Have you ever been pissed on behalf of a friend?

Before I worked for the Red Cross I was a volunteer, and the neatest AFES volunteer of the bunch is “Amy”.

Amy works for a company that makes things like embroidered shirts and hats and checkbook covers as advertisement for various companies. After going to several national Red Cross conventions and being asked too many times “Do you volunteer for us?” she finally broke down and decided that she had enough free time to help out our chapter. She wanted to go into Disaster, but time constraints, her busy travelling schedule, and the needs of our chapter convinced her that delivering emergency messages to military members was a better fit.

Amy and I went out for dinner and a couple of drinks tonight and she related the following. Not verbatim, but close enough:

  1. I am so pissed off at the guy who exhibited every characteristic of the white southern stereotype.

  2. I am so proud of the people who tipped the driver extra because of the asshole and, at the same time, pissed that no one spoke up to knock him down a peg.

  3. I know there are bigoted, racist assholes, but every time I hear or read of such blatant assholery my view of the goodness of humanity drops, and that makes me sad - I honestly believe that most people are good.

  4. I can’t believe Amy didn’t punch him, but given the business atmosphere I can’t blame her for not.

And, finally…

  1. What would you do? How would you handle a situation like this? How can we teach people - how can you teach ME - to deal with something like this?

I honestly don’t know how I would have acted if I were in her place in the limo. I’d like to think that I would have spoken up, and taken the guy down a peg, and maybe if it had been just the two of us(“his word against mine”) I might have. But not knowing the deeper feelings of the others in the group I don’t know. It makes me ashamed to say that.

But now that you brought it up I’ll have to think about it. That is a good thing.


Poor Amy. I think I would have gone evil on his ass. :mad:

What a dumbass… I keep truly hoping that his breed is extinct, and then some story like this comes up and I just have to shake my head and wonder what’s wrong with the south…

“Wah, yes Jawn, we have lots of dem there colored folk in dem dere Minnesota. We all sit around n’ watch 'em freeze in Jan’uayr’eh. 'Spart of our win’er festival. A gun in every home and a cap in every ass! Aw yeah!”


What a putz.


That’s not what white southerners act like. That’s what KKK assholes act like.

Assuming that white southerners act that way is a form of bigotry all its own.

Okay, before I get piled on (I’m wearing my asbestos underpants, SO THERE!)… Obviously, it’s not “the south” but “the dumbasses which are like this, no matter where they come from”… but still, as chique pointed out, this guy is just living up to the nasty stereotype all the nice, friendly, southern-charming folk have been battling for AGES.

So - for someone like me, who is new to this lovely country, who has been exposed to the stereotypes of the south more than the “real folk” of the south, it’s just a little… odd? Disconcerting that the stereotypes are actually, sometimes, true?


She did say stereotype. I interpreted that as pitting this guy for giving southerners a bad name by doing all the bad things people often think are typical of the south when in actual fact, most southerners, like everyone else, are decent.

When I was 21 I lived right on the boardwalk in Mission Beach in San Diego. Those of you who know that area know that it’s party central. There were eight apartments, each with two people, and on most weekends at least five of us would have friends staying over.

On one particular weekend the weather was beautiful and the beach was packed. Probably ten of us had friends over and it so happened that there were a lot of Black people that we independently invited that day. It wasn’t planned or anything. We all had different sets of friends and honestly none of us thought twice about it.

My roommate and I were hanging out at our front fence watching the ladies in bikinis walk by when a middle aged man walked up to us. He asked, “How come you have all of those niggers over?” We were dumbfounded. It was so out of the blue. My roommate eventually managed to squeak out, “Because they’re our friends.” The guy ranted at us for a bit and stormed off.

We thought of a million great comebacks after he left but we were so shocked by the behavior that we were dumbfounded. That’s probably what happened with the guys in the limo. I didn’t say a thing to the guy because my brain was having problems accepting that he really said that to us. There really isn’t much that you can do with a guy like that, they’re beyond hope.


Shade hit it. Sorry if you took it the other way, YWalker - that wasn’t my intention.

Albeit one which has led to FAR fewer deaths by lynching over the years. Just to keep things in perspective.

You know, I think that was an excellent reply. It was the truth. I think y’all look all the better for no having come up with the perfect pithy remark.

Sorry — I know you well enough to know that wasn’t your intent. I just happen to have a chip on my shoulder about this subject that extends out about 3’ or so, and you happened to run into it.

About your friend, though — was she boss of her company, or just an underling? If I were doing the decision making, I would give a long, hard thought to sharing a booth with Mr. Klansman. A lot of people look at a Confederate flag and see hate, and would purposely avoid doing business with someone who was associated with it. I would give serious thought to saying “Hey, lose the flag, or give us a refund on the leased space,” even if it meant foregoing the opportunity to exhibit there.

I was at lunch with coworkers recently, at a food court with a table of black women sitting not five feet from us, when one coworker tells a nigger joke. Shocked the shit out of me. Everyone else laughed. I just looked at him and said, “Want to say that louder so they can hear you?” He got all defensive: “Hiding it will just make it look more suspicious!”

There was just no point in saying anything else, since he clearly Didn’t Get It. And apparently I was the only person there who didn’t think it was funny. Which was just SAD.

When I was a freshman in high school, I started hanging out with this girl Jenn. She was pretty socially awkward but seemed all right, but she had a problem with the only two black girls in out grade. One day, after a particularly ugly incident with them, she said, “If Hitler had his way, I wouldn’t have to deal with their nigger shit!”


I said, “You know my last name is [insert very obviously Jewish last name here], don’t you? What the hell are you saying that to me for?”

She thought my last name was German. Oooops. That was the end of THAT friendship.

At 14, I was completely shocked and horrified by this revelation. Even now, 18 years later, whenever someone uses that word (or kike, for that matter), I still reel. Some people just drop it casually into conversation, like it’s no big thing. My ex-landlord’s girlfriend did that once. She was talking about the strippers who worked in her club, and she said, “I almost never hire niggers. Then tend to be untrustworthy,” and then just went on with the conversation. Never looked at her the same way after that.

Y’know, I basically have no tact, nor any interest in whether I offend people with my opinions or not. Especially someone who I feel is just a racist bigot.

I would’ve taken this fucker down a peg or two. “You racist fuck, I don’t EVER want to hear you talk like that again. Shut the fuck up and get away from me, you narrow-minded turd!”.

The driver acted with class, but he shouldn’t have had to.

Every time someone sees this sort of shit, and remains silent, the perpetrator takes it as a tacit agreement that their behaviour is OK. So I speak up.


I had a similar experience at a nice restaurant, though the jerk who told the story with the n-word (loud) was my brother-in-law. Two tables over a black guy was having dinner by himself.

I am not proud that I failed to tell off this flaming jackass of an involuntary relative (I can only blame shock and the fact that it was a rare family dinner get-together with my father, who’s in failing health). Instead I sat there through the rest of the meal with vanished appetite, and finally got up, walked over to the black guy’s table and apologized.

I swear though, if I ever break down and go somewhere in public with the brother-in-law again and something similar happens, he’s going to be the one that’s publically mortified.

Years ago I had an incident similar to Mama Tiger’s, except that we were at a bar and the co-workers were my husband’s. Most of us were regulars at this place except for Vern (his real name; no innocent people here to protect), a salesman from my husband’s company who had just tagged along that night.

While we were sitting there, a friend of ours came in with a few of his friends. We greeted each other and then he and his friends sat down at a table not far from ours. Vern looked at them and then motioned us all closer. We all leaned in and he started quietly telling us what was quite clearly going to be a racist joke, the memory of which had apparently been triggered by the fact that the friend we had just said hello to is black.

Before I was quite aware of what I was doing, I had shoved myself hard away from the table – my chair went SKRREEEK! – and stood up and said “Jesus CHRIST!” and stomped away from the table to sit at the bar and tell the bartender all about what a frickin’ asshole Vern was. I was able to avoid Vern for the rest of the night, and luckily, I don’t think I ever actually saw him again.

The only thing I’m sorry about is that I didn’t make it clearer exactly why I was offended. It was obvious to all the thinking people at the table, but Vern just watched me stalk off with a sort of “what’s her problem” look on his face and then continued telling his joke! Nobody laughed, but nobody told him off, either.

Still, it was pretty easy for me to react that way: Vern wasn’t my co-worker, and I knew I was unlikely to see him again. It’s probably harder to confront someone you don’t know well enough to argue with, but that you do have to see around the office on a continuing basis.

After that incident, I thought about it and decided that it’s important to me not to let that kind of stuff slide. Hajario is right that “There really isn’t much that you can do with a guy like that, they’re beyond hope,” but even if I can’t force them to change their minds, what I can do is make it very clear that that kind of vile spewage is extremely unwelcome to me and that I won’t stand there and listen to it.

If I’m lucky, as a bonus, the shithead may realize that just because I appear to share relevant demographic characteristics with them, that does not mean that I welcome or will be tacitly complicit in (as Maxxxie points out) their ignorant bigoted rantings. Even if they don’t realize anything, though, at least I don’t have to listen to their poisonous talk.