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Age Is No Excuse To Slur Your Words

, , , , , | Right | December 9, 2021

My grandmother grew up in a less enlightened time, and although I don’t think she actively means any harm, she sometimes uses racist terms to refer to certain communities. One of her most common usages was to use a particular slur for Asian communities to refer to local corner shops and newsagents. She would also send me to the local shop on errands when I visited from a fairly young age, which led to this exchange.

Newsagent: “Hello, [My Name], what are you doing here by yourself without your gran?”

Me: “My gran is at home. She just asked me to pop by the [slur]’s to get her newspaper.”

The newsagent looks at me in shock for a few moments.

Newsagent: “What did you say?”

Me: “She asked me to go to the [slur]’s?”

Newsagent: “That’s what I thought you said. Do you know that’s a bad word?”

Me: “No! I thought it was what the shop was called.”

Newsagent: “No, it’s a very bad word to describe people who look like me. You really shouldn’t use it.”

Me: “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know that.”

Newsagent: “That’s okay. I can tell you didn’t know any better; just don’t say it again. Here’s your gran’s paper. Make sure you tell her about our chat and that I said hi.”

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