Confronting family members with a moral criticism is TOUGH.
Almost anything between immediate family members is loaded, by nature of that relationship alone. Add on top of that the sensitivity of this topic in particular, and it’s a recipe for a very real confrontation.
One Redditor recently navigated something just like that, and explained everything in a post to the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster, known as kaiizooku on the site, used the post’s title to divulge just where that conflict ultimately led.
“AITA for not letting my sister come to my wedding?”
OP begin with some background.
“Being only one year apart, I [25-year-old female] have always had a pretty good relationship with my sister.”
“I met a guy named Jae (not real name) 4 years ago. We’ve instantly connected, started dating quickly, he’s an amazing person and I couldn’t be happier.”
“He’s Korean, born there and moved in this country when he was a child.”
But when Jae met the family, things became weird pretty quickly.
“My parents had no problem with it, but my sister started making ‘jokes’ every time he was around, ‘joking’ about him eating dogs, having small genitals, being made out of rice and pretty much all that racist stuff.”
“I’ve tried telling her it was racism and non acceptable but she’s always saying it’s just a joke, and telling me I was terrible for calling her a racist.”
Jae himself let OP know how he felt.
“Jae always told me not to get mad or yell because he didn’t want to cause any problems. Didn’t want me to speak for him.”
“So I didn’t, but at the same time I’m always angry whenever that happens.”
But a new development brought things back to the surface.
“Anyways, we’ve announced our engagement lately! We’re getting married next month. My family was very happy for me, his family too.”
“Now, my sister is supposed to be my bridesmaid. But the more the wedding approaches, the more ‘comments’ my fiance is getting.”
“Lately, she’s been telling us how worried she was that the ceremony is going to be ‘an asiatic bullsh*t’ and we’re all going to catch covid-19 due to my in-laws coming.”
“Also, I’ve learned she told Jae to try to get his eye bigger for the pictures, and she even told me I could always change my mind and marry a ‘real’ guy.”
Those additional comments became difficult to ignore.
“Last night, I talked to Jae and asked him about his feelings. He confessed that, obviously, he was getting tired of the racists comments.”
“It was my cue to act, as I also was getting more and more upset and also frustrated to watch him get insulted without doing anything.”
OP knew she had to do something.
“So I called my sister and told her that the only way she was coming to the wedding was if she stopped her racists comments and apologized to my fiance.”
“She refused and acted as if I was the one at fault, yelling at her like that even though she was only ‘joking’ etcetera… I was very tired and told her I’m not inviting her anymore until she changes.”
But it wasn’t so simple.
“Now her and my parents are mad at me for doing that, saying I’m overreacting and shouldn’t ban my sister for such an important event. But I’m sick of that and not changing my decision.”
“But Jae told me I shouldn’t do that, as it is a bit harsh and would pain my sister. He said it would be mean…So now I’m conflicted…”
“Am I in the wrong?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors threw their full support behind OP.
“NTA. I probably wouldn’t invite my parents either. This isn’t a situation of your sister not knowing she’s making insensitive comments. She’s a racist. I have a sister I didn’t invite to my wedding and I have no regrets.”
“You did say she could attend if she apologizes. Sounds reasonable.” — Nola70132
“NTA. Your sister is racist. Even if she was joking, (she’s not) a decent person would stop when asked to.” — everynameistaken000
“NTA, you’d be an AH if you invited your sister. Your wedding, you choose who to invite, and do you really want a racist who called your wedding bullsh** there insulting your in-laws and husband?”
” ‘Just joking’ is a lame excuse- if the target of the joke doesn’t find it funny, it isn’t funny. Stick to your guns and keep her out <3″ — iusedtobeonfire
“NTA.Your sister decided to not go to your wedding. You gave her a choice, to act like a decent human and go or to be racist and not go.”
“All she had to do was shut up her terrible thoughts about the inhabitants of a continent for one day and she chose not to do that.”
“She chose her racism over attending your wedding. Do not let your parents or her forget that this was her decision not to attend.”
“I’d go so far to change the offer to ‘you may only attend if you do not speak anything racist and must be supervised by one of our parents the entire time’ to ensure she’s not just spouting off at the wedding.” — ForkAKnife
Others even pushed on OP for not being sure she was right.
“NTA, but what took you so long?” — metalasfck
“YTA for letting this go on as long as it did.” — Buggyaxa
“NTA If you don’t stand up for your husband now, then when? When the comments about your children start? Will it be ok to “joke” about your children’s heritage? No? Of course it won’t be.”
“If your sister can’t stop her racist comments, then she has no place in the most important day of your life.”
“And to be clear, you haven’t ‘banned’ her from your wedding. You gave her a choice that she was to be respectful or she was to not be there. She has told you that she will not be respectful, therefore she has chosen to not attend.” — ResoluteMuse
“YTA for allowing 4 years of racism without any consequence and rewarding your sister with a bridesmaid position. Are you sure you love this guy?” — tripviic
“NTA Not even a little. You should’ve acted faster even if Jae said he was fine with it, you weren’t. Boundaries need to be set.”
“This is the man you are going to spend the rest of your life with. Stick with your gut, and stop doubting yourself. She needs to learn.” — mmj1990
In response to those criticisms, OP included a lengthy updated.
“I did realize how bad of a person my sister is and has always been been towards Jae (and I, in a way). I also realized that, since my Love and I are planning to start a family, I would never accept any kind of comments towards my child, ever, so I better start reacting now.”
“I talked to Jae and asked him how he would want me to handle the situation, as to make sure my decisions would not harm him.”
“I also explained to him that while he was being extremely nice and an amazing kind person, he was allowed to be mad and that this treatment was not only unfair but disgusting, and that it also hurts me to see him suffer like this. That he was also part of my family.”
“After having this talk, he agreed on me not allowing my sister to come, and thanked me. I apologized for not doing something sooner, we had a really emotional conversation (I feel like he’s really relieved, I am so glad).”
OP even addressed her sister once again, this time incorporating the feedback.
“So I called my sister, in visio. I told her that I wouldn’t allow a racist person coming to our wedding, that her jokes were just excuses to blatant racism and very hurtful and that if she had an internal deeper problem with Jae, she could talk to me.”
“But she didn’t, she kept going on about how I was terrible and mean and she didn’t do anything ‘that bad.’ I gave her a last chance to make amend, she didn’t take it.”
“So now she’s definitely not going to our wedding, I’ve made sure of that. As well as our married life, as long as she doesn’t apologize and set things right, she’s not allowed near my family.”
OP reflected upon how it felt to put her foot down.
“My Love is happy and relieved with that decision too, which is the most important part for me. I’ve also talked to my parents, as recommended, and told them that if they believed she was innocent or had the same point of view as her, they weren’t welcome as well.”
“They told me they don’t, so I’m allowing them but keeping an open eye, just in case, since I’m still mad at them for siding with her in the first place.”
“I do feel better, and I will definitely be more assertive starting now. I will not allow anything else like this.”
OP also made a specific note about her silence.
“(Also, to the persons asking why I reacted so late to all the racist comments: I did insult and/or yell at her a lot of times at the beginning, we’ve had multiple discussions.”
“But that made Jae quite upset, he later told me he didn’t like conflict especially ‘because’ of him and didn’t want me to be mad for him. I told him he was allowed to be mad and not take it but he didn’t want to listen.”
“We’ve had a long discussion and he asked me to never get angry and his behalf or say something, as it would hurt him. I didn’t like it but after a few more conversations I felt like he was pretty stoic on this.”
“It of course doesn’t excuse the fact that I should’ve reacted sooner, it’s totally on my fault and I do feel responsible, it’s just to give further information). Well, now he knows I won’t take it anymore.”
In this case, the internet was not the vehicle for radical, racist ideas to foment, but the place where some very necessary feedback was used to fight against them.