Life Advice



Ask Amy: A family secret threatens to implode

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Should I say — or do — anything?

– Left Out Grandmother

Dear Left Out: You don’t mention the magnitude of your behavior during the “bad times,” but it sounds to me as if your daughter is being extra-careful and cautious. After all, that’s her job.

As you know, when you’re a parent, if you have reservations about something or someone, the smartest thing to do is to pay attention to your own instincts. Your daughter has been honest with you.

Caring for three children can be overwhelming, and if you don’t know the children very well, she may worry about how the stress of being together will affect all of you.

I hope you will spend some time with the entire family in order to continue to reintegrate into their lives. I give you credit for trying.

Dear Amy: “Upset Friends” reported that they have friends whose views align with “white supremacy.” How do they know? How do YOU know?


– Upset

Dear Upset: Racism is like Justice Potter Stewart’s oft-quoted response to obscenity: “I know it when I see it.”

“Upset Friends” reported that their friends’ views aligned with white supremacy, so I assumed that they knew it when they saw it.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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