious intolerance.
+1

Islamic fundamentalism is being responded to in overly simplistic ways by both the rightwing and leftwing political adherents in the US.  OP's relatives aren't entirely correct in what they are posting in FB (because not all Muslims are bad).  HOWEVER, OP's relatives aren't entirely incorrect either (because a non-negligible percentage of Muslims are radicalized and are dangerous).

If OP cuts off the relatives due to the incorrect parts of the stance they've taken, then the OP will also cut off those relatives in spite of some truth in their stance.  This is what is happening all over the country today, and it has become very politically incorrect to say anything negative about Islam or Muslims, even when it makes logical sense to do so.  By reinforcing that, OP will in some small way worsen the political-correctness problem.

My preference would be to start a conversation and try to present reality as it is, which is that a majority of Muslims are peaceful people and that a significant minority (20-25% of global Muslims and around 13% of American Muslims) are radicals.

Clarion Project - by the numbers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSPvnFDDQHk
Islam and the necessity of Liberal Critique: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0plC24YuoJk

Also, criticism of Islam is not the same of criticism of Muslims.  And just because someone is criticizing an ideology/religion/adherents, it doesn't automatically mean that they are racists/bigots.  Some ideologies and religions and some adherents deserve to be criticized and mocked, because they are simply incompatible with the values of a safe and free society.

Thanks for your sound reply. You raise good points. Answers like this are the very reason I asked the question!

In my case, I do think my relative is a bigot. She wants "them" all to leave the country and "good riddance," etc. She's not narrowing it down to fundamentalists only. I suspect Fox News is partly to blame. Seems like she's  brainwashed from the TV based on the phrases she uses. It's creepy to hear the same phrases used by different people. I don't watch Fox so it took me a bit to figure out where those phrases came from...

Zamboni

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2016, 09:18:23 PM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful.

A racist is one who sees their race as superior. Dictionary definition.

When those who write the dictionary are white, then it's no surprise that the definitions come from a white perspective.

http://www.diversityinc.com/ask-the-white-guy/ask-the-white-guy-is-the-oxford-dictionary-definition-of-racism-too-white-for-you/

Funny how white people expect to get to define what "racism" is, when we never experience it.

Ummmm . . . travel much? There's plenty of racism experienced by "white people" in some places.

My favorite exploration of modern racism in the US is described in the book Racism without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. If you really care about the finer points of definitions, then you should delve into this and related literature.

calimom

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2016, 12:20:20 AM »

[/quote]
Hello.
I would not cut this person out of my life.
If you preach tolerance, then you ---  yourself  --- have to be tolerant of the views of others.
That doesn't mean you have to agree with them or like them.
If you only include the people in your life that share the same belief structure as yourself, the world will be a lonely place.

Peace and love..
[/quote]

I have never quite understood this level of scolding from conservatives directed toward progressive. It translates to: "We have the right to be as poorly behaved as humanly possible but because you are the party of peace and love you must accept us at our rock bottom level or we'll call you intolerant and tut tut amongst ourselves".

It's passive aggressive BS, and not buying it.

mrcheese

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2016, 12:23:45 AM »
Christianity suffered some serious fundamentalism over the centuries and the reformation did a great job in diminishing it.

?!?!? You have apparently not been to Alabama.  The reformation produced whole new brands of Christian fundamentalism, and they are still alive and well here.  This would be the Protestant version of Iran if it weren't for SCOTUS. 

Sorry for the tangent, but I couldn't let this one go.

Too true.   Ditto for rural Georgia and NC.

Can I please ask for clarification here, Bucksandreds was referring to Martin Luther, a German theologian from a few hundred years ago who challenged the religious authority of Rome and therefore helped to change the political and intellectual climate of Europe. And by fundamentalism I assume they mean violence and force "justified" by "religion", not just wearing hats to church and loudly proclaiming non-pc opinions...
Were you referring to Martin Luther King Jnr? He did some good stuff too, and I am aware bad stuff still happens in places but I'm feeling a bit confused by these reply posts

madgeylou

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2016, 03:35:25 AM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful.

A racist is one who sees their race as superior. Dictionary definition.

When those who write the dictionary are white, then it's no surprise that the definitions come from a white perspective.

http://www.diversityinc.com/ask-the-white-guy/ask-the-white-guy-is-the-oxford-dictionary-definition-of-racism-too-white-for-you/

Funny how white people expect to get to define what "racism" is, when we never experience it.

Ummmm . . . travel much? There's plenty of racism experienced by "white people" in some places.

My favorite exploration of modern racism in the US is described in the book Racism without Racists by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva. If you really care about the finer points of definitions, then you should delve into this and related literature.

I've traveled a good bit. Have yet to find any country where having white skin (and money) has been a drawback.

Zamboni

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2016, 10:27:22 AM »
^^Sure, as a wealthy white tourist throwing money around at resorts, in cabs, and in shops and tourist locations, people will treat you with a least a thin veil of decency and respect. They will smile to your face. Their livelihood might depend upon your money, after all. But if you are fluent in the native language (and those around you don't know it), then you will get an earful of what many people really think of you and your lilly white skin behind your back.

And if you try to marry a non-white person, you might find that your love-interest's family is not accepting of your race at all even if you are both the same religion. I've had two friends go through that. In one case the older non-white family members were so vocally opposed to having a white person join the family that the stress from it basically destroyed the couple's relationship. Is that racism? I don't know what else to call it.

I do agree that, in the USA, the most damaging, systematic racism is prevalently coming from WASPs and is directed at people in other groups.

StreetCat

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2016, 12:09:03 PM »
Disclaimer (if it matters in anyway): I am not a white person.

Racism essentially comes from ignorance and all kinds of biases that we carry around in our less than perfect brains.  For example, confirmation bias causes people to hear only what they want to hear and ignore opposing view points even when such viewpoints make logical sense.

For this claim of "white people don't experience racism" to be true, somehow all non-white people need to have perfect knowledge of everything and need to be completely devoid of any kind/amount of irrationality and bias.

Do we have ANY reason at all to believe that non-white people are equipped with such abilities?

Racism happens everywhere in different forms and quantities.  Just like there are white supremacists, there are also black/brown/yellow and all other colors of supremacists.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2016, 07:43:28 AM »
I would hazard to guess that most people who "hate Muslims" are thinking of brown-skinned people when they say that.
When I say something like that, I'm not thinking of skin color.  I'm thinking "I hate religious extremists."  People who think that all Christians should be killed.  Doesn't matter to me if they're black, brown, yellow, or white.

VladTheImpaler

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2016, 08:47:05 AM »
Many people get classism confused with racism.
Impoverished "whites" have historically faced discrimination too.

It's not about black, brown, or white...it's all about the green.

ooeei

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2016, 09:37:41 AM »
Can we seriously bring back meaning to 'racist'?  In no way did you describe a racist.  Hating anyone because of their skin color is not ipso facto racism.  It is prejudice.

Racism is prejudiced plus power.  Racism is to prejudice what first degree murder is to manslaughter.  It is heinous because it gives life to prejudice.  So please, let's not throw it around any more to someone who simply uses words or parrots a political leader you dislike.

 I have more than my fair share of prejudiced family members. THey are not racists because they are all losers in life and have no power to act on their prejudices.  It's a catch-22, if only they were more succesful in life they would be able to be racists; but most likely their prejudices are holding them back from being successful.

A racist is one who sees their race as superior. Dictionary definition.

When those who write the dictionary are white, then it's no surprise that the definitions come from a white perspective.

http://www.diversityinc.com/ask-the-white-guy/ask-the-white-guy-is-the-oxford-dictionary-definition-of-racism-too-white-for-you/

Funny how white people expect to get to define what "racism" is, when we never experience it.

Good lord.  They wrote a dictionary that has definitions for words.  Whether you want to use that definition is up to you, but it IS the dictionary definition of the word.  Do you also complain about other definitions like "tall" because a white person wrote it?  Or that they define "sushi" even though it originated in Japan?

I can say "purple" means "to win at basketball" by my definition, but that doesn't mean much if nobody else knows about it.  I get that you're bummed that white people comment on racism, but this is people writing a dictionary.  Should they have skipped the word?  Taken a poll of only minorities?  Hired minorities specifically for words related to racism?

If a given dictionary is bad enough at defining words, people will look to a different one.  Generally they seem pretty good at it.

dougules

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2016, 10:31:19 AM »
Christianity suffered some serious fundamentalism over the centuries and the reformation did a great job in diminishing it.

?!?!? You have apparently not been to Alabama.  The reformation produced whole new brands of Christian fundamentalism, and they are still alive and well here.  This would be the Protestant version of Iran if it weren't for SCOTUS. 

Sorry for the tangent, but I couldn't let this one go.

Too true.   Ditto for rural Georgia and NC.

Can I please ask for clarification here, Bucksandreds was referring to Martin Luther, a German theologian from a few hundred years ago who challenged the religious authority of Rome and therefore helped to change the political and intellectual climate of Europe. And by fundamentalism I assume they mean violence and force "justified" by "religion", not just wearing hats to church and loudly proclaiming non-pc opinions...
Were you referring to Martin Luther King Jnr? He did some good stuff too, and I am aware bad stuff still happens in places but I'm feeling a bit confused by these reply posts

Maybe the reformers themselves (Martin Luther was just one) didn't cause any religious violence, but there was a decent amount to come out of it.  To name a few over the centuries, Oliver Cromwell, the 30 Years War, Salem Witch Trials, The Troubles in Northern Ireland, persecution of the Mormons, Eric Robert Rudolph, and homophobic violence.  My point is any religion can be misinterpreted to justify violence, so it's not fair to point fingers at Muslims.  This is about peaceful people of all religions vs extremists of all religions, not Christians vs Muslims. 

Sibley

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2016, 11:10:26 AM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.
I have no idea what to make of your post.
You seem confused.
Muslim is not a race. A Muslim is one who follows the religion of Islam.

I think he was just giving an example of their behavior... and I think its pretty safe to say that someone who post things like that on FB is a racist.

I realize that you may be trying to educate here, but the condescending tone is not needed.

I think that was actually what should be posted to the FB post, not an actual question to the OP.

Sibley

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2016, 11:14:45 AM »
I don't ignore them, I call them on it.

I bluntly point out that what they are saying is, at best, misleading and untrue.  At worst, it is a lie.

They may choose to block me, but I won't let that hatred stand unchallenged.

None of that is likely to change their beliefs, but at least those on the fence who are also reading it know the facts.

My cousin's husband unfriended me on FB because I called him on something he posted which was racist (against blacks), prejudiced (against Muslims), and also not true.

I'm just waiting for him to realize my sister is dating a Muslim and is probably going to marry the guy.

libertarian4321

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2016, 04:08:09 AM »
I had a racist older relative. I knew I could not change him, so I waited it out. He eventually grew old and passed away.

But, now, his son--and maybe daughter-in-law--are spouting racist messages about Muslims.

I have no tolerance for this, and they won't change.

I'm okay with cutting them out of my life. Is there any reason I should not?

When I read one of their FB posts about being glad Muslims would leave the US if Trump became President, I felt sick to my stomach.

Just tell him that Islam is no more or less ridiculous than any other religion, because, well, it isn't.

I've never understood why people get so worked up about their various imaginary friends/Gods.

madmax

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2016, 10:37:14 AM »
Quote
I've never understood why people get so worked up about their various imaginary friends/Gods.

Because they are obviously not imaginary to them?

simplified

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2016, 10:01:52 PM »
I may regret poking my nose into this thread, but I need to ask...

If your relatives posted similar bigoted views or opinions about Christians instead of Muslims, would you consider unfriending them?

What if they posted inflammatory stuff about old white folk?

What if they bashed conservatives every opportunity they get?

I personally never respond to FB posts that contain extreme views, but I consider it an opportunity to learn the prevalent views in our society and keep myself informed.

goatmom

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Re: Racist Relatives
« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2016, 05:57:18 AM »
I dated a muslim for a a few years.  He was non-practicing so it was never an issue.  His family visited from Iran.  I was really shocked at their attitude toward me.  He explained that they thought white women were all "slutty" and "dirty."   The thought of their son marrying me was too much and they were not shy about their feelings.