" A woman is vacationing with her mother and two brothers. It's the whole Jewish-cheap thing." She responds, "Well, I don't think it's funny." He says, "What do you care? Was bigoted language and "humor" allowed or even encouraged in your childhood home? Does you sibling see him- or herself as the sibling leader? The following suggestions might help frame your response: Honor the past.
One morning, her brother says he wants to give his car "a Jewish car wash," which he describes as "taking soap out when it's raining to wash your car, so you don't waste money on water." He says he learned the phrase from their stepfather. You're not Jewish." That evening, over dinner, her other brother makes similar remarks. If such behavior wasn't accepted in your growing-up years, remind your sibling of your shared past: "I remember when we were kids, Mom went out of her way to make sure we embraced differences.
When a Native American man at one roundtable discussion spoke of feeling ostracized at work, a Jewish woman nodded in support.
Of course, if the person is white, she never bothers to mention it." A man continually refers to the largest nuts in cans of mixed nuts as "nigger toes." His grown children speak up whenever they hear him use the term, but he persists.A man writes, "My father says he has nothing against homosexuals, but they shouldn't allow them to lead in a church.Your classmate insults something by saying, "That's so gay." And you stand there, in silence, thinking, "What can I say in response to that? Or, frustrated or angry, you walk away without saying anything, thinking later, "I should have said something." People spoke about encounters in stores and restaurants, on streets and in schools.They spoke about family, friends, classmates and co-workers.I didn't know what to say." Speak up without 'talking back.' Repeat information, removing unnecessary racial or ethnic descriptions: "What did the checkout clerk do next, Mom?
" Or, "Yes, I like these mixed nuts, too." Subtly model bias-free language. Call upon the principles that guided your childhood home.I discussed with him the feeling of empathy." A New Jersey woman writes: "My young daughter wrapped a towel around her head and said she wanted to be a terrorist for Halloween — 'like that man down the street.'" The man is a Sikh who wears a turban for religious reasons. " Guide the conversation toward empathy and respect: "How do you think our neighbor would feel if he heard you call him a terrorist? Look critically at how your child defines "normal." Help to expand the definition: "Our neighbor is a Sikh, not a terrorist.Let's learn about his religion." Create opportunities for children to spend time with and learn about people who are different from themselves. Every year, Halloween becomes a magnet for stereotypes.In this case, during her next visit, the woman and her children left when the father-in-law began to tell such a "joke." She did that two more times, at later family gatherings, before her father-in-law finally refrained.A woman's young son tells a racist "joke" at dinner that he had heard on the playground earlier that day.When an elderly lesbian spoke of finally feeling brave enough to wear a rainbow pin in public, those around the table applauded her courage.