When They’re No Longer Funny:The Family Racist

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They are often naturally charming. Well liked by nearly everyone in the family. As a child they made you laugh. As you grew older, you laughed however the jokes made you uncomfortable.

You weren’t the only one. Family members saying while laughing ” Ohh you shouldn’t say that” or “That’s wrong” in mid laughter.

Despite the outrageous behavior. they are often protected by other family members. “Oh he doesn’t mean it.” “He would take the shirt off his back” “She would give you her last quarter”

Over time this charming individual has made you uncomfortable when non family members are present.  Your on the edge, as you wait in terror, for the off color or racist remark to be delivered in front of the unsuspecting visitor.

Then there it is!

In living color.

As the family laughs, you look away ashamed

Your options are few. Confrontation or exit.  Ideally, you should wait for to talk, away from family.  Calmly tell him or her what you find offensive and why.  Once you’ve done this leave it.  Don’t go back and revisit the conversation, it only brings animosity.

These individuals exists in every family. They’ve may have gone unnoticed for years. Until you view the family member through the eyes of a non family member..

“We teach people how to treat us “

One thing is clear you should never subject your friends to this racist person.  Why would you subject your friend, spouse, child to someone who makes YOU uncomfortable?

I’ve found some success in silent eye contact.  After all they are entertainers. They’re goal is to make everyone laugh however a good entertainer  knows how to read and make adjustments for the audience.

Their are others, who simply don’t care how their words affect others. “This is who I am! ”    When this occurs, I quietly leave.   Heckler the entertainer and he still has a audience. Quietly leaving the room or if need be the home, has a far greater impact!

 We love our families, we don’t have to like or agree with their actions.  Expecting them or  demanding that they change is unreasonable.  The adjustment has to come from us.

If you don’t like or are uncomfortable in an environment. remove yourself from that environment.


This is when it’s on us to make the adjustment ,as we teach people how to treat us.