Racial slurs

Jon Ralph, Sunningdale

I read with despair the front page of Tabletalk regarding an incident in Edgemead where someone said something derogatory to someone else (“Ire over racist slur,” January 17).

While I consider racism to be stupid, I fail to see why we get so bent out of shape whenever someone exhibits it.

So far as I am concerned calling someone a name is a reflection on the name caller, not the callee. You can only be hurt by it if you let it.

I have been the target of a number of racist slurs, all from taxi drivers, but could I care? Some people are very easily offended and rush to the police, media or their lawyers whenever some juvenile nitwit calls them by some idiotic name.

So far as I know, in the history of mankind not a single person has been killed or even lightly injured by being offended.

The offender, on the other hand has often been killed for his troubles.

The recent brouhaha about the kid in a hoodie demonstrates a rather immature attitude as people went out of their way to be offended. Good grief.

I called my children monkeys all the time. We humans find so many ways to separate ourselves from our fellows. Language, nationality, religion, what sports team we support. What makes race so special?

It is time we grew up and stopped being offended by sheer silliness. As my mother told me, “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you.” A very wise woman was my mum.

The racism I object most to is that legislated by the government. Black economic empowerment and all its derivatives are blatantly racist yet are condoned by many.

I did not like legislated racism when it was directed against others. I cannot say that I like it much more now that it is directed against me. Some will no doubt call me a racist if this letter is published, but there you go.