You’re having a lovely day, the sun is shining, food is great, and the drinks are flowing. Everything is right with the world. Then out of nowhere, you hear someone use a racial slur.
Did I hear that correctly?
OK, yes, I did.
What should you do?
Heck of a question, don’t you think?
Option one challenge them
You challenge them, of course.
Ask them what they meant by it.
Far too many people just let it slide.
If we don’t call it out, then we are complicit. If you aren’t anti-racist, then…
They didn’t mean us, so there wasn’t anyone around to get upset about it.
Pass me another beer please.
Option One is the moral and ethical way to go
You make a stand for what you believe in and sends a message about who you are.
If we go with Option Two, we are being cowardly.
It is possible they didn’t realise that there was anything wrong with what they said, because it was a phrase/word that was used around them regularly and as a result became normalised.
Would they if it was pointed out, reflect, and realise that it was wrong? I hope so.
I don’t know how they would answer because I said/did nothing. I was incredibly uncomfortable when I heard it, but still said nothing.
I had a restless night sleep going over everything in my mind, looking inside myself trying to come to terms with my response. Trying to find excuses to justify my inaction. Beating myself up for it.
Conflicted and mental turmoil would be an understatement.
One thing I am certain about, is that I am embarrassed and a little ashamed that I didn’t have the courage of my convictions and address it.
What would/should you do?