I get a lot of junk email from my grandmother. Usually, it’s no big deal. I got this one today, and I just can’t let it slide. I have to say something to her, but I don’t want to send her to the Pit…
I realize that this is usually Pit material, but the idea is, I don’t want to use pit language and attitude in my reply. However, I’m too angry not to, so I need your help…
Here’s a copy of the mail…
Oh… That’s just f’ing great grandma. Lets blame ALL muslims the world around for terrorism! In addition, let’s just boycott everything muslim while we’re at it! That will will do wonders in helping the world not hate arrogant and ignorant Americans like you, grandma.
I’m not going to let this slide without saying something to her… However, I’m too full of frustration to come up with a reply that doesn’t belong in the Pit. Can anyone please help me come up with a reply that says “this is the most absurd notion I’ve read in years.” without calling my grandmother a bunch of nasty names?
How about “Grandmother, add up all the fatalities from those incidents, and then weigh them against the number of Americans who get shot by other Americans every year, and go figure who you should be getting really upset about”?
Ask her waht she thinks about the Post Office and Christmas stamps. Then tell her:
REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT these CHRISTMAS stamps when purchasing your stamps at the post office. To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those ABORTION CLINIC DOCTORS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.
If she doesn’t get the point, don’t bother trying. She will be dead soon enough. – Sorry if that’s dickish, but that’s how I view bigotry when it comes from any older person, members of my family included.
I got the same email from my Aunt. We’ve been through this time and again: she’s a very conservative fundamentalist Christian. I am not.
I actually got something just like this quite a while ago, but about how racial profiling is good (quiz-style: “who bombed this?”) I recieved this email from my aunt immediately after I’d gotten off the phone with a friend. Said friend’s father had just missed a flight for a business trip, due to security questioning, due to him being Iranian.
Note to self: E-mailing people when you’re really, really, really emotional is generally a bad idea.
She didn’t get the hint. Keeps sending me stuff. A while back, I sent her an email explaining a few points:
How did it go over? Weeellll…it didn’t ruin my relationship with her (that was very recently, when she called by boyfriend a n----- to his face. That’s just the type of person she is.) It didn’t really help anything, though. I ended up chaning my email address and not telling her. She still forwards crap like this to my mom all the time. I think, really, some people are just…not going to get it.
I think that it is important to recognize that your gram may be “parroting” things people have told her. She may not have actually THOUGHT about these things for herself.
My father was raised at a time when “nigger” was a wrong thing to call someone. However, at that time, “colored” was the accepted term for people of color.
When I got to be old enough to have my own opinions and bold enough to express them, I objected to my father calling African-Americans “colored.” I asked that he refer to someone of African descent as Black. He was, at first, perplexed. “What is wrong with that?” I said “Dad, the people you are referring to feel that “colored” is offensive.” He said that he wasn’t BEING offensive, he wasn’t denigrating them, so why should they be offended? I said “Dad, if someone is offended by some term by which you refer to them, and you KNOW it, isn’t it offensive of you to USE it in reference to them?” He thought about it for about ten seconds and then said…“YES. I won’t use that term again.” And he never has. Of course, now it appears that “Black” has become derogatory in some people’s thinking, but he is 84 after all, and I don’t have enough energy to go through this again. BUT…the point is, once he really LISTENED to me, he understood and changed his thinking.
Maybe your Gram just needs to have someone talk to her about how she is confusing all Muslim people with terrorists who happen to BE Muslim. Maybe she needs to be reminded that people who bomb abortion clinics and kill innocent persons in the process…people who kill people who don’t conform with their own version of Christianity…these people are terrorists who happen to SAY they are Christians. They are not ALL Christians, and I am willing to bet that they are not HER kind of Christian.
Poor dear. The 'net just opened up a whole new world for her, didn’t it? I was previously deluged with tons of glurge from otherwise well-meaning folk who really believed that something (!) would happen if they didn’t forward (blah blah blah). Just hated those things, and still do. After seeing just way too many (especially after 9/11), I sent out a polite request to everyone NOT to forward anything - if they wanted to email a newsy chat or something, fine, but NOTHING else.
Well, THAT sure went over like a lead balloon - oh was I a big meany! A few were so ‘insulted’ that they haven’t written back (thank you!).
Take the high road with your gramma. She doesn’t understand that this is offensive, and she may have lived in a very small world. All you have to do is tell her you enjoy hearing what is going on with her, but you would prefer not to receive items like that. There is no need to act huffy about it. You’re going to be old some day, and karma does come back around.
I take an approach not totally unlike mouthbreather’s. I love my grandparents dearly. They’re kind, loving, humorous people that would do absolutely anything for me or anyone else in my family. I can honestly say that I’ve never been in any kind of fight or even slight arguement with either of my grandparents.
Sadly enough though, they’re racist. The most I’ve ever said to them is “Well, I don’t agree with that” or “I don’t think that’s right” because anything else would be pointless to say. I just let it go. They don’t vote, they don’t have friends, they don’t actively express their beliefs to other people or try to bring harm to anyone.
They’re a dying breed that can do no more harm. To me, they’re just a couple of great people with a blemish on their personalities, like if you had a friend that liked Molly Shannon or something.
Hope that doesn’t sound too insensitive, that’s just how I feel. I love my grandparents more than I hate their racism.
I bet there are many times more people who have been murdered by persons claiming Catholic or Protestant or Christian superiority. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Hundred Years War, the Irish Civil War, certain anti-abortion fanatics (not activists - fanatics - there is a difference) killing health care workers who are unlucky to be receptionists in a clinic, nutjobs who kill gays because “the Bible says it’s evil,” etc. But in fact those people are a tiny minority among all the Catholics/Protestants/Christians in the world. Maybe you could point out to Grandma how juding an entire religion from the actions of a relative few can come back to bite her in the ass.
She won’t change her opinions. You can let her know that you disagree; and even tell her why if she’ll give you the opportunity, but don’t expect your logic and arguments to make any difference in her outlook.
If she feels her opinions as strongly as you do yours, she’s trying just as hard to convince you that you’re the one who’s wrong.
There are some things you cannot change. This is most likely one of them. Let it go. The delete is a wonderful invention.
My grandma, while fairly liberal in most regards, has some homophobic tendencies (nothing assholish, just some passing comments when we’re at her house on occasion). I, her (closeted to the family through a shitload of lies) bisexual granddaughter, do not say anything. I know how to pick my battles. I know my grandma would never say anything to someone, and would not say such things in public. She knows that it’s not societally acceptable; that doesn’t change 74 years of indoctrination telling her that homosexuality is wrong. I know it’s a product of her generation, and she’s a generally cool person. She is just very, very stubborn, and would not appreciate
Were I to broach the topic, though, I would do it in as nonconfrontational manner as possible; perhaps I would mention that a few of my friends are gay (or that one of my friends in Muslim), and that we’ve actually talked through these issues, and (for instance) Islam is not a violent religion, and that a stamp honoring her and her family’s holiday is completely in keeping with American pluralism.
If she argues to the point of souring relations…let it go. Seriously. She’s your grandma; you’re supposed to love her anyway. And set up your mail filters.
My son was in the same position with his grandma. He finally stopped communicating with her. She’s bigoted and elitist and downright mean most of the time, so he just won’t have anything to do with her anymore. It’s sad, but I’m glad he took a stand, too.