Saturday, May 27, 2023
HomeRelationship Adviceracist dad is force-feeding me his political beliefs

racist dad is force-feeding me his political beliefs

Hi, I’m 19F and my dad is past his sixties. My dad has always been very… passionate… when it comes to politics. He’s never afraid to voice his beliefs no matter who he is talking to. Good for him, right? Not really, because he will say racist, homophobic, transphobic etc things out loud and I fucking hate listening to him talk. He will rant about this shit for hours. I’ve never talked to him about my beliefs because I’m not really good at communicating verbally in person, whereas Dad can be very aggressive vocally (he has anger issues). So I guess he thinks we all agree with his bullshit and feels comfortable ranting on and on.

To give you an example of a few things he’s said: one time my dog had puppies, and I invited my boyfriend over to show them. After a few hours, his mom came to pick my bf up and my parents went out to say hi to my bf’s mom. He then suddenly says something about how he needs to watch out for the puppies because he’s concerned about my Asian mom eating them. My poor mom just stood there and laughed along dad, but for everyone else it was so shocking that we just looked at each other in disbelief.

On a daily basis he says hateful things about black/brown people, the lgbtq+ community, or democrats (eyeroll). A year ago, I believe, my brother’s new health teacher handed out a form for the students to fill in order to introduce themselves. It was asking the students about their name, age, hobbies, etc and their pronouns. I guess my brother thought this was funny and told dad about it. Dad got furious and called the principal’s office. He said something like, “I paid extra to send my kid to a private school for education so I don’t want a teacher spreading political propaganda to the students!!” I bet he literally wouldn’t even care if a teacher showed up with a MAGA hat to school.

My younger brother (17) seems more affected by dad’s “brainwashing” and I’m concerned for my brother. My brother doesn’t research anything for himself and when I try to talk to him, he just dismisses me because he thinks I’m a “liberal” I’m just teaching him how to be accepting of everyone without discriminating against someone’s race, sexual preference, gender, religious beliefs etc??

I seriously think parents shouldn’t be influencing their kid’s political or religious beliefs like this. There should be freedom for the kids to choose what they wish to believe. Thankfully my dad isnt crazy with religion so I was able to have freedom there, but it’s almost suffocating when it comes to politics.

Okay anyway, that was basically a long introduction to my family because I actually have a new problem with my dad related to this lol. Yesterday he handed me something that came in the mail for me, and it was a voting ballot. This time I was actually interested in supporting some of the measures because I heard a lot about said measures and its possible consequences.

But dad, as he hands me the ballot, says, “We can sit down and talk about everything on the paper together. I will help you with everything and explain some things.”

I seriously didn’t want to deal with having to sit through another one of his bs lectures again. I would much rather prefer NOT voting AT ALL than having to go through this. So I told him that I’m actually not interested in politics and don’t really care about voting. His response, “then do you want me to fill the paper out and you can just sign it?”

I don’t want to give away votes to whatever or whoever dad supports, because most likely I do not agree with them at all. I told him we can talk about it tomorrow because I’m tired and hoped that he would forget about it in the morning.

But I woke up to a paper on the kitchen table. Basically it’s a step-by-step on how to vote for the candidates or measures that he believes in. Vote Republican canidate, vote “no” on measure 000 etc. He hasn’t said anything but I’m pretty sure this is something for me. I don’t want to vote for anything that he “recommends”. I literally disagree with everything on the paper. He’s calling his friends and asking them if they got their ballots, and if he can come over to “give them suggestions”.

Who does he think he is?? I’m so disgusted and I feel like my rights are being stripped away from me. I feel like I don’t have any freedom here. Nothing I tell dad is going to stop him or make him respect my opinion. He’s literally trying to mansplain because he thinks I’m not mature or smart enough to know anything about politics I guess, and he probably thinks I will “make mistakes” as I’m filling out my ballot. Idk. I’m just really upset.

tldr: dad is basically extremely aggressive with his political beliefs and it’s becoming suffocating for me.

EDIT— Thank you for everyone who shared their experiences or gave me helpful advice. I drove to my bf’s house and looked into each measure or canidate and voted as I wanted to 🙂 When I return home tonight, I think I’ll talk to dad about how I don’t want to discuss politics with him unless he is able to be open-minded and respectful, as some of you suggested! I never really enjoyed spending time with my dad because he will make everything about politics. So maybe now I can start the conversation with him and be honest with him about how I’ve been feeling all these years. I hate being confrontational so I kinda just avoided talking to him but now he’s trying to take my ballot and vote FOR me so I need to step it up and protect my boundaries.

As I’ve mentioned in replies under some comments, my dad isnt physically harmful or abusive. He’s not a bad person apart from this (apart from his racist and homophobic views I guess) so I don’t need to run away from him lol. I guess I was pretty upset when I wrote this earlier and made it sound like I will automatically discredit anything my dad has to say but that’s not true. I agree with some things he says and I consider myself pretty open-minded. And I’m not really being hateful towards any certain political group. Maybe I was too specific in my post which made some people assume that this was a politically charged post? But it was about a disagreement between me and my dad, and how it’s affecting our relationship. Thank you again everyone for your support!

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  1. I’ve been at political odds with my father for years. In the past we’ve been able to agree to disagree but after the last 5 years he’s become impossible.

    OP, take your ballot, cast the votes YOU want to cast, and return your ballot. Based on your post I’m quite sure you are capable of reading and following directions, you don’t need his help there. If he asks, say you took care of it and leave it at that.

    I’m in my 40s. I’m used to having political debates with my father. It used to upset me when he made nasty comments about people who are affiliated with the same political party as me. Now I just laugh, remind him that I’m one of “those” people, and I gleefully point out that I am the way I am because HE raised me to be an independent, thoughtful, and educated woman.

  2. “Dad, you talking about politics all the time is a drag. You just say the same thing all the time. Let’s talk about something that’s actually interesting.”

    This will absolutely bother him and he’ll go into a rant about how important it all is, but just stick with being a 19 year old and roll your eyes at him, sigh, and stick with the general theme of “I find it tiresome when you talk about this” including leaving the room.

    Don’t argue with him, don’t debate – that’s what he likely wants. Instead, make it clear that the general topic is the issue (rather than his specific beliefs) and try to steer things elsewhere.

  3. Fill it out when your father is not around and then mail it or drop it off. When he asks about sitting down and filling it out, say you already did and walk away.

    Don’t engage with him about his beliefs and start planning on moving out.

  4. Congratulations on getting to voting age.

    Take your voting paper somewhere your dad isn’t. Make your decisions. Vote, and mail your ballot.

    You have a secret ballot so you don’t need to tell your dad how you voted or be subject to pressure.

    If he insists on discussing it and you need to keep the peace you can just say you voted on one issue and did it how he wanted. If you don’t need to keep the peace just keep replying “I’m not interested in discussing politics dad.”

  5. Keep your ballot somewhere secure. If he fills out your ballot, report him to the police. That’s a crime.

    Simply tell him you do not agree, and do not want to discuss politics with him. Tell him you would much rather spend quality time together on a shared activity, watching a movie, cooking, etc. If he starts ranting, tell him once that you don’t want to discuss politics with him. If he keeps going, get up and leave the room/house/etc.

  6. My dad is like this. He always expressed his political opinions but when I came of voting age I finally started stating my opinions as well. Like you, I had remained quiet up until that point. I also felt like I was being brainwashed in my own home, and felt a lot better when I moved out and felt like I could finally think for myself.

    It all took a pretty bad turn eventually though. My dad and my stepmom both agreed and were very vocal about politics. I’d get invited to dinner at their house and they’d make comments about current events. But as soon as I voiced my opinion, which wasn’t the same as theirs, I got told to shut up and that I was being disrespectful. Not because I was actually behaving disrespectfully, but because I was disagreeing with them in their house. It didn’t take long before I was banned from coming over, all because I refused to sit quietly while they expressed their opinions and I wasn’t allowed to express mine in return. I never brought anything up, they always did first and I responded. I suggested we just not talk about politics and they agreed, but then they’d end up taking about it anyways. I was told they could say whatever they wanted and I wasn’t allowed to respond basically. It was like going back to living with them and being brainwashed and I wasn’t having it.

    That was basically the end of my relationship with my stepmom, which was fine with me she’s awful. It all came to blows though one day when I was having breakfast out with my dad *for my birthday* and he started doing the same thing. He made comments about something that was on the tv and I made comments back. We would sometimes have debate’s and usually evening turned out ok. But this time he tried to get me to stop again but we weren’t under his roof so he had no leverage. Long story short the only other person in the diner started yelling at me and calling me stupid, cause he agreed with my dad. This was a quiet conversation by the way, my dad and I were not loud or getting heated. But this guy intervenes and my dad agrees with him that I should shut up, and then leaves me there. He abandoned me in that diner with some stranger who was angry at me and still yelling at me. I don’t really talk to my dad anymore other than to say happy birthday or happy whatever holiday via text. He decided his politics are more important than me.

    What I’m saying is, be careful I guess. If you don’t want to know if your dad’s politics are more important to him than you then don’t engage in debates. If you’re like me and refuse to shut up and submit then just know you run the risk of something like this happening. I don’t think either choice is wrong or right, bad or good. But they do each have their own consequences.

  7. There’s a REASON why our elections are SECRET ballots! So that you can vote however you want to with no repercussions. Not even from your overbearing, racist, homo-/trans-phobic bigot of a father.

    For a long time, my dad and I didn’t agree on political things. You know what he NEVER did, though? He NEVER told me WHO to vote for or HOW to vote on any other ballot items.

    You are not obligated to vote the way your father wants you to. If he asks who you voted for, LIE. Your rights are not being stripped away. Your dad doesn’t even remotely have the power to make that happen. You, however, have the power to make your voice heard by voting the way YOU want to.

  8. My mother in law is the same fucking way but democratic (which i have no problem with either I’m independent). She has said that if we live here we have to vote a democratic ticket, she’ll tell me what to vote yes and no on.
    I feel this is a violation of a basic human right to vote!
    I’d like to read through and vote based on facts and what I feel is right not based on a certain party because they both have issues.

  9. I have been in a very similar situation with my own father since the day i was old enough to say “George Bush”. It’s a lot of cognitive dissonance between trying to love and accept your parent for who they are and battling with your own morals – constantly caught between “family is important” and “if i wouldn’t make excuses for anyone other racist/bigot/terf/homophobe in my life, why should i make them for him?” you’ll have to decide if you want to continue a relationship with him, and if you do, you’ll have to set a hard boundary. With my own father, I explained that i did not take these things lightly and if he respected me as his daughter and an autonomous human being then he would drop the political talk. I’m 23 now, it’s still something i struggle with, i’d be lying if i said it didn’t put a strain on our relationship even if he isn’t as fully aware of where the strain comes from as i am. I agree with what other commenters have said about stating that you believe what you believe because he raised you to think and find out about people and the world for yourself, but if push comes to shove as it did with my dad, you may have to explain that him expressing these beliefs that are routed in fear and hatred will mean the end of your relationship until he is ready to reconsider and show you the respect that you deserve. If he can’t respect your boundaries, you can’t be in contact with him. I tried to explain this to my own father but he laughed and didn’t take me seriously, it was only when my mother had a talk with him saying that he really would lose me over these things that he finally relented. It’s also difficult because it’s sad to see someone you love move through the world with such a victimized hateful lense. We had a brief conversation in which he expressed that he didn’t know i was “such a delicate little flower” in a patronizing tone, but for the sake of my relationship with the only dad i’ll ever have, i didn’t take the bait and responded “yeah, i am. this delicate flower doesn’t want to lose her father because he can’t learn to respect her values and boundaries, so what’s it gonna be?” our relationship is atypical and will never be a normal parent – child father – daughter relationship. but it’s ours, it’s the only one we have, and even if he thinks i’m going to hell for liking girls and boys, he’s still the man who taught me how to ride a bike, taught me how to stand up to bullies, taught me how to make my own choices, so we work with what we’ve got. It weighs on me some days more than others, but not as much as never speaking to my dad again would. I hope sharing my own experience with this can help you, and i wish you the best of luck in navigating some very difficult terrain

  10. My dad was similar. It gets better when you can move out and establish real boundaries. The self-discipline to do this is difficult because I always wanted to call him out, but eventually I (mostly) learned to shut down *any* provocative subject. Just told him “I’m not discussing this with you” and literally walked out of the room. One time I was sitting in the kitchen with earbuds in and he started talking to me so I took one out, heard the word “Hillary” and just popped it right back in and stared at him until he stopped talking.

    Don’t let him influence your vote. Your vote is *yours* and yours alone. Don’t even talk to him about who or what you’re voting for. Do your research and be informed (maybe in incognito mode), cast your ballot, and never let him see it.

  11. I’m pretty sure that trying to influence someone’s vote while they have their ballot (what he’s doing to you & also seems to be trying to do to other people too??) is illegal; it seems like it would fall under voter intimidation. Him wanting to fill out YOUR ballot is definitely voting fraud…which is funny, considering how people like him keep screaming about “liberals” trying to “fake votes,” but I digress. Please consider reporting him to your state election board or similar authority if he refuses to stop!

  12. Just nod your head in agreement, then go vote however you please. It’s a waste of time and energy to try to change any of these people’s minds. They have an entire industry devoted to stoking their fears and promoting made up bullshit. You aren’t going to penetrate that. Think of it as how you would deal with a toddler or a mentally ill person.

  13. Read your voter’s pamphlet but learn more than just the candidate statements!

    I recommend [Ballotpedia]( as a good resource. Then complete your voting, seal the ballot, and drop it off at a ballot box.

    You can even tell your oddball dad that you saw his guide and that you have voted. Let him gleefully connect the dots however he wants to.

  14. I have dealt with almost the same situation myself (the only difference is my dad isn’t homophobic because he has a lot of gay friends, and he sort of accepts trans people from a “they’re free to do that and deserve basic respect” standpoint but has a lot of ignorant transphobic beliefs). It TOTALLY sucks, especially when your own mother opts to ignore it because she’s not confrontational, which is what my mom does and the vibe I get from your mom based on this post.

    Vote for whoever you want, submit your ballot yourself without him present, and just lie about who you voted for if he asks. That’s what I did when my dad told me he’d kick me out if I voted for Hillary Clinton, who I didn’t even want to vote for anyway but opted for over Trump, I was your age at the time.

    Beyond that, you need to figure out how to move out and distance yourself from him. Start saving money and finding potential roommates NOW. Do NOT tell your parents about your plans until they’re a sure thing and you’re about to leave so your father can’t sabotage you. Personally I escaped my father’s grasp through becoming a long haul trucker with my partner but I know not everybody is interested in that kind of lifestyle.

    Also, feel free to DM me if you need more advice or need to vent about this. I have intimate experience with this situation and would be happy to help you.

  15. Talk shit back and see if he can take what he dishes. I had a racist boss one time that always said black people are always eating bananas. He especially would talk this crap when I would bring bananas in to work. One day I told him that he was the blackest white person I knew and offered him a banana. He looked at me and said F U. This was just one of many trash talking going on between us but he cut his crap over time when he saw I would dish it back.

    When you let these people slide they feel empowered to continue but when you dish it you will find many of them can’t handle receiving it back.

  16. You do realise you need to vote to protect your rights?
    You are at risk of dying if you ever get pregnant and need an abortion to safe your life. If Republicans win they will put an abortion ban in all States.

  17. You should plan on moving out. I would not put violence past your father, especially since you are a woman and he is a misogynist.

    People like your father lash out when they detect “betrayal” or when their carefully laid plans don’t go their way. Be careful.

  18. My family is so overbearing on their liberal viewpoints and was always so into my business on what i was voting on, so I get it. It’s so cringey. If you drive and have your own transportation , best you can do is throw away the ballot, and go vote in person. It’ll give you complete privacy and you can go without them trying to influence you.

  19. Burn that paper and don’t ever sign anything without reading it first. Try getting a part time job (if you haven’t already) and save up as much as you can to move out. You need freedom and that’s the only way. Don’t ever engage on anything about politics, let him rant all he wants, just avoid confrontation because he seems quite a piece of work. Your brother maybe lost, perhaps someday he’ll think for himself.

  20. Vote for who you want, when he asks why you voted act dumb and say oh I had the time I thought I’d just do it while I was studying, and then when he asked what you voted just say you pretty much followed his guidance.

    Also I’m so sorry for the stress xxx

  21. Sounds familiar. I was raised by two people who were open minded and embraced diversity. Slowly over the years, my dad started listening to more and more talk radio based on fear and hate. He became very much like your dad. it took me a while to just say “I’m not interested in talking with you about politics” and cut it off. I will try to change the subject, but He usually just keeps going anyway, but I’ve set my boundary and just walk away..i don’t invite him to gatherings anymore because I know he will say some dumb shit like your dad did about eating puppies, or who knows what. I can’t go out in public with him because he gets agitated and deranged if he sees any type of person who doesn’t look white straight and christian. Anyone else, he is reactive to. It’s terrible and awful and sad. For your voting, I hope you already mailed in the ballot. Because I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to check on what you selected and if he doesn’t like it, throw it away or tamper with it so it’s invalid.

  22. Hey OP, I see from your edit that this is pretty much over with but I wanted to say a few things.

    First, let me start off by saying that I’m a republican, and I guess I would be called a MAGA Republican because I do think we should Make America Great Again. Now that that is out of the way…

    There is nothing wrong with a parent trying to teach their children about politics or religion or any other subject. That is who should be teaching their children about stuff like that. There is nothing wrong with as you get older finding your own way and disagreeing with your parents.

    Prime example… I was raised Christian. But now I consider myself Agnostic. My mom and I are still able to talk about religion even though we have different beliefs. And I realize that just because that is my situation doesn’t mean it’s yours. All I’m saying is there is nothing wrong to disagree with you father’s beliefs. Just don’t tell him he is wrong. And he shouldn’t tell you that you’re wrong in your beliefs.

    Good luck talking to your dad. I wish you the best.

  23. The best relationship you can have with your father involves taking advantage of the wisdom he has gained over the many more years he has been alive than you have. You aren’t going to get the full benefit of his wisdom if you have a problem with everything he says because you are prejudiced against him. Yes, he probably spouts some nonsense. He probably also spouts some truth that you will dismiss as nonsense if you do not keep an open mind. You will better know when he is wrong if you better understand the why of what he says by listening and talking to him.

    I would sidestep the ballot issue by voting in person. You can just tell him you’re worried the democrats will try to tamper with your ballot if you vote by mail.

  24. Btw the joke about the Asian eating the dog would have been funny and not racist if said in the right context. Your father may be racist but that joke was funny.

    I suggest that not hating on your dad would be a very good thing. Please learn the art of disagreement without the hate. You see this on social media all the times. Serena Williams is a master of this hate message. If you disagree you really can keep a respectful relationship with them. The disagreement does not define the relationship. You and your father disagree on a range of issues. But certainly not all issues.
    Was he a good father?
    Did he work to provide for his family?
    Did he do what needed to be done to ensure you were safe?
    Did he support you to get educated?

    Get it. Don’t fall into the trap of he disagrees with me there we need hate…

  25. So you’re saying it’s not ok for a parent to influence a child’s worldview but it is ok for a school to influence a child’s worldview?

    Why is this ok for a school and not a parent?

    I say this as someone whose parents attempted to give me a very biased and non scientific worldview that i had to extract myself from later.

    My point is parents have the first priority when it comes to influence of their own children because the parents have the interests of the child at heart the most.

    You’re 19. Yes, you should be able to form your own political opinions. But you have basically no real life experience. You haven’t lived through the effects of different political policies on your life.

    Your dad is in his 60s. He’s lived through 40 years of presidents, from Reagan to Clinton to the Bushes to Obama and Trump. He’s seen how each sides policies *affect his life*. You haven’t.

    You’re discrediting your dad’s opinions simply because they don’t agree with yours. But what makes you think yours are right? You’re brand new at this.

  26. Everything he is saying is true. I’m asian and will eat any dog at any time. Yorkie are sweet. Huskies are gamey. Chihuahuas are bitter… you get the point. Listen to your dad he’s right.

  27. You’re an adult, living in his house? He has a right to say whatever he wants. You have a right to vote however you want. If you want to be free of his opinions, move out. But you’d be better off appreciating what he does for you than you are complaining about things you’re old enough to address on your own.

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