Little brother is racist, but I'm a bitch
May 28, 2014 1:22 PM Subscribe
My brother did something racist that offended me, but when I spoke up against it, I'm the family bitch. How can I talk to my family so that they understand this?
posted by LoonyLovegood to Human Relations (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My little brother (22, academic and supposedly extremely intelligent) keeps making comments like "something is sooo gay" or "someone is soo retarded", and he also thinks it's funny to make "Asian eyes" as a joke a and imitate Asian languages. (Our father does the Asian thing as well, but he's 72 and I guess he won't learn anymore so I've given up, although he has seriously embarrassed me on more than one occasion.)
Little brother did the Asian eyes bit over dinner and everyone laughed. I was offended, however, because I have a Japanese boyfriend who will come to stay with us soon, and I neither want him to feel uncomfortable nor do I want him to think that I have somehow racist views as well because my family does things like... that.
I left the room, but later my brother wanted to borrow a DVD from me to watch with his girlfriend. I told him no, because I was mad at him for doing something racist and because instead of watching a movie, he should educate himself about casual racism. My mother jumps in telling me to stop being so mean and give him the DVD. I say no and ask them to leave me alone if they're not gonna reflect on what I told them. My mother then tells me I'm very unkind and finally leaves. A little bit later, my brother's girlfriend (who's still in high school) knocks on my door asking for the DVD. I say no. She then tries to convince me my brother wasn't trying to be racist, it was just a joke. I tell her he should have known better considering his age and position. (He's a freaking TA at his university, sometimes I wonder how he treats people there.) Finally, she gives in, rolls her eyes, bangs my door close and starts complaining to my brother in the next room.
While this is happening, everyone is treating me like I'm being a bitch on purpose. My brother tries to ridicule me and push my buttons by making jokes about other minorities (e.g. "what if I felt like a man, but had a sex change to be a woman? haha"), his girlfriend is all "ugh, your crazy sister sucks" and my mother is very unsupportive and usually always on my brother's side anyway. (All the while complaining to me about her own brother making antisemitic comments despite her identifying as Jewish.) My father just thinks everything is very funny.
I'm not overreacting, right?
How do I get them to see what I mean, preferably before my boyfriend comes to visit?