What do I say to random strangers that I meet at the park that start making Xenophobic remarks about Dirty Gypsies and Savages in Africa...? I was truly stumped - Normally I have a response but I am not that prepared with my limited French... Interestingly the woman was from Northern Africa and herself a minority group often under attack. I am looking for positive responses that will help... en Français si possible...

Hi Angela

Thanks, where is your husband from his Name looks like a Zulu name?

I added you as a friend but missed the add message part ... what brings you to France?

and how do you manage with three children?

Ingrid x

Fantastic story!

Thanks Sarah

I think you are right xx

After asking many of my friends - the surprising thing for me has been how aggressively a lot have responded. I think that just makes their xenophobic comments more valid. So I think it is better to smile and walk away. But I find that saying "I have many excellent black friends" (which is true) stops them in their tracks.

Yesterday in the park my three year old son said to me, "that man looks like Papa Jean," (his Grandfather) and the man was black. When I looked at the man he was about the same age and did indeed walk the same as his Grandfather. Then my son said, "but he has different shoes". And the man did have rather well polished elegant shoes and Papa Jean is mostly in slippers when we visit him. I was really proud of him for the observations and for not seeing the man as different for his colour. We have lived in Nigeria, Cameroon and Gambia and I hope that my general politeness to all people we meet and acceptance of all people has paid off.

I'd just change the subject. Talk about the kids. Much safer. Basically you don't give a t*ss about her and her views and you don't want to get into an argument so just steer clear.

Ah, that situation. My reply would be something like. "Ce sont des observations trés interessants. Je suis Anglaise / Américaine / (whatever) et chez nous nous avons les mêmes discussions sûr les immigrées venant du Afrique du Nord".

Sorry Ben you are right... I was in play ground in the park with my son and there was a woman with her three children and she started to talk to me.

She made reference to other people in the park and winked and lowered her tone when she spoke of "savages" making reference to black Africans.

I have not had to deal with this for a long time and although I always say something when the family-in made racist remarks - I do not know this woman...

What is the context (as it matters a lot)? I walk in parks, cross indeed paths with a number of Mahrebian citizens but, curiously enough, they never start talking to me about "dirty gypsies and savages in Africa".