I don't usually start these posts with a disclaimer, but I feel this time I need one; this post is not about you! This post is not based on a single person or incident. This is a generalization based on a number of interactions I have had. The examples provided are a mix of things actually said and fictional versions of things that did.
There are a lot of things that offend me that I let slide. I live in an area where the dominant political and religious views are not quite the same as mine. I'm easily offended by violations of the flag code (not anti-kneeling though). I have strong opinions about a number of things, but I keep many of them to myself. However, if you say something that I take as insulting to my son's race or how he came into our family, I will not be quiet.
My son is, and always has been, a very good looking guy. I think he looks just like his birth mom (also a beautiful person). Unfortunately, due to his gorgeous brown skin, I have become hypersensitive to certain types of comments, and not just about him. We were at a black history parade, near the emcees (two black men and a white man, all three very well known and respected in the community). At a gap in parade entries the white emcee took it upon himself to point out how well spoken and nicely dressed the other two men were, I cringed. This is called a microagression for those who don't know. I'm dreading the day anyone says something like this of my son, because I will flip. Microagressions are almost always said without malice, but are still inappropriate and I will call you out if you use one in my presence.
To date most of the things I've called people on have not been said with intention to insult or offend me. "You must love him like your own," "its different when they came from you," "don't worry, there is still time to have your own," are a few examples of things that I've heard on multiple occasions. Let me be clear, he is my own! Just because I didn't give birth to him, does not discount or make my love and care for him any less. He is also his birth mother's, his dad's, and his own. He is a person and not a piece of property, he belongs in part to everyone who loves him.
While I'm ranting I have to bring up monkeys. They are cute, they make adorable toys, there are a LOT of similarities between the behaviors of small children and the adorable animals, but if you refer to my child as a monkey, I will say something. Calling a person of color a monkey, or comparing them in any way, is a slight with major history. IT IS NOT OK! I admit, it is hard not to make the comparison with my son at times; he loves bananas, he climbs EVERYTHING, he screams "I am a monkey" at the top of his lungs, but he is the only one allowed to say it (and I try to discourage even that).
Here is the reality, it is impossible to go through life without offending someone. I'm lucky to make it a day without angering someone in some way. I have made racist, anti-lgbtq, sexist, sizist comments before. I'm sorry. I've learned from my mistakes. I had them pointed out by people, usually in a gentle and informative manner. We all make mistakes, its part of being human. Just please, please, PLEASE listen when someone says you have offended them. Being told you said something inappropriate does not make you a bad person. An anti-lgbtq comment does not make you a homophobe. A racially insensitive comment does not make you a racist. Listen, learn, be better.
End of rant.
Monkey image from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.inverse.com/amp/article/37525-jealousy-monogamy-brain-scan-study