Uugh now I can't come to your shop anymore, because you're a RACIST!

My bicycle repairs shop is great. It’s a father & son business, the real old-fashioned thing. They charge very little, they fix everything and it’s almost always done by the end of the day. My bike always seems to come out better in small ways, ways I didn’t even know could be improved. They’ve always been so friendly to me, they have a nice chat, ask about my family. The shop is dirty in that romantic-old-bike-shop way.

And now I can’t go there anymore. Because they’re racists.

And because it was my BIL who witnessed the incident, I need to work out a way of letting them know. Because otherwise there isn’t really a point to not going there anymore. Then I need to find a new place, which sucks because I hate all other bike shops. They’re always rubbish, they’re misogynists, they take too long, they overcharge and refuse to do small things like fix punctures.

And then I suppose I’ll need to find a way of fixing this horrendous tide of xenophobia that is sweeping Europe, because there are only so many tradespeople, not to mention that it’s disgusting. :frowning:

Uuugh. Are there other reasons you ever had to stop patronising a certain place, despite them always delivering good work? Have you ever stopped giving someone your business because they were racists? And do you have a tip for how I can let them know why I will no longer be going there?

I know this is just my crazy, insane way of doing things but you could try walking in their door and telling them.

It’s certainly hard to find a good LBS (local bike shop). What was the incident? Are you sure it was racist?

I once stopped dating a woman because her father was a racist. Of that there can be no doubt. I couldn’t stand to be around him and was afraid that some of him had rubbed off on her.

I have definitely stopped going to places because they are racist. Of course they are generally racist right to my face, to me, so I think I am justified!

I have also stopped going to a bike shop because they are hella sexist…extra super duper nice to men and surly and mean to women. They aren’t shy about it either.

I don’t tell them. Its not my job to correct their bad behavior. I do tell other people, though. That’s what they deserve - a loss of custom.

Details on the racist incident?

Hmm. I don’t know, I guess it depends on what actually happened maybe but I don’t think I’d stop going there at all if it’s as great as you say and the alternatives are terrible.

I get it, racism is bad. If I found out that Morgan Freeman is a raging misogynist or hates gay people, I’d still watch Shawshank. In my mind this is kind of the same thing. Yeah, maybe you don’t agree with their particular views but telling them that isn’t very likely to change anything and you lose out on a good bike shop.

Also, you said the alternatives are full of misogynists. How is that any more deserving of your business than racists?

Good lord - if I completely boycotted all racists around here I wouldn’t be able to shop for anything, it’s that pervasive. Ditto for religious bigots, sexual orientation bigots, and so forth.

I steer clear of the worst offenders, but there’s a point at which I have to get on with my life.

What, exactly, was this “racist incident”?

Yes. Annoying, but I think I’ll have to. Just seems… I dunno… weird to go there specially to say I’m not going there anymore?

There was a misunderstanding about the agreed upon price with a Muslim woman. According to my BIL, it was a pretty obvious, simple misunderstanding. They started shouting at her, said things about “it’s always you people”, “how come we never have this problem with Dutch people”, progressing to them saying Muslims ruin everything with their mosques (um, yeah… :rolleyes:) and ending with general swearing. I’m… pretty sure that was racist.

Fuck yes they’re usually sexist. Gah! These guys were sexist, but nowhere near as bad as usual. They just kinda doubted whatever I diagnosed. Like recently I had been trying to fix my dynamo light, and undid the wires only to find I couldn’t fix it myself. When I brought it in they at first didn’t really believe me when I said I undid the wires because it was broken, acting like it wasn’t really broken just the wires are loose. SOP for me bringing in anything to a professional, anything beyond a flower arrangement. But at least they never say anything and they’re always very kind. Because, you know, I’m white 'n all.

I don’t know about not saying anything. It doesn’t seem fair. They’ll never know that way. They won’t understand that what they did was unacceptable, they’ll think it’s their work, or prices or something. How would anything ever change? The greatest sin of all, and all that. (I agree you shouldn’t have to deal with that when they are racist to you, I just think that I should say something.)

Just playing Devil’s Advocate for a moment but how do you know the incident wasn’t something personal (ie a disagreement between two people in an arguement where words tend to get ugly)? I know I’ve said things in the heat of the moment that would definitely be construed as ethnic discrimination and in no way is a reflection of how I view a particular group normally.

edit/ Update to the incident wasn’t here a minute ago. That would definitely be discrimination, but second hand info is still second hand info.

Aside: I think the term “racist” is asinine. We are all the same race, just different colours and shapes. All domestic cats are the same race, domestic dogs are the same race, humans are the same race.

Anaamika, I think what you are describing is a slightly different circumstance and I think you are doing the right thing. Still, a quick note to the shop owner might help change things.

For the record, I’ve never had any problem with Dutch people either.

Why do people bend over backwards trying to come up for excuses why something or someone isn’t racist? What gracer witnessed was racist as shit. Hold onto your hats, there are racist assholes in this world even in the year 2014.

Does the shop have a website with a contact email? You could drop them a note briefly stating what you saw and why you won’t be returning.

Really? :eek: That sucks. I’m glad I at least have other options. I could go to a Moroccan repairs place, if I can find a good one.

I was checking actually, because I would’ve preferred that. But no, no website or email address. I’ll have to bite the bullet.

And the racist assholes just seem to be swelling in numbers around here. I thought it was getting a little better, but the xenophobic political party is doing very well again. :frowning:

Gallows, she didn’t witness the incident. Her BIL did.

Do you know who exactly was doing the yelling? Did your BIL witness the entire scene, or just the second half? How does he know it wasn’t a continuation of an earlier disagreement? Was it just the father yelling? If so, how old is he? The son could have differing views and rolling his eyes while his dumbass father goes overboard with his backwards stuff. Perhaps there is a history with this particular person, or their family and he was going the extra mile. Not trying to make excuses, but there could be more than meets the eye.

Difficult scenario, if the son doesn’t have the same feelings as the father, then you could only deal with the son. But how are you to know that and you’re still giving the store business.

If they truly are the best at what they do, and you do stand up for your values, then what good is it to go to all the other bike shops who will just be sexist towards you? Is doing business with someone who is sexist towards you better than doing business with someone who isn’t racist towards you, but may be towards someone else?

If I refused to do business with every person who had views I find morally objectionable I’d have to live in the woods somewhere. And I’ve dealt with sexism too.

I was treated badly at the fabric shop because I’m a big Grizzly Adams lookin guy…Needed fabric for a butch guy project,:stuck_out_tongue: I wasn’t sewing curtains, but they asked me 3 times if I was sure MY WIFE didn’t need something else, or if MY WIFE really wanted this color etc.

Big deal…I knew I was going to a woman centric store and women don’t think of guys sewing and stuff.

What race are Muslim people? It’s definitely religiophobic and hateful, but it’s not racist.

Yeah, they’re usually mellowed out on grass.

Those Icelandic people and their smoked fish - that’s another story.

Why the hell do places do this shit? I’ve posted before about ethnic restaurants being like “are you sure you didn’t walk into the wrong place?” :rolleyes:

We don’t care for your kind round here, guess they hate making money.

My friends and I got that once but they were right, we didn’t know what kind of place it was. It was a bar that I think was an Ethiopian restaurant by day. At night it was apparently a bar for Ethiopian people.

Meh. Potato/potato. Black people are also not a race, as noted upthread, because there is no such thing. It’s generally called “racist” by everyone I know, even though technically it might be the more general “xenophobic” or otherwise “ethnic discrimination.” It does appear to be coupled with a belief in innate inferiority here, which tends to be a characteristic of racism. Furthermore, the UN does not distinguish between the terms racism and ethnic discrimination, precisely because there is no such thing as race.

This being the Netherlands, there are bike shops on every other street. It’s just a question of finding a good one in the haystack. Which is annoying.
I do not see the merit in trying to concoct elaborate scenarios under which they might not be xenophobic bigots. Nobody comes out looking any the better. If pigs could fly they wouldn’t be racists, but that is neither here nor there. It wasn’t covert, there was no room for misinterpretation, my BIL doesn’t have a fanciful imagination or a marginal grasp of the language or something. They didn’t slip and fall into a spare pile of racist slurs. The truth is, in fact, rather mundane: they’re racists.

Write them a letter and find another shop. Specify how much money you’ve spent there over the years.

If you possibly can, don’t bring attention to the fact that you’re female until your signature at the end of the letter. Then at least they’ll have read it before they blow it off as a stupid overreaction. Or better, have your BIL send a letter too.