Are you a sociable person with friends of different races but find it difficult to bring your friends around your family because your family is racist? You find that your family members make insensitive comments about others of different races in public and at home. Their raunchy behavior makes you feel divided because you have a completely different personality from them. If you want to live a peaceful life but find it impossible to do so because of your racist family then you should take a look below at the advice offered on how to deal with racist family members.
You first need to understand that if your family members are firm in their racist beliefs it may be very difficult for them to change. Your family members might have been taught to dislike individuals of a certain race when they were younger thus making it very difficult to sway them to challenge their racist beliefs. You may ultimately end up having to choose sides; your side or your family members’ side. Below are five ways to handle racist family members.
1. Alert your friends, partner, and acquaintances ahead of time about your family. Your family most likely has no intentions of changing the way they are, so the only thing you can do is to brief your friends ahead of time about the situation. You can let your friends and partner know that you have certain family members that are racist but that their views are completely opposite of yours. Letting your friends know ahead of the time about the situation will help prevent any awkward run-ins with your family members in the future.
2. Refuse to go out to dinner if your family members make racist comments in public. People who are racist have a hard time concealing their racist thoughts. It may not be out of the norm for them to make a few racist comments in public. Their actions in public can be completely embarrassing for you and lead others to think that you are the same way. Instead of tagging along with them to dinner you can let them know that you do not feel comfortable attending dinner with them because of the way they act.
3. Make the rules in your home to ban racist conversation of any form. If you own your own home or rent an apartment tell your family members ahead of time that you will not allow racial slurs and commentary of any kind in your home. If your family takes your rules lightly and refuses to obey them you can kindly dismiss them from your home. They will eventually understand that you are serious and they will either filter their conversation or distance themselves by refusing to come over.
4. Confront them with an ultimatum. Talk to your family members and let them know how their actions upset you. You can ask them to please change their ways and if they refuse to, you can give them an ultimatum of your choice such as; you will limit the time that you spend with them, you will move out, or they will not be allowed in your life anymore until they change their ways etc. An ultimatum will show your family members that you are serious and feel deeply about this subject. If you are not of age to move out on you own you can see if a relative will be willing to let you stay with them.
5. Distance yourself from them. If you are of age and have the funds to distance yourself from your family this can be an option for you. If your family members have carried on the tradition of racism it might be impossible for them to change. This can be bad for you because it means that they will be hostile and indifferent to certain individuals that you have an attraction to you. They may never accept your boyfriends, girlfriends or friends. If you desire to live in a household where racism is nonexistent you may have to create that household yourself. You do not have to be a reflection of your family.
6. Sit down with them and talk. Sit down with your family and ask them why they act they way do. Their answers may surprise you. They might have had a bad experience with someone and let that bad experience set their negative perception on an entire race. They might have been taught as young children to dislike certain individuals of a certain race and as an adult never questioned whether their judgments were fair. You might be able to shed some let to the situation by opening your parents up to the races that they disapprove of. Maybe you have made friends with someone of a different race that you can introduce to your family. You can talk to your family members about how much your friend cares for you and how nice of a person your friend is etc.. They might be able to see your friend for the genuine person he/she is and not judge them by their race. You can be the one to enlighten your family members and influence them to change.
You may find that your family members will give you an ultimatum once they find out that you are going against their traditional ways of perception. They might tell you that they will disown you if you date a member of a certain race or associate with a member of a race that they do not approve of. If this is the case, you will have to sit down and scrutinize your situation and choose your side carefully. In the end, it is about what makes you happy even if it means facing an estranged familial relationship.