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Old 05-15-2006, 07:14 PM   #1
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Advice Request

As a result of the recent proposals before congress and the publicity surrounding the issue of 'immigration reform', my cousin (a conservative) seems to have passionately embraced the issue to a point that borders on racism. Daily, it seems, he sends me (along with the rest of his mailing list) some email(s) attempting to rally (us) to the cause, including Internet articles that support his position, addresses of legislators, jokes, etc...

I do not have a problem with him having an opinion that may be different than my own. My problem is with his level of passion about the issue without providing personal context. I'm not sure how illegal immigration has affected him personally or why this particular issue has awakened the campaign/revolutionary side of him. Further, I have a problem with the jokes that go 'outside' the issue and (in my opinion) are racist. I'd like to say something to him (and maybe his mailing list through 'reply to all') that it's not okay with me. I'd like to be able to provide racism education without creating some kind of wedge between us.

Just so you have an idea of the kind of thing I'm talking about, here is the latest email I received from him in an email with the subject of
"Boycott Results":
On May 1st, as a result of the Mexican boycott,

national retailers reported 4.2% lower sales for the

day, with a 67.8% reduction in shoplifting.

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Old 05-15-2006, 07:22 PM   #2
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Ouch Z that's a tough situation. I don't know. Maybe just tell him what you told us. You don't have a problem with him having an opinion but you're not comfortable getting the emails he's been sending to you.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:27 PM   #3
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I hear ya Z. It's a very touchy topic right now. I almost posted a joke here, but decided it might be in poor taste to some. I would just be honest, and say you're not comfortable with the topic. Think there may be something on TV tonight. I have some strong opinions, particularly living in So CA (not far from the border) -- again am reluctant to post them here.

Edited to add: Look what happened when I brought up cole slaw might not be a good idea, LOL!
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:37 PM   #4
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I am perfectly fine with opinions (even strong ones) and I do have a sense of humor about things, but I hate to see discussion about "issues" turn into disunity and dissension - - or to see passionate debate degrade to racism.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Z
I am perfectly fine with opinions (even strong ones) and I do have a sense of humor about things, but I hate to see discussion about "issues" turn into disunity and dissension - - or to see passionate debate degrade to racism.
Perfect, Z! I'd send that to your friend.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:45 PM   #6
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I've got the same problem with my dad. What I've done is to respond to the e-mail with an e-mail stating my position (usually an article, etc). Once I started doing that, the e-mails slowed. Often times, if you have a strong opinion on something, it's natural to assume that others hold the same opinion.

I just delete the jokes. If I see a "Fw:Fw Blah Blah", I just delete it.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:47 PM   #7
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Yes... I guess I'll have to spend a few sober moments (if I can spare some ) composing a brief email warning of that 'fine line'.

I am passionate about racism, and I'd hate to see the immigration debate go south (so to speak).... and not JUST with my cousin, but with the general population.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyapti
I've got the same problem with my dad. What I've done is to respond to the e-mail with an e-mail stating my position (usually an article, etc). Once I started doing that, the e-mails slowed. Often times, if you have a strong opinion on something, it's natural to assume that others hold the same opinion.

I just delete the jokes. If I see a "Fw:Fw Blah Blah", I just delete it.
That's the way I've been handling it up until now... but I've just been noticing a degrading trend that I can no longer simply ignore.
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Old 05-16-2006, 06:53 AM   #9
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I have to laugh at this post ... because if you don't laugh, you cry (my mother's words). I have a huge diversity of freinds, so often get forwarded emails that can vary from very left wing to very right wing. It wouldn't much bug me if it was the person's own opinion, in his/her own words, but often it is forwarded, pardon my English, @*&))&&^ (OK, I wimped out) that they've picked up. When I call them on it, they accuse me of taking things too seriously. Huh? You sent the garbage to ME. As far as I'm concerned, you are asking my opinion. You're going to get it. I assume if you send me something, you're either in agreement or disagreement with it ... and should say so.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:28 AM   #10
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The best thing to do is tell him honestly how you feel just as you explained it here to us now. One thing I would not do though is respond to all. That will just put him on the defense right away and it really is just between you and your cousin.

Explain to him that his views are valid, but sending jokes that perpetuate stereotypes is not a good way to get his point out there. All it can do is hurt his cause.
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