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When somebody drops the N-Bomb.

How would you really deal with a N-Bomb?

  • I would have told him to leave immediately.

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • I would have called him out and said something like please don't use that language.

    Votes: 8 44.4%
  • I would have asked him why he felt that was a word he needed to use.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Two hits. 1. Me hitting him. 2. Him hitting the ground.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • I would have offered to pray with him about his issue with black people.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I would pretend I didn't hear the word.

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • I would have ignored it and then shat all over his company with multiple on-line reviews.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I would have said, "That's not a term welcome in my house."

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • It is none of my business what he thinks or says. I don't expect a contractor to be human.

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • I would have told him my best racist joke.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Something Completely Different - I'll post my option below.

    Votes: 3 16.7%

  • Total voters
    18
  • Poll closed .

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
So, a contractor is at my home for an estimate earlier this morning. Our contractor friend casually drops the N-Bomb; twice. The second time he was obviously fishing for affirmation. And no, it was not in the way one would use the word if one were Dave Chappelle conversing during the filming of his HBO special with special guest Chris Rock. It was used in the way one would offer the word up if one were a racist white hillbilly looking to see if you were of the same ilk. I dealt with it in what I think was an appropriate way.

But, I'm curious to know how you would deal with it. Because my politics lean libertarian/conservative some here may feel this post/poll is a trap or my attempt to bait you. I assure you it is not. This genuinely happened today and I am still sort of shocked. I never saw it coming, and I'm honestly still processing it. Most importantly, I'm evaluating the morality of my response.

POLL CONFIGURATION: In the poll below please try to keep your responses true to how you would truly deal with it, or how you have dealt with it in the real world. A virtue signalling response won't do anyone any good. You can pick two responses. And I am pretty sure I have set the poll to anonymous. The poll will remain open for one week. After that, I'll post the details of how I handled it.
 
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kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
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12,221
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36
Called him out and asked him to leave. I voted to ask him to leave immediately.
 

gtpeach

Cyburbian
Messages
1,994
Points
17
I've had Board members make racist comments (referring to "Indians" as "feathers or dots?" for example), and I've refrained from responding just due to the political dynamics. But nine times out of ten, the calling out happens before I even think it through.
 

arcplans

As Featured in "High Times"
Messages
6,457
Points
27
I would have told him to leave, like ASAP. I won't tolerate that shit, and you best better believe I will blast his business in some sort of yelp review or whatever else he has got on social media.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,936
Points
28
I almost voted for the first option, except that I try to be non-confrontational. So I checked Other, and the Other would be I'd finish my meeting with him, then select another contractor. If he went so far as to ask why he wasn't selected, I'd let him know.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,841
Points
59
In the poll below please try to keep your responses true to how you would truly deal with it, or how you have dealt with it in the real world. A virtue signalling response won't do anyone any good.
That's why I picked the last option. I don't know how I would have dealt with it. Sure, in an ideal liberal world, one could say "buh bye!", go back inside, make a fair trade latte, open up their laptop, and check out The Guardian to reaffirm their scorn for the United States and Israel. In reality, I'd probably visibly cringe, think they're probably a general contractor wannabe who's in it for the redneck lifestyle cred, and cross them off my list. I'd lose a lot of confidence in their skills, and I wouldn't feel comfortable with them in my house.

Around here, where even outlying rural areas 15 miles away from downtown are RGB #0000FF, a smart contractor wouldn't dare bring up politics when soliciting work. Even with the the difficulty of finding tradespeople and contractors -- severe labor shortage plus very high costs -- many locals would rather get on a long waiting list for work than hire someone with a Trump, NRA, or thin blue line sticker on their Ram 2500, much less someone who says the N-word.

And, yeah, I cringe when I hear black people throw the word around in a casual context, too.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
27,345
Points
63
My gut reaction would be to tell the guy off, however, looking at this more dispassionately if my goal is to have any impact on influencing this individual's views in whatever small way possible, that's probably not the best way to go about it.

Went with the 'not a term welcome in this household' as best available response.
 
Last edited:

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
My gut reaction would be to tell the guy off, however, looking at this more dispassionately if my goal is to have any impact on influencing this individual's views in whatever small way possible, that's probably not the best way to go about it.
Exactly. I think the easy path is to just shun or scold the person. The harder path is to treat the person with dignity while responding to their words in a compassionate way. In some ways its akin to parenting. You wouldn't hammer ban your own child. But as a human you are also obligated to make an effort to address the behavior. Now, how do you address the behavior that maintains both the dignity of the group of people just slurred and which offers the offender a new perspective and which encourages open access to a person who holds views on race he may not often encounter. Based on my experience, people don't respond well to being rejected. I think the only effective way to truly change someone's heart over the long term is to foster a two way dialog where they actually feel an obligation to reconsider their views.

I am also sure that I don't have all the answers to this issue. Before I posted the poll I did quite a bit of searching for guidance on ways someone ought to respond to the situation. I found very little info on this nuanced approach.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,342
Points
31
It would be a short conversation, and he wouldn't get past the first use. My response would be to tell him that term is not acceptable in my house and briefly explain why (generally of course, but specifically identify my relative that is a person of color to demonstrate a personal link that makes it hard to dismiss me as an "angry white liberal"). And then show him the door with the understanding that his use of that word cost him any consideration for the job.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,588
Points
22
It depends on whether the person is more a contractor or a friend. I feel like I'd say something but not be confrontational about it, something like "hey now, watch your language" and move on (although I will admit that I've never had that happen so I'm not totally sure what my knee-jerk reaction would be). I do feel like I'd be more upset if it were a friend... and really be rethinking our relationship and if we have any values in common.
 

shell_waster

Cyburbian
Messages
240
Points
10
Thankfully I have not been in that situation and hope I'm never faced with it. I'd like to think I would politely end the conversation, tell him that I no longer need his service and thank him for his time. I'm not one that blasts a company online or social media but I'd certainly let me friends and neighbors know what occurred.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Okay, so how did you handle it?
Sorry, I've been busy lately.

Here goes: I was sort of shocked and so I waited about 10 minutes until we got to the part of the discussion about scheduling. Then a possible response occurred to me. I told him there were going to be some "black people" living here after the 30th of May and then I asked him if he was capable of working for a family like ours. He thought I was kidding. I showed him my phone's background which had a photo of me, my girlfriend, and her kids posing like the great American tourists we were last January. See below. He sort of crapped himself and then started apologizing. He was pretty flummoxed. I didn't poke him any further but I also kept asking him if he could work for us. He said he could and then he made a hasty retreat. I doubt I'll hear from him again.

I'm not sure if I got it right. But that's the way it went down. I do know my heart sank when I heard the word (twice) and my first thought was that I have an obligation to defend those two really great kids from bullshit like this. Who really knows what was or is the right thing to do.

The undoctored version of the photo below was on my phone. Sorry, but I'm just not comfortable posting our undoctored photos on the interwebs. This was the best editing job I could do on my phone.24610
 

gtpeach

Cyburbian
Messages
1,994
Points
17
The only truly wrong response (in my opinion) would've been to let it go and then have hired him. While I'd probably be more direct about it initially (again, not usually because I'm thinking through things well - just because usually the words come out before I can stop them), the way you handled it may be more effective as far as influencing his future behavior. Because he most likely didn't just walk away getting defensive about you being some "idiot liberal" or whatever story he would've told himself to justify why he thought you overreacted.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
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You nailed it, and did so in a way that the guy probably ended up contemplating his approach to life at least a little bit, recognizing that his approach just negatively impacted him economically. And I like that you didn't nail him to the wall--you made it clear that you were inclusive even if he wasn't. It was a kind approach that offered him an opportunity to rethink his belief system.

He ultimately may not change, but the best we can hope for is often just to make people think a little--to plant a small seed in their brain.
 
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