Okay, so I have never been a fan of Dr. Laura Schlessinger (aka Dr. Laura). But, yesterday she made sure that I never will be.
Today she issued an apology and “hopes Jade will call back” so she can give her the help she needs (really?). I hope Dr. Laura gets the help SHE needs and spends some time examining her remarks and beliefs.
Jade, if you’re out there, here’s the answer you were looking for on dealing with friends and family who make racist remarks:
Communication is key. If you never share your feelings, they will never know they are offending you. Begin by believing the best in the person and stating so. “I’m sure you never intended to be hurtful, however…”
Anticipate and rehearse. Take some time and prepare possible responses beforehand. This is good to do with your children too.
DARE – Here’s a great acronym to remember how to handle the situation.
Duplicate the offending statement (repeat verbatim): “When you said…”
Articulate how the statement made you feel: “I felt…”
Request a change in behavior: “I need for you to not make those types of statements in my presence anymore because…”
Explain consequences if the behavior is repeated: “If you continue to make these types of negative statements…”
Follow through! If you say that you will leave if “x” happens again, then follow through and leave the next time. And the next. And the next. If it is a friend, I would limit how many “next times” there will be before letting the friendship end. However, with family, I would prove to be the “bigger” person.
As for your husband, I would continue to keep the lines of communication open with him as well. I’m only guessing that he ignores the situations because he doesn’t know how to handle them either. Maybe the two of you could sit down and discuss some “anticipated responses” together. Don’t let race come between the two of you, let it be something that brings you together!