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Mom Clashes With Husband After Punishing Teen Son For Making Racist Joke About Delivery Guy

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A mother was appalled when her young teenage son made a comment that visibly upset a Chinese restaurant deliveryman who was at their door.

Redditor SnooPaintings9288 went into disciplinary mode to teach her son a valuable lesson, but her husband did not agree with the punishment.

Wondering if she overreacted to the situation, she visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for punishing my son after he said something racist?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained what happened that night.

“About a week ago, my (39 F[emale]) family ordered Chinese food for delivery. When the delivery driver came to the door, my daughter (16 F[emale]) was taking the cat upstairs to put in her room because he always tries to eat the food.”

“My son (13 M[ale]) loudly says, ‘Make sure to hide the cat from the Chinese guy!’ as I am at the door getting the food from the Chinese delivery driver. He very obviously heard what my son said and was upset by it.”

“I quickly apologized and took the food.”

“I told my son that racist jokes were completely unacceptable and very wrong and he refused to admit that he was in the wrong.”

“So, later that night I forced my son to write a sincere apology to the delivery driver, (his name was on the receipt) as well as write a one page paper on Chinese culture and a one page paper on why racism is perpetuated by racist jokes and stereotypes.”

“Then the next day I took him to the restaurant and had him read his apology aloud to the delivery driver as well as give him the papers he wrote.”

“The driver was very appreciative of the apology and thanked me for making my son do it. He then told my son about multiple instances where he had faced racist comments and attacks from people while he was a delivery driver.”

“That night my husband (43 M[ale]) and I got into an argument about me making our son do this. He told me that it was embarrassing for our son to have to do the apology and that the ‘punishment didn’t fit the crime’.”

“I told him that it was much more embarrassing for the driver to have to face that kind of racism and racist stereotypes and that our son would get over the embarrassment. I do not condone any kind of hateful thinking in my house, and the fact that my son said that embarrassed me as well.”

“My husband told me that it was ‘just a joke’ and it wasn’t that big of a deal. I feel like I might have overreacted some but I think it’s important to help my son understand how what he said was wrong and hurtful.”

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

“NTA. Your son may have been embarrassed, but he SHOULD be embarrassed for having said a racist joke.”

“That kind of joke is meant to embarrass and humiliate the target (the delivery guy). You did right by your son by turning that around and showing him that his attitudes and ‘jokes’ are the real embarrassment.”

“Soon he will be too old to teach not to be racist. you are a great parent and I hope your son takes this lesson to heart.” – dstar_shark

“Yep, the driver is the wronged party here, not the son.”

“Like you said, he should have felt embarrassed by what he did. The dad minimizing it as ‘just a joke’ is meaningless, and it’s one of those things that people do to excuse stuff like that.”

“It’s not okay, and good on OP.” – TheGoverness1998

Redditors of Asian descent shared their  experiences being targeted with racist jokes.

“Yeah, what on earth was the dad’s reasoning for claiming ‘the punishment didn’t fit the crime’? It fit the crime perfectly.”

“Also, I’m Asian and have had the exact same ‘joke’ made against me, except with dogs, not cats. Seeing it be taken seriously and having amends be made would have made me feel 80% better about the whole thing.”

“It’s not just about punishing the kid, it’s also about making the delivery guy feel more empowered and lessening the amount of harm that was done.” – ShimmeringNothing

“Another fellow Asian here and def NTA.”

“It gives me hope there are parents out there that don’t let people/their kids brush it off as ‘just a joke.’ I’ve been hearing this ‘joke’ all my life and usually the only punchline is me walking away thinking how the hell some people raise their kids.”

“Thanks, OP – thank you for having this conversation with your kids at a young age. I feel like a majority of parents would just tell their child to hush and be embarassed and apologize then slam the door and never give it anymore thought.”

“And your husband – TA. Sorry.” – kmjl87

“Yet another Asian American here. OP is 100% NTA, but kid and husband absolutely are TA. These comments are honestly really hurtful, and further drill in racism.”

“Thank you, OP, for punishing your child the way you did. It fits the crime, and is appreciated by the driver and a number of Asian folks like me.” – Myodokaii

“NTA. I’m Chinese, I’ve heard racist ‘jokes’ said to and about me all my life. It’s embarrassing and hurtful.”

“If someone who made one of those comments later came to me with a written apology and essays like your son did, I’d probably cry.”

“I’d be very grateful to you as a parent for educating your child and not enabling such behavior, and moved by how seriously you took issue with something that many people – like your husband – wouldn’t bother with.”

“I hope your husband eventually learns to take after the good example you set; right now he’s just part of the problem.” – tdcecz

The father being “part of the problem” was explored deeper.

“NTA. Your husband’s attitude is precisely the problem and is why systemic racism continues to propagate in this country.”

“Kudos to you for a very just and well thought out lesson for your son, which I hope he can truly learn from and perhaps help solve some of the issues that are breaking our society apart.”

“Perhaps your husband needs to do some similar homework in regards to what racism is and how it harms not simply the people it is directed at, but all people as a whole.”

“Honestly, I am so proud of you (in the most non-condesending way possible) for being such an excellent example of a person for your family.” – FinallyKat

“All of this. ‘It’s just a joke’ is the very essence of systemic racism and White privilege.”

“You ever notice how White people have ‘just a joke’ for every race/ethnicity/religion on earth? Because they’ve spent centuries trying to subjugate them in the name of wealth and power.”

“White privilege is having the ability to make those jokes every day without recrimination while the people that are subjected to them are further dehumanized and otherwise alienated.”

“He needs to understand it is not ok. And he needs to understand that teaching his son that it’s not ok is one of his greatest responsibilities as a parent.” – brizzboog

Overall, Redditors declared the OP as NTA and slammed the husband for shaming her disciplinary response.

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1