View Full Version : Ugly issue at Easter
05-02-2010, 06:19 PM
Hopefully I'm posting this in the right forum (just recently signed up).
This past Easter, I was at my parents house when my mom told me about something that my four-year-old nephew said the day before when he was there with my brother. My mom had asked him if he had to work on Easter (he and his wife are sheriff deputies). He told her, "Yeah, but we got N----r Day off." My nephew then said, "Yeah, he got N----r Day off!" My mom and brother thought it was hilarious. I didn't laugh when Mom told me about it, and Mom couldn't understand why. That evening, after my brother was off duty, he and his family came out for dinner, and as we ate, he repeated what he'd told my mom, and my nephew repeated it. Everybody but me thought it was funny. They justified it by saying that it was okay because they knew black people.
I haven't really talked with my parents much since then. It's not just the racial slur or the fact that they have taught it to my nephew. Since the whole incident, it's had me wondering what they say about me behind my back. I told them back in 2003 that I was gay, and obviously, there were a lot of issues that they brought up. They've seemed okay since then, although there have been occasional times when I've wondered. In one instance, they came down to my place to take me out to dinner. On the way back, my dad tried getting me interested in looking at a girl on a neighbor's front yard as we drove past. I asked him why he wanted me to take interest in my neighbor's underage (teenage) daughter. He just said, "Oh, I guess she is kind of young."
Anyways, how would you all handle what happened at my parents' house on Easter?
05-02-2010, 09:52 PM
MLK Jr. Day is a national holiday, Easter is not.
Being an equal opportunity offender I would probably start telling "Zombie on a stick" jokes and see if they were offended.
05-02-2010, 11:09 PM
You may be on to something re your family saying anti-gay stuff behind your back. Then again, they may simply be showing the underside of their ignorance & bigotry. It may just be that. After all, they may make an exception for you since you are part of the family, while a person of another race is not.
Thing is: what do you want to do?
Gotta say- it would bother me to hear my 4 year old nephew saying such stuff. You will know the jig is up if you start hearing the "F" word as well.
My thought here is this: speak up calmly about the issue. If you do nothing, you can expect that nothing will change. And while you may not be able to change what other people do when not in your presence, at least you can set boundaries when they are.
As well, sometimes actions are louder than words. You can simply get up and leave.
05-02-2010, 11:36 PM
Well, I've heard them make racist remarks all my life (parents and brother). Thankfully I never picked up on it or anything since I believe we're all put on this planet as equals. I've been tempted to ask them if they say anything about me behind my back. Of course, they would deny it. I know my being gay, while they say they are okay with it, is not something that they just bring up. My mom a couple years after I came out said that she hoped that my brother and I never got drafted for the military. I told her not to worry since I wasn't allowed in the military. She asked why, and then she just got silent for a long while when I told her that gays weren't allowed in the military.
In regards to when my dad tried to get me interested in my neighbor's daughter, I do remember hearing my mom telling him shortly afterwards that they "talked about that".
I'm just not sure what to do with them at this point. I love them, but at the same time, I get so fed up with their ways and their ignorance.
I've been working on writing up my coming out story to post online. It's pretty lengthy so far, but it explains a lot about my coming out as well as my past with my family.
05-03-2010, 12:04 PM
No disrespect to your family, but referring to Martin Luther King Day as N----r Day shows a lack of good character. For your brother to allow your nephew to say it and think it's funny is teaching him to disrespect and devalue African Americans.
Many conservatives talk about protecting "values" as if they own them. But many times what they practice is hate, disrespect, intolerance, and unfairness, which is actually evidence of a lack of values.
To laugh at your nephew for being disrespectful of African Americans is teaching that respect for others is not important. Teaching by example that values are not important can lead to dysfunction.
05-03-2010, 07:22 PM
The thing that gets me is that they had him laughing about it as well. I'm worried what is going to happen to him when he starts school. If he isn't taught that it is wrong to use words like that, he could get into trouble, which would confuse him because he doesn't know any better.
I haven't talked with my parents too much over the phone this past month (they're an hour away), and when we have talked, it's usually Mom doing all of the talking.
Got to thinking about the issue some today. I have a feeling I'll be hearing more from them in the next three weeks since my birthday is coming up at the end of the month, and they always want to invite themselves down to my place to take me out for dinner (they've always felt that I should celebrate my birthdays with them and how they want to celebrate it). I think this year I'm just going to keep telling them that I'm busy and have plans. If they push the issue, I'm just going to tell them that I don't want to be around them if they're going to be like they were at Easter.
05-03-2010, 08:16 PM
That is a difficult decision you are faced with, but I have to agree with Daniel, if you do nothing, then nothing will change.
I guess I would call my mother up and talk to her about how offended and upset your were by hearing not only them, but your 4 year old nephew saying a racial slur. I would also let them know that when he goes to school, and he can and probably will be suspended for using that word. Tell them that growing up you didnt realize how wrong those slurs were, but now that you are out in the world, you realize how ignorant and offensive those types of slurs are. I would also say to them that this makes you wonder if they are saying the same things about you behind your back, and even if they say they do not, you do not believe them after what you heard. Then I would tell her you love her and your dad but you chose not to spend your birthday with them until they can act respectful to all humans. I would then make alternate plans for your birthday.
It will be painful, it will not be fun, but you need to say something or you will always feel uncomfortable and it will weigh on your mind. On the positve side, it may give them pause for thought and a change might occure. Whatever you decide to do, good luck and know that many of us have been where you are now, hang in there!:love:
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