His dad founded the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.
Nate Phelps is dedicated to reversing that legacy of hate. http://www.alternet.org/activism/son-bigot
A friend directly told her mother-in-law to either stop her racial slurs when speaking about other races and cultures or her grandchildren would grow up without her in their lives. It worked! Not sure if she changed, but at least she learned to keep the hate to herself.
How do you deal with a family member or friend who is openly and rabidly bigoted?
I find ways to let them know what they are saying makes no sense. Example: When people refer to "Messcans" I ask if they have a speech impediment. Madeline Murray O'Hare instigated taking prayer out of schools in the 1950s. Her son later became a Christian and wrote a book about what it was like to live with her.
The Westboro Church is EVIL. I have attended many a soldiers funeral and used to ride with the Legion Riders. The Legion Riders would rev their bikes in an attempt to drown out these evil people and their chants.
My parents were bigots and I would ask them why they would say such hateful words. My mothers answer: "I don't know." My dad is gone now but my mother has a special place waiting for her in hell (that's another story)
I'm afraid I was a coward and simply avoided all contact with my bigoted grandfather when I left home. I never called him on it, because he terrified me.
I've tried to make sure it ends with his generation. Growing up, I educated myself on W.E.B. duBois, Jackie Robinson, and other people who did tremendous work for civil rights but whose deeds are not quite so well known. I studied the history of Africa and learned about Ghana and other advanced civilizations that disastrously had gone into decline just as Europe came out of its Dark Age, leaving Africa painfully vulnerable. I've learned about cultures and religions of the African Diaspora, cutting through the misinformation and stereotypes and prejudice. I've written online articles on some of these topics and tried to raise awareness.
The main thing I do to make up for my grandfather is to support programs that benefit the people he hated, partly by using the money I inherited fron him. In particular, I donate to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides scholarship and leadership training for underprivileged youth, particularly minority youth, not only giving them an education but also training in initiative, self-responsibility, and business skills so that they can better use that education.
For the same reason (and also because it's just a great idea) I give microloans through Kiva, picking out people in impoverished regions who are trying to raise the level of their family by starting or expanding a small business.
And it's still not enough. The things he said were awful, and he said them in public, on the streets of Baltimore, within earshot of the people he hated, often directed at them ... Or their children. He verbally abused janitors, waitstaff, or anyone he could get away with insulting. I was a kid, but I could've spoken up, not just squirmed uncomfortably in my chair.
I used to ridicule my Grandpa mercilessly for saying bigoted things. For instance he always referred to my Grandma's friend as "your Grandma's colored friend Rose" and I asked him over and over what color he thought she was. I mean was she purple or possibly chartreuse? It never really stopped him but it made me feel better.
I agree with Just.
I know it sounds VERY strange to us now, but my uncle used the same phrase, and he never said anything overtly racist, or made it sound as though he had any animosity towards African Americans.
However, my grandma has called Obama a Muslim, and is against gay marriage, so she is not in our lives anymore.
i am sorry...but what a stupid reason to disown someone. she will be dead soon, and because she has her own opinion on things, she is no longer a part of your lives??? that makes you as guilty as her in my book. my GOD...there was a time when family mattered. so you disagree with her views, is that any reason to throw her away like so much trash? how do you know obama is not a muslim in his heart? and i to am against gay marriages...because my GOD is against it. i dont be mean or rude to gay people, i keep my opinions to myself. but i would never disown family...for anything. even my sister who pretty much disowned me for my belief in GOD, she is still my sister and always will be.
We are each individuall accountable to God for our own contributions.
I would not associate myself with anyone if they were to call African Americans, Hispanics, or Asians racist names.
Being against gay marriage is the same as being racist. Sorry.
I'm not apologizing for standing up to bigotry.
As for Obama, the only basis that one could have in calling him a Muslim is his skin color. Conservatives didn't claim Kerry was a Muslim, or Gore. Only the brown man gets that term.
your grandmother disagreeing with gay marriage does not make her a bigot.
I think your grandfather probably was a product of the time more than a bigot. I remember when the word colored was used and like you I always had rainbow visions in my head when I heard it.
I have to go along with Sooner28. Being against gay marriage is bigotry and calling our president a Muslim is not a fact it is a slur.
Children are influenced greatly by their grandparents and if someone puts all their effort into raising a child to accept and respect our differences having someone with that stature sending another message can be very problematic.
And if the grandparent can't accept your position or respect your feeling than a parent has every right to remove the child from their influence. I mean what is the other choice, do you deprogram you child every time to return from grandma's. I mean what do you say to a child to negate bigotry?
bigotry is the intolerance of any ones views or beliefs or race but yours. so if someone hates (enough to disown them) another because they hold a different view or belief or is a different race...that makes the hater as much a bigot as the one they accuse of bigotry...so how does that make them better than the one they are accussing???
I think you are over simplifying the subject. Or maybe you have never been around someone who is a rabid angry hatter.
I have a friend who visited from overseas and went to the supermarket with the lady he was visiting. She would not get in the line because the clerk was black, and called her a racial slur and the visit went downhill from there. Continuous racial and religious slurs about out president, the neighborhood going downhill because of "them" and on and on. Now is he a bigot for running like hell away from this person?
When bigotry becomes hatred that is carried to an extreme like the father in thread and the family my friend visited it is more than just a difference of opinion. And no I do not think someone is a hatter for removing themselves and their family from that influence.
The Westboro preacher is beyond bigoted. He is a dangerous, hateful man. He 'boycotted' a funeral of a gay serviceman who died in active duty. His family was grieved and should not have had to put up with that crap. He burned a Koran and is really fortunate that there has been no retaliation. He is taking specific actions to provoke others. Having a racist relative is nothing compared to this idiot.
But he's not stupid. I understand his family is chock full of lawyers, and that being the case, they know how far to push it. I love what has happened to them though at recent funerals. Vets who are bikers form a line between Westboro and the family, and they form it far enough away so the family is allowed to bury their loved one in peace. I'm just waiting for the day they run into a group of vets who just don't care about a law suit, and throw a Class A beat down on these members.
Please, is it wrong for me to cross my fingers?
Well, born in raised in Mississippi/Louisiana, in the 50's I got exposed to bigots and racist at a young and tender age. And for the most part I thought it was natural. Now my dear father...may he rest in peace...gave a whole NEW meaning to being a bigot and racist. Example: A certain chick frachaise near to him, that he ate at for years, suddenly had a African American managing it, and he never step foot in there again..."I can't eat food when a monkey's had his hands on it". The day M.L.K. was killed, he and his friends had a big party.
Now how did I deal with him. I left home in '68, and never looked back. He died just over a year ago and I found that piece of news out on Facebook. Out of six kids only the youngest boy was there when he passed away. Do I feel bad about it? No. I just couldn't hate people because of their skin tone, Vietnam taught me that.
But racism isn't just in the South, I've lived all over this country, and what I found is what I like to call "closet bigots". Just as bad, just don't have the backbone. I just don't believe I should have to pay for the "sins of the father". He chose to live his life as a bigot, I chose not to. Guess when I die, I'll find out which of us was right.
My students tell me about the racist things their parents say. The kids compartmentalize. Several of my Hispanic students whom I let be my TAs came to tell me about the fight they almost had with some n******rs (they said the word.) They continued to give me the details. I know they didn't think of me that way.
I can understad, I'm Cajun/Black Irish (extremely dark during the summer). And we have a name that we are called which ranks right next to the "N" word, it's coonass. Now I explained to my wife, becacuse a lot of times she's calls that, there are some people you just don't use it around. But you're right, I lost friends that covered the rainbow, but they were men and that's all I ever say. Maybe we need to learn from the kids.
Racism and racial remarks is a direct correlation of who we are. Some people like to blow racial remarks office if it's no big deal but words have power and as I've heard years ago from a commercial which said "words can hit as hard as a fist!" When people behave this way they are not only lowering people's view of them but it is also impacting the culture in which they are representing whether they recognize that or not. One need only look at the old film footage of the fifties and the sixties and all the anger generated by those with clenched fists and grinding teeth at civil rights marches one can't help but ask themselves who raise these people?
Racism is based on ignorance and when we continue to perpetuate that ignorance we subjugate ourselves to others as still being ignorant.
I also see this as applying to my brothers and sisters who still publicly denigrate one another for reasons I have yet to understand.
We hate bigots but do we hate all bigots? I don't think we do, I think we tolerate some bigotry because we feel some people have a right to be. I think most white bigots and racists are hated but clearly Black/Hispanic bigotry is tolerated and even applauded. Most of our parents grew up in a time when racism and bigotry was widely accepted, I never once heard my parents ever say a thing about any group or race in a negative way however. I hold some bigoted views as I suspect a lot of you do but I don't feel the need to express them.
My grandmother was the most bigoted person I've ever known.
As a child, I ignored it as I was told to by my parents. As an adult, I called her down about it and refused to let her see my children because of it. She didn't change and, as a result, died in an nursing home alone.
Lets just say bigotry wasn't her only problem.
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