Dealing with casual bigotry?
June 28, 2013 4:44 AM Subscribe
What strategies do people have to deal with casual bigots when the situation mandates basic politeness?
posted by Cannon Fodder to Human Relations (28 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I have on more than one occasion found myself in a situation where someone is espousing a stupidly bigoted opinion on some subject, but it isn't easy to actively disagree with them. They are usually friends of a friend who I don't feel I know well enough to actively confront about their opinions, or, on one memorable occasion, a family member at a funeral, where I didn't particularly feel like getting in an argument. Do you have coping strategies for it? I tend to make a couple of comments which express something that doesn't quite disagree with the person and then try to change the subject.
For example, during a recent conversation where someone was saying some very stupid things about a trans person who had recently come "out" at work, I made the comment that
"Yeah, it can be weird, but I always think with this sort of thing that it must be much harder for them than it is for you really.."
Which didn't actively disagree with what they were saying but made a plea for empathy. Sadly the individual basically ignored my comment entirely.
Is it worth trying to engage more with the conversation, or is it best just to try to end these things as soon as possible? I want to be an ally, but I don't want to be the person who ruined everyone's evening by making it an argument.