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Are there certain words or phrases you avoid using around people of different races or religions or ethnicity from your own?

Where are you today in race relations on your job? Is tolerance working? Diversity - what does it really mean in your life? Inclusion - how's that going?

How does it all affect your work life? Personal life?

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Just a thought - I heard something on TV in which a kid calls another kid a dummy. The teacher told him not to say "dummy", as it was a hate word. :eek: I was dismayed, thinking this whole PC/tolerance thing has gone too far. Just a few years ago, Fred Sanford was calling his son, LaMont, a dummy all the time!

rngolfer53

Has 2 years experience.

The teacher was certainly correct in telling the kid not to call the other one a "dummy."

But, really, dummy is impolite, but hardly a "hate" word.

The problem with the PC mindset is the overblown response to simple rudeness. The result is there is little additional response available for actual hate speech.

Sooo tired of the overreactions. From every quarter. The world is now loaded with offendinistas who are hyper-primed to put the worst possible spin on just about everything and take umbrage accordingly. This is a waste of energy as it rarely accomplishes anything good. Instead, it puts everyone on the defensive and communicates the acceptability of oxymoronic concepts like demanding an apology.

We used to allow people to be stupid and wrong. Now we respond with overkill. Yeah, that'll improve things.

I'm not suggesting that we don't respond to foolishness and bigotry (although there are times when that is appropriate), only saying that this massive hysteria we seem to have succumbed to isn't making things better. In fact, in some cases, it's creating such at atmosphere of distrust and suspicion that it's a wonder any communication takes place at all anymore.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

I have numerous friends and loved ones of varying national origin, religious beliefs, skin color, and sexual orientation. And you know what? We all have such a great relationship that we CAN make jokes about each other's differences....and we laugh rather than get offended. Could this be because we know each other's hearts and each knows that the other party hasn't a smidge of bigotry? Perhaps.

One example: I have a dear Mexican friend/coworker that used to joke that she was having 'white people food' whenever she brought a sandwich for lunch. Not offensive in the least!

Another: Another dear sweet friend of mine grew up in an extremely conservative country that shall remain nameless. We were talking about eating with our hands (I think) and he mentioned how this is the norm in his country; somehow we got onto the topic of the 'civilized world', and I mentioned that that term bothers me. He says, "Hey, us uncivilized folk, we eat with our hands, you Americans are degenerate. We're even." :D

Again, no offense meant, and none taken.

I used to work in a community health center and there were Hispanics of all nationalities, Asians, black people, and white people. We made fun of each other all the time, and nobody ever got offended. (True hatred and bigotry are not excusable, however.)

Edited by ElvishDNP

I have numerous friends and loved ones of varying national origin, religious beliefs, skin color, and sexual orientation. And you know what? We all have such a great relationship that we CAN make jokes about each other's differences....and we laugh rather than get offended. Could this be because we know each other's hearts and each knows that the other party hasn't a smidge of bigotry? Perhaps.

One example: I have a dear Mexican friend/coworker that used to joke that she was having 'white people food' whenever she brought a sandwich for lunch. Not offensive in the least!

Another: Another dear sweet friend of mine grew up in an extremely conservative country that shall remain nameless. We were talking about eating with our hands (I think) and he mentioned how this is the norm in his country; somehow we got onto the topic of the 'civilized world', and I mentioned that that term bothers me. He says, "Hey, us uncivilized folk, we eat with our hands, you Americans are degenerate. We're even." :D

Again, no offense meant, and none taken.

I used to work in a community health center and there were Hispanics of all nationalities, Asians, black people, and white people. We made fun of each other all the time, and nobody ever got offended. (True hatred and bigotry are not excusable, however.)

I wish I worked there.

Just curious, genuinely seeking - how do you know when someone is voicing true hatred and bigotry? Someone you work with, I mean, not someone like Hitler making a speech that is unmistakably filled with lots of hate.

SunnyAndrsn

Specializes in LTC/Rehab, Med Surg, Home Care.

I can't think of any words or phrases that I avoid using. I do have several co-workers who have use offensive, racist language, I try and call them on it. We do have several African nurses, as well as African-American CNAs, a Chinese nurse, and a Filipino CNA. Not a lot of diversity, but some.

You know who the worst are? The African-American CNAs, who refer to each other using the "N" word. I do not get that at all.

In my home health position, the child I work with has severe developmental and cognitive delays, his family is very sensitive to words like retard, stupid, and dummy. Then again, it's never been appropriate to use those terms while I'm working with him...so I don't have to try and avoid those terms. I don't avoid using stupid or dumb at home though...particularly in terms of the poor decisions my son makes.

Also had to add...my son (adopted) is part Hispanic, and I've noticed that he thinks this gives him license to use racial slurs. He's told me "I can't actually be racist since I'm part Mexican." ARGH!!! It's been like talking to a wall.

Bortaz, MSN, RN

Specializes in CDI Supervisor; Formerly NICU. Has 12 years experience.

Calling it the "N word" fits right in with this discussion of silliness. Abbreviating it doesn't make it less hateful. It's not the letters in the word that makes it hateful, but rather the intent behind them.

Elvish, BSN, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

Just curious, genuinely seeking - how do you know when someone is voicing true hatred and bigotry? Someone you work with, I mean.

Example:

During report in the newborn nursery, the charge nurse was passing along that a baby's mother had some tropical illness or another (don't even remember what it was), and the oncoming nurse asked, "Where in the world did she pick THAT up?" Offgoing nurse: "Probably in Mexico. I'm sure she's an illegal."

There is a world of difference between that an my Hispanic friend telling me she's eating 'white people food'. Or me calling my gay uncle and his partner (who happen to have the same name) Uncle John and Aunt John. (They know that I love them both, and they think it is funny.)

It's hard to articulate exactly how one tells; I just know that for me, it's not hard to distinguish who's who by how they act when you're NOT talking about sensitive subjects. One of my best friends at work is black (I am white). I can ask her a race-related question and she does not get offended because a) she knows that if I'm asking, it's because I truly want to know; and b) she also knows that I feel as strongly about prejudices of any sort as she does.

I hope this makes some sort of sense. It's late and I'm trying to get back on a diurnal schedule.

HippyGreenPeaceChick

Specializes in ER and Home Health. Has 2 years experience.

I love and thrive on being as PC as possible. But like everyone else, I am Human, thus by nature I am imperfect.

chicookie, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds Hem, Onc, Med/Surg. Has 8 years experience.

When I was younger my cousins and siblings used to call me white. Why? well I listen to rock music, I dress goth, I'm smart(honestly, my cousins thought only white people where smart) I didn't use their slang, etc and it used to hurt alot because it felt like they didn't want me to belong. I always felt like an outsider when our families got together.

Now... heck I don't care. Because white, mexican, spanish, whatever you call me I don't care. After that experience with my family I have come to realize you only call people that because of your own ignorance.(that and I am doing way better then them LOL)

Playing around though, like a poster above me stated is different and should only be done with people you really really know. (Which obviously is not in the workplace because you don't really know your coworks.)

But w/e nothing we can do will change it.

Just my white two cents. LOL

showbizrn

Specializes in Behavioral Health, Show Biz.

i love and thrive on being as pc as possible. but like everyone else, i am human, thus by nature i am imperfect.

:twocents:

pc puts

all of us on point.

we have to be

soooo careful.

i steer clear of

any ethnic/cultural references

that might offend or hurt

someone's feelings. :down:

to some folks

it's like "walking on jello."

but hey

we're in a caring profession...right?;)

FireStarterRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele. Has 15 years experience.

I do feel like I have to walk on eggshells around people of certain races. I feel that this, unfortunately, puts up barriers to forming close relationships. But, I don't want to offend, so I do steer clear. Better safe than sorry.

Dinith88

Specializes in CCU/CVU/ICU. Has 15 years experience.

I only say the 'N' word if i'm really angry and the person i'm mad at is black.

(please note:bad joke. don't be a hater!)

I understand it can be hard. But words have power, we all know this. I don't need to drop the F bomb every 5 minutes either :roll

Now have I been known to use a not well enough placef F bomb - heck ya. But I do try to moderate my language in many regards.

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