Help! I Can’t Stop My Young Daughter From Making Racist Comments.

Advice on manners and morals.
Feb. 7 2013 6:15 AM

Mommy’s Little Bigot

My young daughter won't stop spouting racist comments.

(Continued from Page 1)

Dear Angry,
I’m sure many people reading this would happily pack up their cameras and send them so that this poor girl could have one sweet thing in her life. Given your description of his upbringing, it’s no surprise where this young man’s beastly behavior comes from. Thus the chain of pain continues. The mother is intimidated and ineffectual, the brother a strong, young bully. Mom needs to step up and set some standards or else tell the boy it’s time he got a job and his own place to live, but it doesn’t sound as if she has it in her, in which case  your gift may be irretrievable. I'm wondering if it would be possible for you to look for a decent camera, affordable for you, on Amazon or eBay, etc. If you don't think even a replacement camera would be safe at the girl's house, maybe you can hold it for her at yours and invite her over for a weekly photography lesson.  A caring adult who notices how special she is can truly make a difference in a bleak life.

—Prudie

Dear Prudie,
At 22, I was hired straight out of college to report at a daily newspaper. I'm lucky, I know, especially given the volatility in the economy and news industry. I am five years younger than the newest hire, and I am infinitely more efficient, clear with my writing, and communicative with my sources than the new reporter. The other reporter constantly works overtime, is defensive to managers, and is overall awkward and completely aloof to her bizarre treatment of sources, other reporters, and bosses. I wonder why nobody ever suggested to this girl that she pursue copy-editing instead of reporting, within the realm of being a "communications professional" of all things? The management here is terrible. I get so angry sitting behind her on days when I'm supposed to work, listening to her futilely pound at the keys (she finger hunts). I feel like I'm not furthering my career because I'm practically getting carpal tunnel just filling the news hole to make up for her inefficiency, rather than writing thoughtful investigative pieces. Should I suck it up, or speak up?

—Frustrated Minion

Advertisement

Dear Frustrated,
I guess I’m a “communications professional” too, and as one to another, you’ve impressed me with your whiny ingratitude and entitlement. You’re right that given the state of the news business you are lucky to have landed any job right away. No doubt your paper’s lousy management and your colleague’s annoying typing (typing, in a news room—the nerve!) are keeping you from those Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative pieces you’d otherwise be doing. Maybe if you spent less time focusing on the habits of your colleague, you could get out and do some reporting on those stories. I understand you’re a great communicator and all, but for now, I advise you keep your unhappiness to yourself.

—Prudie

More Dear Prudence Columns

Sins of the Father: I think my dad has a secret love child. Should I confront him?” Posted Nov. 10, 2011.
 “The Monotony of Monogamy: I married my first sexual partner, and now I’m itching to cheat.” Posted Nov. 3, 2011.
 “Indecent Proposal: My colleagues are framing our boss for harassment. Should I expose their evil plot?” Posted Oct. 27, 2011.
Bye-Bye Baby: My sister is making a huge mistake by placing her child for adoption.” Posted Oct. 20, 2011.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

Morbid Memento?: Dear Prudence advises a woman whose fiance is too attached to his dead sister-in-law—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Nov. 14, 2011.
 “Sniffing Out Trouble: Dear Prudence advises a woman who caught her fiance's dad in a sleazy act—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Nov. 7, 2011.
 “Halloween Hangover: Dear Prudence advises a dad whose buddies hit the bottle too hard on the trick-or-treat trail—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Oct. 31, 2011.
Sleeping With the Frenemy: Dear Prudence offers advice on confessing to an affair with a BFF's husband—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Oct. 24, 2011.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?