Here's the beta version of my response.
I like to wait 24 hours and reread before I send important emails.
My aunt is sort of a shut-in. With no friends other than my grandmother, who she's lived with her whole life. [imagine a long period of me writing, then deleting, then writing, then deleting. For about 20 minutes] UGH.
I wish I could explain away racism. From someone I love. But I can't. Because at the end of the day, it's dumb. It's just plain dumb. And if you live in the US, and ESPECIALLY if you own a computer, I just can't accept the argument of ignorance. Maybe this makes me intolerant and bigoted. Shit. This is really upsetting me.
MY AUNT HAS NEVER SAID ANYTHING LIKE THIS BEFORE.
So here's what I am thinking may be my response.
As far as what you said about the garage sale... it really made me feel sad when you said you had mixed feelings about having a garage sale because so many Mexicans come. As you know, many of my friends and coworkers are Latino, some even specifically from Mexican families. It really upsets me that you feel this way. I don't believe that 'Mexicans are criminals' any more than I believe that 'men are smarter than women,' or that 'Southerners are lazy and stupid' - also things I've heard plenty of. I feel very strongly that racist statements like these are not only absolutely wrong, but also hurtful, degrading, and most of all, unchristian.Me: What would you do?
Obviously you have a right to whatever opinions or beliefs you hold. And obviously I love you very, very, very much and you mean the world to me, and I love getting your emails. However, I do not share this particular opinion. I would really appreciate it if you didn't bring it up around me anymore. I hope you respect that, and that it's okay with you.
Brandon: I don't know... my family just isn't LIKE that.
Me: I know. Your family is loving and accepting and liberal and amazing - which I hope this makes you totally appreciate - but if you were in my shoes, what would you say?
Brandon: I don't know. (pause) How much are you really going to change her mind?
Oh FUCK. I sent it accidentally. So used to hitting 'send' instead of 'save as draft.'
Her response. If you're following along.
I am very very sorry about that I feel the same way you do I work with some wonderful people here and we have new neighbors and they are nice people but that is what I keep hearing from your Mom in every e-mail I get about the sale I do agree with you and I will never repeat what is told to me just my own opinion.