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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

To see DearSugar's answer

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.


Join The Conversation
taffetacupcakes taffetacupcakes 9 years
You did the right thing. By speaking up, you probably lifted something thick out of the air at that party. I hope you also spoke to your friend who seems to like having this person around. Not to attack them, maybe they don't realize that they are being insensitive to so many other people. Or maybe they're just a real jerk.
ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
Good for you; way to go! The only thing I have to add is that I would have responded to his comments about me being too sensitive with remarks about him being insensitive and inconsiderate.
plasticapple plasticapple 9 years
I think you did take the high road. Too many people are afraid to speak up in situations like that. By keeping quiet, you're basically telling him it's okay.
miriah15 miriah15 9 years
You did the right thing girl!
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
You had the courage to say what I'm guessing most of the people wanted to say to the jerk - so good for you, and don't give it a second thought. I'm not surprised that he played the 'sensitive' card, either.
PJ-PJ-PJ PJ-PJ-PJ 9 years
You did the right thing. I'm hoping that other people came to your defense, after he tried to turn it around on you. Good for you, brave girl.
smp7328 smp7328 9 years
you totally did the right thing. i hate when people make racist jokes. it is totally unacceptable.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
*neither, I meant to say! Ahgh triple post!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Yeah, and it isn't just "political correctness." Not being racist does not make me politically correct, it makes me a decent person. You don't get brownie points for not being an asshole, it should just be expected! (You do get brownie points for speaking up though! :)) Political correctness="womyn" instead of "women." (I'm a total feminist, so I get to poke fun!) Haha, or referring to dark-skinned Jamaican citizens as "African-American." I had a professor who insisted on calling all black people "African-Americans" regardless of whether or not they were African, American, or either.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
You did take the high road! Jaxon was completely right-you needed to speak up to show your disapproval. I am sure a lot of other people were thinking the same thing you were, and didn't have the courage to say anything. We care way too much about not causing any problems when we're in the company of friends, but racist jokes are just NOT acceptable.
lindac lindac 9 years
You DID take the high road. Good for you. There is no "political correctness" as far as I'm concerned. In my world racism isn't acceptable - period. I won't and don't tolerate it.
emalove emalove 9 years
I would have spoken up too...I think it was the right thing to do in this situation for sure.
blooditsnotfunny blooditsnotfunny 9 years
Personally I would not have spoken up in the way this girl did... I mean it was the politically correct thing to do but a lot of people will probably think wow this girl is a little too uptight or wow she is really up on her pedestal isn't she. If I were her I would have let him make a fool of himself; his story speaks for itself! Most of the guests probably wouldn't have wanted to talk to him afterwards anyway. I might have thrown in a "WOW.. okay...." afterwards that would show that you didn't agree with it and that he was being a dickhead.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
I agree with you speaking up. Personally, I don't think I would have, due to my personality. I may have given him a hard look, and rolled my eyes. And then I may have proceeded to walk away to the other end of the room, as far away from him as possible. When it comes to a rude situation, I'm more about action than speech. LOL
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
I applaud you! You made the right move! As much as he may have made a big deal out of you speaking up, it was good that someone actually did. I'm sure that everyone at that party, including your mutual friend, agreed with you and they were happy to see this guy get what he deserved!
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 9 years
Wonderful job! You had every right to stand up for what you believed in. And you believed that him and his story was racist. You believed he was making other people, just like you, very uncomfortable. I'm glad that you were brave enough to speak up. And I'm sure your friends of all races appreciated you too that night. Again, great job!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Id have said, "better then being an insensitive c**k like you".
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Racist comments should not be tolerated and you had every right to speak up. I know a lot of people who would not have said anything because they didn't want to hurt someone's feelings. Not saying anything makes the person think that what they said is okay.
prblms4loki prblms4loki 9 years
You took the high road, and it looks like you waited until it was clear that you weren't the only one who was offended. If he's all up in your face about being sensitive, perhaps he should take a look at the expressions of the other people around him and realize it's just him being a jackass.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 9 years
honestly I've done it before at parties when people start cracking racist jokes i look them dead in the eyes [completely dead pan. no smile] and say "That's not cool. That's really offensive and I'd appreciate it if you didn't speak like that around here" when the few times i've had people protest i follow up with "It's not your house, and there are people other than me who are offended by what you said. Either watch what you say and be polite, or please leave."
gossipqueen gossipqueen 9 years
What you said was just fine! There's no high road in this situation.
juicylove juicylove 9 years
it doesnt sound to me like she "blew up" at him it just sounds like she asked him not to tell the story.. how is that wrong in any way. he was making people uncomfortable, and she spoke up. thats not taking the low road? how is it any different from if a person of the race he was making fun of was at the table, and that person said it was offensive?
zawackirz zawackirz 9 years
I would stand up for myself and others who didn't have the courage too. :) nice job girl.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
I think you did the right thing. Too many people keep their mouths shut.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
i should hope that other people were proud of you and no one condemned you for what you did...therefore no need to even ask if you did the right thing - you did! and you stood up for your friends and fellow guests
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