Social Question

rawpixels's avatar

Holy crap, my new client is a Nazi lover...what to do?

Asked by rawpixels (2655points) August 30th, 2010

I’m a graphic designer and met with a guy yesterday, who I’ve done work for previously and considered him a good guy. Anyway, yesterday, I had to go to his house to meet with him about a new project he had for me. I went there with my girlfriend and 90% of the time was spent talking about politics/history, rather than the project.

To make a long story short, he mentioned that his dad was in WW2, and won numerous medals. He also said that his dad was one of the US Soldiers who liberated a concentration camp. So, I then said how his dad was a hero and must have seen some really disturbing things. He then told me that his dad always had a hatred for the Jewish people and that Hitler was brilliant and had good reason to do what he did, etc…

I was freaking shocked by what I was hearing! I then told him my dad was Jewish, although he converted to Catholicism (my mom is Irish Catholic). It was amazing to see how his face turned red after I mentioned that. He quickly said, oh, I actually have Jewish blood in me, too, as if that made everything he’s said ok.

Anyway, I gave my opinions on the matter and then told him I’d be in touch about the project. So, what should I do? I was so angry at the time, I was thinking I should just tell the guy I don’t work with ignorant bigots, but now I think I should take the work and get as much money out of him as I can, because I need the work.

Opinions?

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25 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Depends on how much you need (want) the money.

Business is business and people are people. Usually one having nothing to do with the other.

Austinlad's avatar

My first impulse is to flat drop him, but I wonder—could you do work for him without ever discussing or debating his loathsome beliefs? If so and if you need the business, give it a try. I think we all brush shoulders every day with people whose views we disagree with yet with whom we co-exist.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It depends on whether you need his business. If I didn’t, I’d drop him. Ethics first.

Aster's avatar

wow; this could be an explosive relationship. Could you keep the conversations superficial? Scary.

chyna's avatar

This could be a non-issue as he may not want to work with you either. It sounds like he can’t keep his conversation strictly business and if that is going to bother you, I would not work for him. Just don’t call him back.

Frenchfry's avatar

Don’t miss business and personal. You are there to do a job. Period. Take his money. Take all his money. JK I would and on my father’s side are jewish.

rawpixels's avatar

Thanks for the responses! I think, since I could use the business, I’ll continue with this project, but I may have to add a Nazi Sympathizer surcharge. Sometimes, I’m amazed how incredibly stupid some people can be.

@chyna
He wrote me an email this morning already regarding the project, so he obviously still wants me to do the work. I’m definitely not going to meet with him again, though, unless it’s mandatory. If he ever brings up his political/bigoted views again, I may have no choice but to tear him apart intellectually.

Austinlad's avatar

@rawpixels, I would be very careful trying to “tear him apart intellecturally.” People with these kind of ignorant views generally don’t respond well to intelligent debate.

rawpixels's avatar

@Austinlad
You are correct.

Austinlad's avatar

Bravo, @rawpixels. I think you’ve made a wise decision to tentatively proceed.

chyna's avatar

@rawpixels Good luck. I’m sure it will all be fine.

iamthemob's avatar

@rawpixels

Indeed, good choice. Even though I don’t understand how his filter system works letting that tidbit of information come out without signals on you’re part, from what you described he seems sufficiently embarrassed so as not to bring it up again. Plus I would reckon he’s going to be extra-super polite right now. Regardless of whether you can really use it in the future, and what kind of harm it would actually do…you’ve got some DIRT on him now, and he knows it….;-)

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I would say if you need the money just get the business overwith so you can move on.

NaturallyMe's avatar

If you need the money then take it. There are probably several of your clients that do things you don’t agree with, you just happen to find out about this guy and his opinions, and unless you honestly can do without the money, you probably won’t drop all of them as clients either.
I probably wouldn’t do business with an animal abuser, even if i may need the money, i suppose we all have our thresholds for what we can tolerate in others.
If you can handle it, take the job and make money off of the sucker.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Wait, I’m confused: If his dad loved Hitler, why was he fighting for the Allies and freeing a concentration camp?

I’m with @chyna on this. And @Austinlad on the ripping apart.

rawpixels's avatar

@papayalily
Let me clarify. The guy said his father always had a problem and a hatred for the jewish people until the day he died, even though he fought the Nazis and helped liberate a concentration camp. His son, the guy I was dealing with, is the one who is the fan of Hitler and said he had good reason to do what he did. I also forgot to mention that he gave me a book recommendation, which was Mein Kampf.

Fyrius's avatar

He doesn’t seem like much of an ignorant bigot to me. Just a guy with disturbing ideas.
Notice how meekly he let go of his point when he realised you’re opposed to his ideas, and that he wanted to get back on your good side. A bigot would have eagerly went on to tell you how wrong you are and what a terrible person you must be and yadda yadda rant rant.

I get the impression he thought you’d agree with him; this is clearly a subject that’s important to him, yet that he can’t talk about to most people, for fear of getting precisely this reaction.

Anyway, as for what you should do: I don’t think you need to do anything in particular. I think you shouldn’t treat him any differently than you would treat anyone else. You don’t have to agree with your clients’ political views to work for them. He’s not paying you to become a Neo-Nazi, he just wants you to do what you do best.

Shunning, overcharging or otherwise bullying people for their ideas is wrong, no matter how disturbing their ideas are. There should be no incentives to avoid thinking a thought other than reason.

[/devil’s advocate]

iamthemob's avatar

@rawpixels

Tentatively, I’m going with Fyrius on this one. Hitler was a much admired leader by people all over the world prior to revealing what he actually was. Regardless, he was incredibly charismatic and effective – but used it to unforgivable ends. So it might be he really has no social filter, and can’t that (and I hope this is more what he meant) he admired some of Hitler’s social policies and government strategies that were divorced from the Holocaust agenda.

isuppose's avatar

Business is business. Unless he wants you to design a swastika or something, I don’t see why you can’t design for him.

ucme's avatar

As always i’d go with my gut, never let me down thus far. That of course can only be your decision & your’s alone.

tedd's avatar

I smell a sitcom!

CMaz's avatar

Two in the front, two in the back…

Ok… Ok… Bad joke.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

The great thing about capitalism—one of the great things (there are so many)—is that we can work with and for people whose opinions, lifestyles and very being we abhor.

You agree to provide a specified service for a specified fee within an agreed-upon time and having certain characteristics and quality, and he agrees to pay you.

You don’t have to like him admire him, worship at his lunatic church, or even acknowledge his putrid existence. But you can do the work, and I would recommend that you do it.

I agree with you that he’s an ignorant bigot, and probably a liar besides, so make yourself a good contract when you take him on as a client, but don’t forgo the work just because he’s an ass.

Jeruba's avatar

If the job I was to do for the client touched on the matter in any way—for instance, if I were editing his memoirs and this topic came up in them—I would have to say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t treat this matter objectively. I will not be able to help you with this project.” It wouldn’t matter if I needed the money. Turning down the job is no worse than not having it come in in the first place.

If the job could be kept entirely separate—for example, he wanted me to edit an unrelated article for a professional journal—I would try to remain impartial and do the job, but I would stop any discussion of other matters the moment they began.

And I would be ready to walk away at any moment.

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