Certain things get forgiven and overlooked because they’re friends. We often try to reason with them on the same grounds. Sometimes an issue arises that forces us to take a closer look at why we try to keep them as friends. Invariably, that issue becomes the proverbial straw that broke the back of a once healthy camel. For me the niquab is that issue. It has sparked a cascade of racism from people I never realized were that bigoted. And maybe it’s not just the racism that gets to you. Maybe it’s the feeling of associative guilt, or the embarrassment that gives you pause and makes you rethink your friendship. Either way, you know things won’t improve, though some of us keep trying.
So, this is my question: when is it appropriate to end a friendship with someone too stupid, and bigoted to associate with; when do you call it quits? Now, I’m not talking about race jokes. They’re jokes, I get that. We’re humans, and as such it’s healthy to create a little fun out of what we don’t understand or agree with. I’m also not talking about small things, those little comments that fly through all our heads. Things like, “damned packy” and “go back to… [insert country of assumed origin]”. All we know are the visual indicators. Our brains have the compulsive need to fill in the blanks. So, I’m not talking about the small innocuous things.
I’m talking about the real meat of it, the people who complain about job theft from foreigners. Those who bitch about people who choose a cultural icon, one that’s been around longer than our nation, to be the focus of their anger, hatred, ignorance and fear. Those that use freedom of speech to bully an entire culture based on little to no information.
Do you remember bullies? Those assholes you covered for because they’re better once you get to know them, or they you? Remember the ones you accepted as a friend because you simply got used to the toxic stank? With equal stupidity you’ve justified and made excuses for despicable behaviour that‘s inexcusable. You’ve gotten used to it and whether or not you realize it you don’t care as much. You don’t care because you’ve excused their backward-thinking, knuckle-dragging, idiocy for so long it’s become part of you to accept it.
Back to the question, the reason I brought this up. Do you put up with substandard behaviour because it doesn’t really affect you? Or, like me, do you feel everyone should be held to the same rules of ethics as everyone else? Do you think that everyone should get a few chances to get it right? Or, like me, do you feel that 3 chances only gives assholes 3 opportunities to do whatever they want with impunity?
But, as they say, it’s a chance, a freebie, a gratis. That’s how they work. Okay, maybe I’m being a wee bit zealous. Change can often be a very difficult thing. It doesn’t make them bad people if they’re making an effort. As soon as I finish such thoughts I realize, in full disappointing reality, that these are people that have to put effort into not being racist… and they’re failing at it. This thought brings my angst right back. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or even family, the feeling of disgusted anger remains.
To answer the question, for myself at least, It has always been appropriate to ditch someone for being an unforgivably, intolerant, bunghole. Maybe you knew all this already, but are too hopeful that your friends would eventually grow up, smarten up and man up. Maybe they refuse to change because you’ll always be there to give them another chance. Maybe your racist friends don’t give a flying bonobo to whom they direct their hatred. And maybe they don’t give flying bonobo about your opinion.