Cyrano (1000+ posts) Mon Jul-21-08 02:10 PM
What do you do when someone uses the N word?
I just got back from having a sandwich and a beer in this blue collar bar that I frequent which makes the best corned beef, and has the toughest barmaid, in South Florida.
Two guys that I’ve never seen before came in, sat down a few stools away from me and began discussing Obama. They weren’t talking too loudly, but loud enough for many sitting at the bar to hear. (It’s one of those oval shaped bars like they had in “Cheers.”) Within a few minutes, one of them used the N word.
A few people glanced at them and a few others, me included, stared at them. I don’t know whether or not they noticed, but within another minute, out popped the N word again.
(I need to mention that Palm Beach County is predominantly liberal and it’s extremely unusual to hear the N word in public, -- even in some of the worst dumps you can find.)
While I’m usually one to steer clear of confrontation, I was pissed and a couple of carpenters, whom I know casually, were looking really pissed.
The situation could have gotten very ugly, but the barmaid put an immediate end to it
. Taking away the mugs of beer she’d served them, she told them to leave. They both looked stunned and one of them said, “What the hell you talking about?”
“I’m talking about both of you leaving right now,” she replied. There were a couple of beats of total silence and then they both got up and left.
One guy got up and went to the window to be sure they were driving away. (A lot of people in Florida carry guns.)
It was fortunate that Gail (the barmaid) ended it peacefully. But my real question is, what do you do when you hear someone use the N word? I know that where and when it’s used might influence what you might or might not do. But in what might be called a totally neutral situation (like overhearing someone in a mall food court use it) would you say something?