Monday E-Mailbag

I have a friend who forwards a lot of emails. You know the kind, cute pictures, funny little videos, jokes, the occasional don’t-microwave-tupperware warning…. Sometimes I look at them, but mostly I just leave them in my Inbox, then delete them a few days later when I’m doing a cleanup. She’s an old family friend.

Last Friday I received an email from her with the subject line “Help secure the boarders!” The body of the email said, “Get Ready— They are faaaast.”

This piqued my interest because of the word “boarders.” I thought maybe this was a joke. A liberal play on words, perhaps.

Wrong.

It was nothing more than a misspelling of a racist online “game.”

Somehow this is supposed to be fun, to shoot border (note the correct spelling) crossers. Blood splatters every time you hit one, and I believe you get extra points for “breeders” but I could be wrong. This “game” is on a website run by proud-to-be-racist, Tom Metzger (founder of the White Aryan Resistance). I am purposefully not linking directly to his website. Look it up yourself if you’re interested.

Now the funny thing is, my friend lives in Hawaii and from the preponderance of pro-Obama email she sends, is an avid Obama supporter.

Isn’t that ironic.

I struggled with this for a while this weekend, I kept thinking about the quote, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

And yet I hesitated, because she is an old family friend, and someone I care about. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings or offend her or embarrass her.

Then, because she is someone I care about, I decided to send her this reply:

I have to say I found this one very offensive… and if you look, the website is run by….. leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

Her reply, “I DIDN’T KNOW THAT I JUST HAVE FUN TO SEE HOW MY REFLEXES AR AT MY AGE.
SORRY.”

No malice. And today, I got an email to this video:

I’m glad I said something. I’ve spent too much of my life not saying something.

What would you have done?

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4 thoughts on “Monday E-Mailbag

  1. How old is this woman? Sometimes elderly people like to forward stuff even if they know you’ll think it’s offensive, just because they like to “get your goat.” My father-in-law took great joy in doing that.

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  2. eebie: good rulesusean: she’s 70+ but not the get-your-goat type. more the naive, didn’t think about the layers of meaning beyond the “its a shoot ’em up game”

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  3. Good for you asking the question. This gives you almost the answer. Without a question, no answer is possible. I permit myself to detach from offensive anything. I can make excuses all day long for offensive stuff, yet I would have to apologize to myself even more for suffering the torture of witnessing, enduring, even appearing to tolerate bad stuff. If there is reason to speak, I do. If not (the person shows no interest in listening), I move on without comment. Gets easier as the habit forms.One thing I don’t get. Why would an older person be excused from being a bigot? I would expect some learning occurred over the years. And because it is never too late, unless the person is ill or suffering or showing no signs of caring to listen, I’d speak my truth.

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