How do I deal with subtle racism in people I live with?

The problem I have here in England is the people (largely from Northern Ireland, but also from the home of Cheryl Cole, Newcastle, and from Scotland) is that the people I live with use more subtle racism on a regular basis. I honestly believe they don't hate people of racial minorities and our university is about 40% racial minorities, but their language is completely unacceptable as someone who has lived with minorities, particularly Pakistani and Indian people their whole, and has a mixed race little brother. I wanted to ask the advice of anyone as what I can tell them so they realise their language is unacceptable and frankly racist.

They use terms such as (and I apologise if this language insults anyone, but I don't know how to explain it other than quoting) "chinky" to describe the food they get from the local Chinese takeaway and say they "don't fancy black people" because of their (and I have no idea how to spell this) "chou chou lips." I have told them they cannot say that. On a number of occasions. Now I just have a reputation for calling people racist.

But I have been horrified in the past by how some people have treated my Pakistani friend. She has visited her boyfriend in Northern Ireland (ex boyfriend now)and people have in front of her "counted the Asians".

Advertisement

The main problem is that I am fighting against a majority on occasion who think they are using appropriate language. They would never use the word "n****r" so why do they think it is okay to use more subtle racism? They have these conversations in the same room as black, Asian and Latino people as well!

So, any advice to me, as to what I can say to these people? And I am sorry if I have posted this in the wrong place, I really need some advice before I go back to university in September and have to listen to whole conversations like this again. I don't believe there is malice behind their words, but if my little mixed race brother ever had to listen to "I don't fancy black people" I would be heartbroken as well as enraged.

Share This Story