The forwarded emails from friends/family that are offensive at best? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-16-2009, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this is ok to post here. Our family is multicultural : My side has a European heritage (German/French). My DH's side is from Mexico and Spain. Our youngest (his bio mom) is AA.

I never really noticed the blatant bigotry until I married DH. I became more sensitive to people's comments about mexican stereotypes.

My biggest problem I'm having now is responding/not responding to forwarded emails that have a political twist to them. I was just forwarded the stupid Katrina vs Iowa flooding email. It was sent from a former friend. It is so full of racism and other 'isms that I just feel my blood boiling. I wound up responding with a news article (CBS) that addresses the differences between the two events.

These people (family and friends) are well aware of our family's diversity and yet they are EXTREMELY insensitive about it. I get forwarded emails from my SIL about illegal aliens all the time. I've told her to stop sending me offensive emails and she says it's not about "race" but about entitlement.

I just don't know how to deal with this anymore. I get so angry because when someone makes a comment about a "black person" or a "mexican" they are talking about MY CHILDREN. Any ideas on how to handle this?

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#2 of 12 Old 04-16-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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I would just respond to each email and ask them to stop forwarding them to you because you find them offensive to you and your family. Then, next time you see them in person, just have a quick conversation about it. People can be stupid sometimes and not realize that what they do/say is not appropriate.

I too hate those forwarded emails. My (polish/czech) FIL sends things that I find offensive to DH - but I do notice that he doesn't send them to me (Af Am) or his daughter's husband (who is also Af Am)....so I can't really say anything. But it does hurt my opinion of him to know that he tells or is okay with those kinds of joke.

Anywho, if you don't tell them that they are offensive, you'll continue to get them.

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#3 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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: i totally agree with sending a message back because otherwise they will continue sending them. but i also think it will make them aware of the hate that we often perpetuate without even meaning to. i think this is a good opportunity to shed some light for people on something that they are probably doing without thinking.

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#4 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 01:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both for your responses I actually did respond to an email that my SIL sent a while back. It was in regards to illegal immigration. It was more about prejudice than actual political issues. Although she tried to spin it as political. I told her politely that that particular forwarded email was offensive to me but she wrote back in a very snarky tone a tome of how she was justified in her opinion

I know many people don't realize how insensitive or prejudice they can come across so in that instance, I don't mind pointing it out....but what about those who you KNOW are prejudice but try to cover it up by using their political stance to justify it?

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#5 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 11:16 AM
 
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There's just something about email/the Internet that makes people think it's ok (or even invited) to share their opinions with everybody. I don't claim to be less opinionated than your obnoxious relatives (you may or may not agree with my opinions on Katrina or immigration, for example) but, sheesh, I don't feel the need to broadcast them. If you read something you agree with, great, enjoy it - no need to send an email blast to everyone you know.

One option is to simply reply to every forward, whether it offends you or not, and just say to please take your name off the list. Frankly I hate getting those stupid forwards from people whether they offend me or not, and now I only get them occasionally from my mom (from whom I'm willing to tolerate them I guess). I can see the merit in arguing with people to challenge their assumptions, but it's not your job to open people's eyes especially at the cost of your own serenity.

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#6 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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I'm married to an muslim arab so there's no shortage of hateful emails regarding arabs/muslims. Personally, I'd just tell them flat out that you don't think they're funny and they're offensive to you. If they don't stop, either create a special folder to divert all their emails to (so I wouldn't be blindsighted by them) and periodically delete them (WITHOUT OPENING THEM) OR I'd just block the emails alltogether from them.

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#7 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 01:49 PM
 
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We used to get pro-war messages from one relative and my mom wrote her back, expressing why she did not appreciate them and why she disagreed. My aunt stopped. The key is to be courteous but very firm and direct, I think.

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#8 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all again Ironically today I got the Bill Cosby platform email. I looked it up on Snopes and hit reply ALL and sent the link back to everyone. I am sick of seeing these emails being perpetuated when they are not even truthful to begin with!

I have tried being direct but polite and honestly, it just insults people. They get defensive and feel the need to justify their beliefs (this happens in my family and some friends).

I feel like this is God's/the Universe's way of telling me to grow thicker skin and stand up for my beliefs. Confrontation is very difficult for me but I'm learning more and more how to stand up to people who are spouting hurtful messages.

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#9 of 12 Old 04-17-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
Thank you all again Ironically today I got the Bill Cosby platform email. I looked it up on Snopes and hit reply ALL and sent the link back to everyone. I am sick of seeing these emails being perpetuated when they are not even truthful to begin with!

I have tried being direct but polite and honestly, it just insults people. They get defensive and feel the need to justify their beliefs (this happens in my family and some friends).

I feel like this is God's/the Universe's way of telling me to grow thicker skin and stand up for my beliefs. Confrontation is very difficult for me but I'm learning more and more how to stand up to people who are spouting hurtful messages.
Good for you! It is hard! I'm trying to do it myself. I'm so non-confrontational, but I'm finding that it's better to express my true feelings then let all the ugliness bottle up inside me.

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#10 of 12 Old 04-21-2009, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
Thank you all again Ironically today I got the Bill Cosby platform email. I looked it up on Snopes and hit reply ALL and sent the link back to everyone. I am sick of seeing these emails being perpetuated when they are not even truthful to begin with!
I always do the same thing!! It aggrevates me how everyone belives everything that comes through their email.

Sorry you are going through this with your family. I have had to deal with issues also and sometimes people just don't get it. I would just continue to reply back to their email telling them that they are offensive and not funny and that you find it very insulting towards your DH and kids. Eventually they may just get it.
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#11 of 12 Old 04-21-2009, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mykdsmomy View Post
I feel like this is God's/the Universe's way of telling me to grow thicker skin and stand up for my beliefs. Confrontation is very difficult for me but I'm learning more and more how to stand up to people who are spouting hurtful messages.
Good for you.

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#12 of 12 Old 04-22-2009, 06:54 AM
 
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at least we all say something. think of how many people read them -- knowing they are hurtful and wrong -- and still say nothing.

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