A teaching context:

One person is talking about an artwork she hates at Tate Modern. She is white English. She says she hates it because it doesn't mean anything to her, and besides it's by an Irish artist - or one with an Irish name, anyway.

She explains that she lived with an Irish person once and that's the kind of work that would be typical of them. The guy next to her (he hasn't spoken yet but he's the next one in turn) is Northern Irish. He asks, was the person from Ireland or Northern Ireland? Southern Ireland (or South of Ireland) was the answer. He concurred that they are funny people there.

All of this was said jokingly, light spiritedly.
But I said she would have to deal with her Irish thing one day. She grew quiet and took a while to warm up to the workshop again. Normally I wouldn't try to undermine a student.

How far to you press someone else to deal with their own racism?

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