There are always two ways to handle a situation. But what happens when someone keeps provoking you every now and then?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for calling my friend’s girlfriend stupid because she won’t stop bringing up my race?”. We need you to find out.


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The Original Poster (OP) (25f) has eight friends, all between 24 and 26 years old, including a guy she’ll call “Nick.” 

Nick has a girlfriend; she’ll call her “Josie” (24), and they’ve been dating for 8-9 months. Nick introduced Josie to the group about six months ago.


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Josie and OP are mixed race; the rest of the group is white. Ever since they met Josie, she’s made out-of-pocket comments to/about OP concerning racially related-things. 

“Things like asking me if/why all my friends are white, questions about my mother’s (African) background, comments about how I do my hair, like how I shouldn’t straighten it,” says OP. 


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OP always tries to steer the conversation away from these topics and laugh it all off, but she brings it up so often. 

Nick says Josie is trying to find a foothold in the friend group, but OP doesn’t see why she can’t try to get to know OP (or anyone in the group) as people rather than just bringing up this irrelevant thing they have in common. 

She (OP) also pointed out to Nick that she and Josie may be half-African but are not from the same African country. It’s wildly different cultures; even if OP were raised in an African culture, which she wasn’t, it wouldn’t be like hers (Josie’s). So it’s really grasping at straws and making OP uncomfortable.


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Over the weekend, they all had a boat day, and they were having lunch. They were talking about school, and OP mentioned that one of the schools she (OP) went to had predominantly Asian students. 

Josie asked if there were any black students in OP’s year, and OP said yes but that she (OP) didn’t know them very well. 

Josie then asked if OP wasn’t friends with them because they thought OP wasn’t “black enough.” 


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OP doesn’t know if it was that comment or the countless ones before it, but OP just felt so angry that Josie would once again take a conversation that everyone was participating in and make it into a race thing for no reason. 

She said, “No, Josie, that’s not why we weren’t friends. Frankly, you are the only person I’ve ever met who is obsessed with my racial identity, and just so you know, it’s really creepy.”

Josie tried to stutter an apology, but OP said the only apology she was interested in was it not being brought up again. OP’s boyfriend jumped in and changed the topic. 


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Nick later took OP aside and said she had upset Josie and she (Josie) was trying to bond with OP. He said Josie has trauma (he didn’t get into detail) about her race, and by humiliating her, OP had made her uncomfortable.


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OP told Nick that that wasn’t her problem and she was not going to be Josie’s emotional support “colored” friend, and if he thought OP should be, then she (OP) wasn’t sure what that said about how he views her (OP).


Image Credits: Fotos593, Shutterstock

Nick is now mad at OP for insinuating he’s racist, and two friends have taken his side. 

“I don’t think I was wrong for wanting Josie to respect me like everyone else, but evidently, people think what I said was harsh. Was it?” asks OP. 

Is OP a jerk?


Image Credits: Cookie Studio, Shutterstock

“Everyone’s in the wrong. It honestly sounds like Josie was trying to bond. Many mixed-race people in a majority-white space would look to connect like this, but she assumed a lot about you guys having shared experiences that you don’t. 

Sounds like she was going about this the wrong way, and you responded by laughing it off until you just turned mean (probably making her feel even more isolated than she already was).” 


Image Credits: Roman Samborskyi, Shutterstock

“Not the jerk. Josie is projecting her insecurities towards you due to whatever trauma she has. It does not excuse her, though. Making comments about your race at every opportunity was inappropriate, and it sounds like you made it clear you weren’t comfortable with it.” 


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“I know I’m going against the popular verdict, but you’re the jerk. Josie seemed to feel alone and wanted to bond with you because you had something in common. You could have told her that you are uncomfortable bringing up race. But you called her names, which is extreme.” 


Image Credits: Dhanon, Shutterstock

“Not the jerk. You are tired of hearing about your race. You finally put your foot down about it. Josie can get over it or not, that’s her choice. But either way, let’s hope you aren’t bugged by Josie about it anymore.” 

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