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Dumb Bigot

At the gym last night, while changing to get in the pool and swim, I witnessed someone singularly unpleasant. A douchebag was having a very loud conversation on his cell phone while pacing back and forth in the locker room. He was having the sort of conversation that douchebags do, "Oh yeah, we partied hard, bro. Totally partied!" But then he went off on an expletive-laden rant about politics, loud enough that everyone in the locker room could overhear, which culminated with this, "and you know what else fucking pisses me off, bro? Those free newspapers they give you to read while you're on the stairmaster of whatever? It fucking had not one fucking article about McCain, but like, three different articles about some goddamn sand-n****r. What the fuck?"

What the fuck, indeed, douchebag. Let's examine all the ways this is douchey. First, he was one of those puffed-up dudes with fake tan and highly gelled hair. His eyes were too close together, too, which while not strictly his fault, at least indicates that his parents were probably genetically pre-disposed towards douchebaggery. He looks douchey. Second, he's having a very loud conversation, I mean, very loud - above conversational volume - in an essentially public place. This is rude and douchey. Third, he's espousing knuckle-dragger right-wing politics in the heart of Santa Monica, a notoriously progressive city. Fourth and most egregiously - he's using extremely bigoted, racist words to describe a United States Senator and possibly the next President of the United States. Utter douchebaggery, especially since Barack Obama is not a "sand-n****r" at all, but your basic run-of-the-mill mixed race American. "Sand" mixed with that particular bit of bigotry usually refers to Indian or Middle-Eastern people. I imagine that this ignorant douchebag is actually so woefully ignorant that he wasn't mis-using the word, but that he thinks that Senator Obama is actually Middle Eastern, rather than black.

So I really thought about this. What, if anything, should I say? I didn't do anything, I just went and got in the pool. But after the fact I wondered...should I have said anything? As I was weighing myself before leaving the locker room, I considered my options. I could just insult him and go. I could tell him his choice of words was offensive and inappropriate. I could just punch him in the nuts. I chose to ignore him...but should I have?

Maybe bigoted douchebags need to be made aware that what they're saying is not okay. Captain America probably would have said something. Thoughts?

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
regina_of_york
Oct. 3rd, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
*mouth hanging open in shock*

OMFG, I am very glad to say I have never, ever heard anyone use that term. I have no idea what I'd say or do in that situation, so I'm not much help.
daogre
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Really? Sandnigger and cameljocky are my two favorite terms of endearment for my bestest brown friend. I thought it was pretty common.
aghrivaine
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
It's at least as old as the British Empire, as it was a fairly common epithet for Indians amongst soldiers and Company men stationed there. Which just goes to show you that America doesn't have a monopoly on racist idiocy.
regina_of_york
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the meaning is fairly clear. I just can't imagine anyone blurting it out like that.
regina_of_york
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's a regional thing?
thelastmehina
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
I think all confronting him would have done was picked a fight. It's good to stand up for what you believe in, but there's also a point where you realize that some people just want to be ignorant because thinking is scary and hard. It's only worth speaking up, IMO, if there's a chance that you can do some good. And think that guy probably just would have gotten pissy at you.
nixieq
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
i mostly agree with thelastmehina that it only would have picked a fight. but if you'd really felt compelled to confront him, there's a good video here with some ideas on how to confront the ideas a person is espousing without flat-out calling them racist (which usually only puts people completely on the defensive).
daogre
Oct. 3rd, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
A few things:

A) for someone who'se really happy your last couple of posts have been full of "the anger" what's up with that?

B) Captain America would have probably either punched him in the teeth, or given a hoorah... depending on how on board with killing brown people he was at the time. Isn't he like, 95% pro-american agenda? Though I guess in a non-racist way. He hates brown people because they hate our freedom, but he's not racist.

C)
aghrivaine
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
A: too many pickles.

B: Cap is decidedly anti-racist. The Falcon was one of his bestest buddies, and more than once when the two of them were in some backwater town where Billy-Ray and his backwoods KKK buddies decided to take it on ol' Sam, Cap was more than happy to make a little bigoted chin-music. On the other hand, he also has that way of just regulating wayward Americans with a pointed reminder.
pyr8queen
Oct. 3rd, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
As you know, I am at constant war with myself to *not* just fly into a rage at racist, douchey, or otherwise unfit-for-society people (well, let me qualify that by saying I don't despise-til-death all regular douchebags, just the racist ones...)

If it had been a girl in the locker room (a situation which I truly cannot imagine occurring!), I most likely would have said something, but really only prompted by the use of the racial epithet. However, it is likely that a girl saying that would not be of the giant muscular/testosterone-ridden persuasion... so I'd probably have the upper-hand there.

All kidding aside, I am still angry at that douche, and have been since you told me about it last night at the pool!

And, I'm curious - what did all the other dudes in the gym do?
mandyly1977
Oct. 3rd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
Someone this stupid probably would have taken anything you said as an accuse to be even more of a douche. Its just scary people this racist still exist at all.
bazzlebane
Oct. 4th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
If anything, his bizzaro, asshole racist rant might have tipped one or two undecided eavesdroppers into voting for Obama. After all, who would want to be on the same side as this douche? So in that sense, it was a good thing ;).
befers
Oct. 4th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
If you said anything at all - and I agree that saying something probably just would have been picking a fight - but, if you wanted/needed to say something, I might have gone with, "I found your conversation to be offensive, and the volume at which you were having it made it impossible for me not to hear it. Take it somewhere private, buddy."
thealiwoman
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
Agreed. Befers always knows the most polite way of responding to douchebags!
(Anonymous)
Oct. 5th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Let somebody musclier than you beat the shit out of the buttmunch. Even then, it probably won't occur to him that his point of view could use some consideration.

oxoxo
aghrivaine
Oct. 6th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
Hey, I wasn't worried about a physical confrontation - at least not in the respect of being in danger. I was just worried about being rude to the OTHER people in the locker room, who maybe didn't give a darn, and didn't want to be bothered.
maeris
Oct. 6th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
The best we can hope for is that he isn't registered to vote.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )