Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friend wonders about racist pals

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have two friends I’ve been extremely close to over the past 10-15 years.

These two friends don’t know each other, but they each have been an important part of my life – but are not my only close friends.

Based on comments made over the years, I’ve suspected that these two people were racists, but only recently have they overtly – almost proudly – declared it, and now I can no longer step over something I’ve tried to ignore.

While I completely disagree with them, I don’t believe I could change their minds; they seem to feel completely justified in their views.

I believe racism is abhorrent and cannot conceive of any justification for it. I am struggling with how I could possibly stay friends with them and not feel like a hypocrite.

I’m feeling sad at the thought of ending these friendships, yet I already feel myself pulling back.


Does a true friend consider racism a character flaw and accept them as they are, or have I outgrown these relationships?

– Antiracist

Dear Antiracist: Yes, loved ones can sometimes learn to accept and forgive character flaws.

But what you’re talking about doesn’t fall under the “character flaw” category.


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