I said something racist to my roommate and I feel awful

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    I just moved countries and started living in a dorm a month ago. Today I was on video call with my mother and brother and one of my roommates passed by; she said hi to the camera. I told my mother it’s my roommate (along with her name) and to which my mother replied: “She looks Chinese? Is she Chinese?”

    She is from Mongolia. I ended up translating that to her, and she instantly replied, “That’s SO racist!”

    I didn’t give it a second thought, and ended up translating a racist comment of my mom to her. I feel so so guilty. I could’ve just not translated a comment that is offensive and could’ve explained to mom that she is from somewhere else and it is not okay to assume and mention that.

    I did tell that to mom that it is racist and not okay, I did apologize to my roommate after the call again on behalf of my mom. And she said it was fine, we’re okay.

    I can’t stop crying from shame and I resent what I did. I know it’s my fault and I shouldn’t be comforted for the wrong I did. I’m just afraid of making things awkward with someone I have to possibly spend a year with. I feel like running out of the room all the times and am just avoiding because when I’m in front of her I feel so so small, and inferior. I feel so uneducated, someone who lives in dumps. I feel shameful, and can’t confront her after this. Even after apology and her acknowledging my apology.

    I feel awful


    Dear Javairia:

    You finally moved out of your home which you shared with your siblings and with your horrible mother, moved to another country.. and yet, you brought your mother into your new life via a video call, passing on your mother’s racist comment to your new roommate.

    Almost a year ago, October 31, 2020, you wrote regarding your mother: “I feel really frustrated because of mom whenever I’m at home, because she always throws away her frustration of being short on finances at me, and thus the chain reaction begins. But one day she said, ‘I would have been dead long ago. I really don’t have a reason to live. I have to live just because you, my children exist’ She just lives to fulfill one, single responsibility? That is us?“- obviously the answer is Yes: her single responsibility is to mess up her children’s lives. Please don’t give her more opportunities to fulfill her single responsibility long-distance!

    November 6-13, 2020, you wrote: “my mother is a compulsive liar. I’ve noticed that since I was very young. She’s been always lying out of habit for no reason- even in normal, relaxed conversations. She even lies to me about our budget sometimes.. I do doubt what she says, but it’s exhausting to doubt every word and conversation“.

    August 25, 2020, you wrote: “Mom and brothers get extremely pissed off at little things and start a fight out-of-blue sometimes. Today my brother and mom had a fight, and everyone is just so angry.. mom- she has just gotten worse. She can’t help but initiate a fight at home whenever she gets a chance“-

    Don’t give her more opportunities to initiate fights. If your roommate was not as gracious as she was, she could have reacted aggressively to your mother’s racist comment, and you could then say that your mother.. couldn’t help but initiate a fight in your new home whenever she gets a chance.. a chance that you gave her via a video call.

    Still in August 25, 2020, you wrote about living with your mother and siblings: “I have quite an unstable living environment, where everyone gets angry easily and are just getting pissed off at things one minute or another…  I have never felt safe in this place. My mind sinks into a really bad place when I’m here“-

    And long distance, currently.. your mind sank into a bad place yet again, after a video call  with your mother, translated to your roommate.

    On that same day, Aug 25, 2020, I wrote to you: “before you are able to move out, try to not get involved in the fights, don’t participate, don’t try to solve their problems, their disagreements, instead- disengage best you can… When a fight breaks out, leave the house for a walk outside, or go to a park where you can get a break”-

    – more than a year later, you took a walk outside, so to speak, all the way to a different country.. congratulations! Now, all you have to do is to disengage from your mother. I wish you wouldn’t make any video calls with her, but if you must, do that outside the presence of your roommates or anyone else. And don’t translate what your mother says (including her compulsive lies and racist comments) to anyone who doesn’t have to hear her. What she says is bad enough in your original language, it does not deserve to be translated to any other language!

    Please learn from this experience, Javairia.



    Hi anita,

    Thank you for replying. I won’t receive her calls in front of anyone from now. I’ll disengage the best I can.

    I’ll try to be careful of what I say

    I always feel better and heard reading from you


    Dear Javairia:

    You are welcome, and I feel better when I read back from you! Yes, disengage… please!!!



    So you should, you apologized, you felt guilty, you fixed it, learn, move on, thankyou for your acceptance.

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