Over the past year or so I’ve noticed a strange colloquial response in America from those who claim a Latin American culture and heritage.
The phrase — “I don’t blame you” — seems to be a
universal response to any statement made, but I’m not exactly certain
of its meaning and perhaps you can educate me.
Here’s one example from a local deli:
Me: I’m taking a break to have some coffee.
Latin American Friend: I don’t blame you.
Here’s an example in a university classroom:
Me: I’m sorry, I can’t give you financial support for the Fall semester.
Latin American Student: I don’t blame you.
Here’s another from a travel agency:
Me: I’d like to take a vacation to Arizona.
Latin American Travel Agent: I don’t blame you.
Now here are my questions:
- What does “blame” have to do with anything?
- Is “I don’t blame you” a genuine human response — or is it an automatically required cultural reply?
- When is “I don’t blame you” an inappropriate comment on a statement?
- What is the Caucasian equivalent of “I don’t blame you” in colloquial slang?
Thank you for your help!