Se non ve la ricordate, questo e' il post in cui descrivevo l'altamente sgradevole pomeriggio di più di 9 mesi fa, in cui il marito della mia amica L. si era rivelato una delle persone più ignoranti e razziste con cui abbia mai avuto a che fare personalmente, creando così una situazione difficile: preservare la mia dignità e quello in cui credo, e per evitare future conversazioni evitare lui e famiglia, quindi a tutti gli effetti tagliare non solo i miei ponti con la mia amica, ma anche quelli di Violet con la sua figlia, oppure continuare a frequentarli facendo finta di niente.
Ovviamente avevo scelto la prima opzione, ormai un ponte in più o uno in meno...
Ancora oggi, quando ripenso a quel pomeriggio, mi sconvolge non solo il pensiero che esistano persone di tale ignoranza (e che procreino!), ma anche il fatto di essermi comportata un po' da codarda, scegliendo la fuga invece del confronto (ho persino richiesto alla segretaria della scuola di mettere Violet in una classe diversa della figlia)… proprio io, che non sopporto le persone che agiscono e parlano alle spalle, mi sono trovata a fare la la stessa cosa.
Ma considerando che il marito e' armato e secondo me, leggermente instabile, ho preferito la dipartita silenziosa, piuttosto che rischiare di trovarmi nel mezzo di un'altra discussione inutile (never argue with stupid) e finire per fare quello che dentro di me avrei voluto davvero, e cioè dirgli esattamente quello che pensavo di lui. Difficile dire ad una persona che le sue idee ti fanno vomitare e sono la disgrazia dell'umanità, senza offenderla personalmente e magari scatenarne le ire.
Tutto procedeva tranquillamente secondo il mio piano vigliacco, finche' 2 settimane fa ricevo questa email:
Hi Monica, It's L. I don't know if this email is going to come out correctly.
But I hope it does, because I miss you. If I have done anything to offend you, I truly did not mean to. I didn't think we had parted badly when we had the political conversation with R., but it's the last time I saw you and I was hoping that wasn't the case. But if you were offended or felt like we "ganged" up on you I apologize from the bottom of my heart.
I was hoping we would've gotten together sooner knowing that Violet and S. are in the same school. And I was hoping that when we moved you would've said something to me. But speaking to my sister and gripping that I miss you, she said well maybe you were waiting for me to tell you that we moved and that your feelings are hurt that I didn't tell you which furthered the feeling of you being offended.
Either way I don't like having this feeling of something bad between us. Now if you feel we've grown apart, I understand and will be sorry we did. But hope if we bump into each other I can still say "Hi." .
If you want you can text me or call me back.
almeno in apparenza, devo rispondere onestamente, provare a spiegarle cosa ho provato e farlo cercando di non offendere le sue opinioni pur difendendo le mie; con tatto spiegarle la mia posizione, senza attaccare il marito e metterla sulla difensiva, ma anche senza compromettere quello in cui credo profondamente.
di spiegarsi, visto che lei per prima l'aveva data a me.
Alla fine ho deciso che la cosa migliore era dare a lei l'opportunità di decidere cosa fare, come si dice qui "to put the ball in her court": in altre parole, questa e' la mia posizione, decidi tu.
Alla fine, dopo tanto editing, questa e' l'email che le ho inviato, a mio modesto parere quasi un capolavoro di "diplomazia intransigente":
thank you so much for writing this. It has taken me some time to reply to your message, because while I need to explain what happened, I'm trying to do it with consideration to your opinions, as I truly valued your friendship and that of our girls.
First let me tell you that I have missed you as well but you are right: after the "conversation" we had a few months ago, which I wouldn't call "political" as I felt it was more like a weird quasi-apology of racism, I went home flabbergasted. I had never before being confronted by such prejudices from people I personally knew.
I'm going to be honest, I was really upset, I couldn't reconcile what I knew about you with all those awful ideas and stereotypes... no, I didn't really think that you guys "ganged up" on me, because you didn't say one word during the entire time R. and I were talking, so I was actually hoping that perhaps you were silently disagreeing with your husband, just like sometimes I do with mine.
Everybody has a right to their own opinions, I understand this and I respect it, but when these opinions are harmful to minorities, I find it really hard to ignore them and pretend all is normal. They become the elephant in the room.
In hindsight, I made the mistake to take the bait and perhaps antagonize R., while I should have just grabbed any excuse, and leave as soon as the "all blacks have something wrong in their brain" idea was brought up. But I felt the need to somehow "defend" my black friends and all the people who do not have something wrong in their brain but just so happen to have a skin of a darker shade.
I understand we all have different (political) views, but in this case, it was beyond a political disagreement.
I truly believe that there are no racial hierarchies, that not one race is better than the other, and I don't believe for a second that there is something inherently or genetically flawed in any race, and that is what I want my kids to learn and live by. This is kind of one of my core beliefs, actually.
I would like to get together again, but I feel a bit uncomfortable, and especially I feel protective of Violet, in case any of those views are passed on to your kids: maybe you would feel the same if someone said to you that all South Americans and people of South American descent were inferior, or lazy or had something wrong in their genes.
I'm not sure what to do.
What do you suggest?