Friday, November 20, 2009

You and your racist friend

It took a good long while but me and an old friend started to interact more after several years of estrangement. We exchanged mobile numbers.

The first text she sent me was a racist joke.

The full weight of my PC gorn mad disapproval lumbered forth and sat po-faced on my mobile keypad. I didn't honestly know what to do about it, as changing hearts and minds ain't really likely in a text, is it? So I could have replied coldly and told her off, or pretended it was ok or funny (and racist content aside it wasn't funny), or not respond at all. Which is what I did.

Thing is, I sympathise in some ways with her, because I can point to and remember where her racism was either born or shored up. It was bad and it was a sexual assault. This doesn't mean to say she has a right to be racist: it's just I know where it was compounded.

It may be that she and I are on a road to nowhere. I think we all shove things we don't like about people (their little foibles or hobbyhorses) into little boxes that we don't inspect too closely for our convenience and social harmony, or at least we prioritise our family/friends' good points over their flaws - but where do you draw the line? Some things probably don't jam into boxes too well.


Anonymous said...

For her to send a racist joke seems to me to be a passive-aggressive and needlessly provocative thing to do. It's not the first thing most people would do when reestablishing. Thus, I would tread warily and assume that this friendship's on a fast track to nowhere. I mean, if it's *not* her being passive-aggressive, and she honestly and genuinely thinks you're into the same sort of thing shows that she don't know you at all. And cos it's a hard thing to talk about it might always be this huge black elephant in the corner of the room, wearing a comedy Afro wig. D'you know what I'm saying? Abster x

Mephitis said...

I think it's that she doesn't know me at all.

So arms length (or further!) continues. She and her bloke also write weird things that make me uncomfortable on their webpage. I don't really think we've much in common so probably not worth pursuing.

Mephitis said...

:D @ your black-and-white minstrel show pachyderm.

Anonymous said...

What do they write on their webpage? I've deleted friends off Facebook for this sort of thing. Makes life much easier! Abster x