"I would rather have her marry a black than a Catholic."
Ok, what would you say to that comment? Would you say anything if this were said to you? Would you address the wrong-ness of hating blacks or Catholics first? Or would you just not talk to the person who said this to you ever again?
I have a friend who heard this as a little girl. It still hurts her to this day, although she is elderly. Do you think that if someone said something right then that the speaker would have learned anything? How can you say something so that the speaker learns something?
When someone says things like this to me, I really don't know what to say except that I really like "Joe" or whoever we're talking about, and I think he'd make a fine husband. But then that leaves the other half of the statement hanging, or I get bewildered when statements like this really come up (because I'm unprepared!) and say something stupid like, "Well, I don't see too much of a problem here..."
And when I find myself in a group of people talking like this, I try to leave. Maybe I do that more for my own comfort than teaching anyone anything. Maybe I don't want to be seen as agreeing with them by even hanging out. Maybe people like this wouldn't listen to me anyway.
But I leave. Maybe I am a coward. What do YOU say?