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You Asked: Should I Have Taken the High Road?


Dear Sugar,

This weekend I was at a party where a friend of a friend turned up. I’ve never liked him because, well, he’s loud and boorish yet I always try to be polite to him. This time, though, he decided to tell a “hilarious” story that was incredibly racist. I tried to change the subject as soon as I knew where it was going, but he could not be stopped. The party had people from all kinds of backgrounds and races, and he was visibly making people uncomfortable. Finally, I said, “You know, I don’t think this story is funny at all. I find it offensive, actually.” He then turned it around and made a big deal about how I’m allegedly too sensitive. How would you have handled this kind of situation? — I Spoke Up Susi

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Dear I Spoke Up Susi,

I have to say, I don't think I would have done much differently! I don't stand for people making racist remarks and it sounds like you feel the same way, so if you ask me, I think you did the right thing! So what if this guy thinks you're sensitive — I'd rather be viewed as too sensitive than a bigot any day. If you still feel like you took the low road, I guess you could have pulled him aside before it got so heated that you blew up in front of others, but the way he was carrying on, it doesn't sound like you had the chance, or you could have walked away, but Susi, shoulda, woulda, coulda! Your emotions got the best of you and I would hope that most everyone at that party shared your views anyway.

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