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I mucked up please help me out

asked 2017-08-02 07:22:04 -0600

anonymous user


updated 2017-08-03 00:41:34 -0600

strongKaur gravatar image

Hi everyone,

I need to ask something that I never thought I would ever have to ask in my entire lifetime. What I need to make clear before I ask though, is that I am a huge advocate for racial equality and have always stood by the rights of immigrants, people of different ethnic backgrounds and that's how I've been for my entire life and will continue to be. But I think I've mucked up big.

I have a group of 4 that I'm in for an anatomy lab, and a couple of weeks ago, we were playing with different coloured wires to mark different nerves. One of the girls (who is european) was saying how it was black and like kept saying it but not in a mean or racial way at all. We were overall talking about different TV shows that depict different ethnic peoples and she said 'black nerve' again to which I then realised that there was a man of African ethnicity in the table behind her and I just told her maybe we shouldn't be saying black over and over again. The mood of the entire table was light, and we were not serious in any way and we don't have any malice at all. On Monday, he was standing in front of a black curtain at the future of the lecture theatre - the girls (who are both european and very lovely, like genuinely very nice) turned to me and said do you remember our conversation to which I replied yes. We exahnged another few words and I can't remember what it was but my said "But guys in all honesty" and then I stopped and said nothing at all. They turned around and then about 2 minutes later one of the girls turned and said to me "Were you just about to say you can't see him?" and I stopped for a moment and agreed. I am killing myself for agreeing. They cracked up - again the mood is light. They said that it was the best timing of a joke since last lab.

My question is this - none of us were being racist at all, and I didn't even say anything, I agreed to something that they said. But what if he finds out? We have different circles and these girls are very very nice and one of them even came up to me and said that she knows I feel bad and that it'll only stay as a joke between the 3 of us. I have been killing myself about this for 2 days. I am not a racist. I never have been. And I know they wouldn't say anything because they really are genuine. But I can't stop thinking of the worst possible scenario where that guy finds out, as we are all doing the same course but we have such different circles. I didn't mean it at all ... (more)

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answered 2017-08-02 15:55:51 -0600

strongKaur gravatar image

You’re not a horrible person. Shame is a really hard feeling to move forward from, but you have taken the courageous step of sharing your story and I hope that has helped at least a little in taking the weight off your shoulders. We all mess up sometimes. Especially when it comes to accidently agreeing with something someone else has said. It happens unintentionally in the heat of the moment sometimes and then we realize afterwards we didn’t agree. The good thing is that you realize that your comments might have been hurtful to your classmate because it shows that you have compassion for him and you care about other people’s feelings. I think you are recognizing that even though you didn’t intend to be malicious, that intentions don’t matter sometimes and feelings can still be hurt. It doesn’t matter if the mood was light for you, the mood was heavy for him. You can’t take back what you did, but certainly you can learn from it.

Let’s think about being in his shoes. Your options are to go and speak to him directly and apologize/explain. If he didn’t hear you though it might make it worse. I don’t think anyone is going to go up to him and tell him afterwards- no one would be that mean. But he may have been close enough to hear you guys talking about him? The other thing you can do is just learn from this and not approach him about it. I would say that although I know you feel bad about it, I’m not so sure that those girls understand the situation and I would be careful in spending any more time with them than you need to for the lab. Think about what to say if the situation arises again that they are making jokes you are not comfortable with.

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It was such an awful thing and I am trying to make amends for it. He couldn't hear us at all he was very far away. Which is why I know that he didn't hear us. I should have not agreed with them when they asked me but it was such a stupid heat of the moment thing to do.

SimK gravatar imageSimK ( 2017-08-03 05:21:49 -0600 )edit

I know that they are not malicious girls but i understand how it would it look like form his perspective. I pray that everyone forgets this whole thing. I feel so bad. I haven't been able to forget it. I am never going to bring this up again and if they do I am not going to carry it on.

SimK gravatar imageSimK ( 2017-08-03 05:22:50 -0600 )edit

Thank you so much strongKaur for talking to me about it. I really appreciate it.

SimK gravatar imageSimK ( 2017-08-03 05:23:10 -0600 )edit

No problem. Don't worry, people will forget. I'm sure the girls won't mention it since you talked to them about it. Try to forgive yourself. People make mistakes.

strongKaur gravatar imagestrongKaur ( 2017-08-03 12:58:28 -0600 )edit

I pray they forget. Thank you strongKaur xx

SimK gravatar imageSimK ( 2017-08-03 22:54:10 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2017-08-02 07:22:04 -0600

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Last updated: Aug 02 '17