Post # 1
I teach English in Spain. On Friday evenings I teach conversation classes in a local bar. This evening one of my regular adults came and was asking me about Brexit (I’m British).I want to add that I do not normally talk about politics in my conversation classes or anything which can get quite heated. We normally talk about food, sports, hobbies, holidays etc. I tried to steer away from this conversation but she came back to it saying she could understand where some British people are coming from, not wanting to have immigrants in their country, that she also doesn’t like having immigrants in her country. I said to her ‘you do realise I’m an immigrant?’ and she responded ‘no, it’s different you aren’t black or a muslim’ then proceeded to say ‘i hate black people and Muslims. I don’t even want them near me’. I was speechless, disgusted and could feel myself getting so angry. I found it so hard to remain professional and continue the class with her.
I’m not even sure I want to continue having classes with her but part of me knows I need to be professional and I’m worried I’m overreacting?
Post # 2
I can’t tell whether you’re employed by a company to teach or whether this student participates in a class you plan yourself.
If you are in control of who is in your class, you can feel free to drop her. “I do not associate with racists. You are no longer welcome in my class.”
If you are employed by someone else, you can tell them that you don’t want to teach her because she is racist and ask to have her switched to someone else.
People have the absolute right to hate anyone else based on their skin tone, religion, gender, or whatever. Decent people also have the right not to associate or do business with people who are jackasses.
Post # 3
I’m self employed, sorry forgot to mention that part.
Post # 4
You’re your own boss. You choose who you teach. You don’t have to teach somebody who spews hatred.
Post # 6
You likely encounter and or teach lots of racist people in your life. She just vocalized it.
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2019 - USA
IMO she did you the favor of being glaringly honest about her racism, now you can drop her from your class with no reservations.
Post # 8
Your tory reminded me of a situation some time in 2004. I used to be in a dance group. We used to have lunch after dancing. One day one of the dancers brought her friend who was interested in joining our group. She was openly racist and homophobic. She first started talking badly about homosexuals. The table got so quiet. Then, she moved to the Arabs and all Muslims. Some one on the table tried to educated her about homosexuals, Arabs, Muslims and other ethniities she brought up but she was so adament about her opinions She was from Russia. Finally, I stepped in and said, “If we go by your theory of simply judging people because of gemerilizations, you do realize that Russians are known for being prostitutes, right?” She answered, “The women is Russia are prostitutes because of lack of starvation.” I answered, “The reasons don’t matter. So, with that logic, are you a prositichute? Do you think that it’s fair to consider every Russsian woman a protichute?” She was speechless. Every one on the table had enough of her. We all got up to leave. She kept telling us that we will one day regret being friends with “these” people. I answered, “No, we all have pleasant friendships with all kinds. you are theone who is missing out on great friendships because of your descrimination.” She was not welcome to join our group.
In your case, I would either get rid of her or give my students an assignment to write about descrimination towards monirities. I would then get people to do presentation on these. This student would likely have to learn or fail the assignment. You could start a disussion about the effects of racism. Let the idiot hear what others think about racists in your class.
Post # 9
Ugh. What a situation. Just a thought, but one idea to head this off in future might be to start the class with a reminder that words can help or words can hurt and to ask that participants keep this at the forefront of all conversations. Then if a topic comes up that is off base you can just say that you find the words hurtful and remind the student of the class rule. If the student doesn’t comply you’ll have recourse to ask them to rethink their participation in the class.
Post # 10
I don’t think kicking the person out is the answer. Make it clear you don’t agree. It is okay to express that you are upset because hatred like that that has led to such ugly consequences and harm to people. And then make the person aware that negative stereotypes exist about people from all countries and ethnicities, including her own.
Many people in the United States are annoyed when people speak Spanish, for example, and Catholics were met with extreme prejudice when they first came to the United States in large numbers. Maybe those are examples you could present to her to show that she or her ancestors could have been on the receiving end of hate. You may not change her mind, but you will be influencing others in the class.
You are there to teach English, but honestly just about every educator runs into this at some point.During my Years as a professor, I used incidents like this as a chance to educate about racism.
Post # 11
She said some outright disgusting things but autracising her as a result won’t change her perspective. Education can. She could have ended up with a passive teacher but she got you – how lucky is she?
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK
How old she is? I’m a Brit and obviously know why a lot of people voted to exit the EU. Your job obviously isn’t to try and change her views unless you want to spend a lot of time outside of teaching telling her why her views are offensive.
I work in the construction industry and luckily we have been able to integrate a sizeable number of East European employees with our Brit employees. I know this isn’t the case across the industry and we have been lucky. We have zero tolerance for any racism. I’d struggle in your position to not want to tell her why she is wrong but I’d also be curious to know why she thinks it’s ok to openly voice her views. I assume she lives in a bubble where everyone feels the same.
Post # 13
You do not “need” to be professional. She crossed a big line and exposed herself. You have every right to tell her she is no longer welcome in your class. Be prepared for her to play the victim and be nasty. Block and move on.
FOR THE RECORD: Racists deserve to be called out and ostracized. Being polite is neither useful nor necessary!!!
Post # 14
You rock! Perfect response!!!