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172 votes

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

Recognise your own biases When someone from a minority group says "that's racist/sexist/homophobic/etc" and the retort from someone from a majority group is, more or less, "no it isn't" This is ...
Peter Taylor's user avatar
  • 1,623
111 votes

How to politely deal with white people wanting to talk to me about racism/race issues

I've been the white person in that situation, and probably more blundering than I want to admit. I have friends who are black, gay, and transgender, and all of them have had to deal with clueless ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
83 votes
Accepted

How do I respond to racist remarks from a coworker?

I feel like what you did is one of the most positive things you can do in this situation for a couple of vital reasons. You avoided escalating an awkward situation into a heated debate You want to ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
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66 votes

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

The problem is all about the tone and how it causes the first impression of your argument to shift. I've had this issue for years, and even with close friends I get incredibly frustrated when ...
Magisch's user avatar
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56 votes
Accepted

How to react when someone makes a racially charged joke about their own heritage

If you find it funny, laugh. If you don't, it would be polite to smile. I think it could be helpful to understand something about why a joke like this is funny, at least to a certain audience. When ...
SlowLoris's user avatar
  • 4,376
53 votes

How do I support a friend on Social Media who contacted me directly about something I don't want to be involved in?

First, let me explain why your friend has a problem with "all lives matter." It sounds like a rebuttal, like you're correcting the person who said Black Lives Matter. I've seen analogies like "if ...
Kate Gregory's user avatar
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52 votes

How to politely deal with white people wanting to talk to me about racism/race issues

A friend of mine shut me down pretty effectively by saying: I'm not a spokesman for my race. (She's African American, and she say's I'm "the 2nd whitest white person I know") To be honest, I was ...
G. Ann - SonarSource Team's user avatar
32 votes

How do I respond to racist remarks from a coworker?

I can give you personal experience. I was in a similar type of conversation with a coworker once, but I was in the place of your coworker. I said something that my coworker took as being racist. (...
eric70x7's user avatar
  • 421
32 votes

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

I think you have already managed to point out the problem yourself. Your behaviour often leads to a further entrenching of positions instead of a form of productive dialogue where both people can ...
Haris's user avatar
  • 634
31 votes

How can I recover from an accusation of racism at work?

If you're sincerely interested in mending your reputation and relationships in this group, then the first step is to loosen your grip on this premise: ...that I was a racist and made racist ...
Rose Hartman's user avatar
  • 2,506
30 votes

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

I think the only way is to try to gently point out their lack of perspective and encourage empathy with outside perspective. Actually engage with their ideas about why it's not a problem; otherwise ...
John K's user avatar
  • 417
29 votes
Accepted

How can I respond to "It's because I'm <historically oppressed quality>" as a rebuttal to a request?

It is perfectly reasonable to say no, and give them a legitimate reason for your actions. In the loud music example, think of the reasons why you might feel justified in asking them to turn it down. ...
kem's user avatar
  • 1,817
26 votes
Accepted

What is the right way to refer to someone with dark brown skin who is not African American?

Use black (adjective, the color) itself to describe the person, if absolutely necessary, i.e. black person or dark-skinned or dark-complexioned. Never refer to them or address them as a black (noun). ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 10.2k
23 votes

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

One thing I'd ask is why you're taking one position as gospel and dismissing the other so completely that you're trying to figure out how to politely tell them that they're wrong without giving them a ...
bvoyelr's user avatar
  • 684
19 votes

How do I respond to racist remarks from a coworker?

You can not fight intolerance with more intolerance This little pearl of wisdom comes from a friend of mine. Sorry for the story, but I think it will help make some sense of this. My wife and I were ...
coteyr's user avatar
  • 1,938
18 votes

How to respond to an older colleague who uses sub-optimal phrasing when referring to other racial groups?

People generally don't like being accused of (or being called out for, depending on the side you're viewing it from) racism. They likely don't see themselves as racist; a racist to them is an N-word ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 4,962
18 votes

How can I effectively tell people that their defensiveness over me bringing up an issue is part of the issue?

First I'd like to say that I am a straight white male, but I don't think that disqualifies me from being able to answer. If it helps, I have two older sisters among many other female friends, my ...
Sudsy1002's user avatar
  • 437
17 votes
Accepted

How to politely deal with white people wanting to talk to me about racism/race issues

I saw your update: POLITELY, RESPECTFULLY BUT FIRMLY Polite, respectful and firm: "I'm sure you have good intentions [polite to assume good will] and while I respect people's viewpoints, I ...
Ms Jackson's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How to handle a younger sibling being verbally bullied, with sometimes racist remarks, at school?

Make racist remarks back at him? NOPE. When they go low, you don't. You have two equally valid options remaining: Tell the teacher. or Ignore him. If this is a one-off retaliation after he got the ...
NVZ's user avatar
  • 10.2k
15 votes

How to react when someone makes a racially charged joke about their own heritage

Laughing...? Racist jokes are hideous only because there are actually people with racist views, who tell these jokes to mock minorities. However, jokes are meant to make people laugh. Since you ...
Sarkouille's user avatar
  • 2,824
13 votes

How to recover from being falsely seen as a racist?

Honestly, there's not much you can do. If that was his perception of the situation, it'll stick in his head for awhile. But given what happened, it doesn't sound like he really took it that ...
Arthas's user avatar
  • 2,582
12 votes

How to handle a younger sibling being verbally bullied, with sometimes racist remarks, at school?

Option 2 seems to be the most viable option. But I have a story that I think you'll appreciate. I am from India. Attended school in India. Bullying is a big thing in India, but never something ...
Crazy Cucumber's user avatar
12 votes

How can I recover from an accusation of racism at work?

I hate to use tired old expressions in answering questions - it seems lazy, like I'm just spouting platitudes. But this question involves a degree of anticipating what other people might think, and ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 27k
12 votes

How to recover from being falsely seen as a racist?

I'd say first thing is you have to get this idea out of your head of "racist" being some permanent binary thing that either you are or aren't. Pretty much everyone who grew up in the USA learned as a ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 2,209
12 votes

Telling my cousin that she might want to learn more about cultural appropriation

Would have there been any way to suggest to her that she might want to learn more about cultural appropriation? When considering how to approach suggesting someone may want to learn about something ...
motosubatsu's user avatar
  • 1,514
11 votes

How can I respond to "It's because I'm <historically oppressed quality>" as a rebuttal to a request?

In some cases people really feel like you wouldn't make the request of someone who wasn't a minority. They might actually be thinking that if they were "white kids playing white music" you wouldn't ...
apaul's user avatar
  • 54.8k

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