There are various ways to tackle the situation when someone passes an offensive comment, and maybe these etiquette rules may not be the only right answers. But, in order to give you a rough idea of how to gracefully handle offensive remarks, this should do for starters.
Don’t stoop down
No matter how hurtful the remarks maybe, always remember that getting back with similar offensive remarks will not solve the issue. Do not be intimidated, and try to keep your calm.
Is it the right time?
While you try to maintain your calm, check if it’s a good time to speak up. Depending on the magnitude of the offence, you take your call. If you wish to be the wiser one, you can write to him/her or confront in person later. Setting good examples is always a good choice.
Question them back
Ask them, what do they mean, and when they try to explain, they will eventually understand where they had gone wrong. If they still do not realise, then explain.
Say it on their face
It’s not necessary to speak up only for yourself; do it even when you see it happening to anyone. Zero-tolerance especially when a racist comment is passed. Be gentle and make them aware by saying, “Excuse me. That was offensive.”
Tackle it in a smart way
Instead of going upfront and accusing the person, concentrate on the words and action used. Tell them why it’s wrong to use such words and think that way rather than pointing directly at his/her personal flaws.