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HAT Forum - Dealing with Bigotry...

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My friend(relative, co - worker) is a racist (homophobic, sexist, etc.). What do I do?

We all have them - people we care about, whether friends, relatives or co-workers, who hold views antithetical to our own. They may be racist, sexist, homophobic, creationists, supporters of Rob Ford or Donald Trump, climate change deniers or anti-vaxxers. Their comments slip into the conversation.

What do we do?

  • What does our response depend on?

  • Do we confront them immediately, try to change their minds; do we keep our mouths shut in the interest of peace especially if we are in a group of people?

  • Do we risk the relationship or simply end it because of the disagreement?

  • Are there mitigating circumstances such as their lack of education or upbringing?

  • Do we love the person but not the ideas?

  • Do we have a responsibility to others to challenge what we consider hurtful ideas?

  • Can we learn something from these situations?

  • Have you been in an encounter with such a person and how have you dealt with it?