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Erin asked in Social ScienceGender Studies · 1 decade ago

How do you react when someone is unintentionally discriminatory or offensive?

You know how it goes. We've all done it. We've said something that we didn't mean as offensive but it came out that way perhaps because we said something wrong or didn't know it was offensive. So when you know someone isn't intending to be that way, how do you respond?


I should mention that I've had the song "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist" from the musical Avenue Q stuck in my head for the past several days. That's my inspiration for the question.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If someone says something that isn't malicious in nature I don't take offense to it. I will however correct them, just so they won't look foolish in the future. Only when I know someone in purposely trying to upset me do I react negatively.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It depends, there are two different types of unintentional discrimination.

    1) The kind where the person said something that they didn't intend to be discriminitive, but based on what they said, you can tell they subconsiciouly was being discriminitive, otherwise why would they even think to say what they said in the first place.

    2) The kind where the person said something that they clearly intended to be about something that have nothing to do with being discriminitive, but the person they're talking to jumped to conclusions and took it that way.

    If it's number 2, I react by giving the person the benefit of the doubt.

    If it's number 1, I get very annoyed, but I don't react negatively to the person. I just accept that they are a moron.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I can usually "get" somebody's tone, and I know whether or not it is intentional. Usually I react only if it is a personal attack. For example, if I hear a woman say "all men are pigs", I don't say anything because it's more than 30% truth, and people who generalize don't really mean it. But if she calls me a pig, when I'm in the middle of a conversation about cars or something, I count that as an enemy attack, and respond rudely.

    Usually logic and swift wit can defuse these people who go crazy off of a chain of words.

  • 1 decade ago

    well personally I a very understanding person, so I would ask myself if it was offensive on purpose or not,because the first split second reaction is to get offended, but if the person said it accidentally or didn't know it was offensive then I say you should know that is offensive.People can sometimes say things just because of a song they had stuck in there head as theirs lots of racist songs out there.If it is a friend I would simply say " that was uncalled for and a little offensive" as your friend they will naturally apologize and your day will just continue.

    Source(s): Just a normal person who has had it happen to them.
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  • 1 decade ago

    theres no need to respond if you know he/she did not do it is better to ignore it because if you wonder too much about it you may start thinking negatively about that person :D

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