Dear Ask Gothamist,

How do I respond to this racist email?

J

--- --Original Message-- ---
From: NAME WITHHELD
Sent:Thursday, July 29, 200410:16 PM
To: J
Subject: your blog rocks....yet I find you to be a stupid gook

You sneaky gook
-- --- ---- --- ---- --- --- ---- ---

You don't.

Some things are better left alone, and this is one of them. If someone has the audacity to not only be racist, but anonymously so, then there is little use in engaging the person in any sort of discussion. He - and we're using "he" in a general sense, recognizing that racists come in all genders - is only looking for a response and by emailing him you would only be playing right into his hands.

If you were having a one-on-one conversation with someone and he used an offensive term, you might talk to him about how it makes you feel and why a better choice of words is in order. But such is the benefit of personal communication. You could read his expressions, gauge his tone and decide if having further contact would be worthwhile. Email, however, is impersonal and trying to communicate about this electronically would probably result in only more racist email.

Your best bet? Block his IP address so that he can't comment on your blog and block his email address so that he can't contact you again.