AIBU to despise racist old people and wish I could tell them so

(39 Posts)
theykillhorses Tue 29-Jan-13 12:02:59

Old man comes to fix boiler next door and stops to chat to me (even though we are on our way out to go to school and running late I stop because I have been trained by my mother to be extremely respectful and polite to me elders ...even though I am officially elder now)

anyway he starts off normal dull, over the fence converstation, then from nowhere starts a full on rant about 'coloured' people, how he can't recognise England anymore etc etc

I was torn between telling him what I really think and stupid polite, older person kindness (not that he was being very kind)

so I just pointed out the usual things I say to this kind of thing 'Britain couldn't own half the world and then complain when people from their colonies wanted to live here' which he didn't really listen to...

then my children came past to go to the car and I suppose he had the slightest conscious about his stinking views because he then asked where they were from...

here, you dickhead (I wish I had said the second two words!)

then he gave me a story about how his granddaughter is dating a coloured (ggrrr) person and he is alright...

as if that makes up for all the horrible things he said!

I had to go to school then but I was angry all the way and mostly with myself for not being more angry with him. I despise myself really for being so fucking polite with old racist people..

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 29-Jan-13 12:06:11

Do you prefer racist young people then Op?
I don't like either, but I don't like ageism either,

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 29-Jan-13 12:06:55


Nancy66 Tue 29-Jan-13 12:08:08

I have had this a few times with taxi drivers - london black cab drivers in particular.

I usually just say 'I don't share your views so it's probably best we don't have this conversation' and that usually shuts them up.

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 12:09:43

Why can't you tell them to STFU ?

It isn't against the law to put someone in their place.

theykillhorses Tue 29-Jan-13 12:11:05

oh yes I love racist young people hmm

of course I don't

I just find it extremely difficult to confront elderly people about their view points compared to my own peers or younger.

It just seems to me that many older people use their 'respect my elderly status' veneer to state any views they like.

And it makes me mad, mostly at myself, for being so strangely polite in the face of horrible views

theykillhorses Tue 29-Jan-13 12:12:16

nancy66 I tried those polite lines this morning and still he went on.

Anyfucker, this is my problem, I wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up and I was crippled by respect your elders. Was tragic.

Jins Tue 29-Jan-13 12:12:21

I hate racists of any age but its the younger ones that wind me up more because they should know better

Fakebook Tue 29-Jan-13 12:12:27

If your partner is black or Asian, then I don't understand why you didn't voice your opinion a bit louder earlier or just walk away? confused did your Mum teach you to listen to racist and bigoted views quietly without saying "that's wrong" too? Something like that would have pissed me off a lot. No point in coming here and ranting about it.

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 12:14:40

Oh the irony...I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the ageism given the subject.

PeppermintPasty Tue 29-Jan-13 12:15:09

If they have a rude manner then I'm afraid I am rude back.

If they are "polite", but are still peddling racist crap I am still rude back, but I use a softer voice grin

Seriously, old or young, give it to them with full force.

BerryChristmas Tue 29-Jan-13 12:17:10

It was his opinion. He is entitled to it. If you don't like it then walk away.

PeppermintPasty Tue 29-Jan-13 12:17:18

And I usually find that a loud "What a LOAD of rubbish" stops all of 'em in their tracks. You can then fill the space with your non racist agenda. Try it, it works wink

Jins Tue 29-Jan-13 12:18:37

Too many people walk away from racism

More people should challenge it

theykillhorses Tue 29-Jan-13 12:18:55

Thank you, I will. If I can overcome my fear of offending people older than me. My mother certainly drilled that one in deep. No wonder I am so angry with myself.

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 12:19:06

I think there is every point in coming here to rant about it, if it helps you to speak up next time

Childhood indoctrination to "respect your elders" is a difficult social more to overcome. Don't think twice though, OP. Racism is despicable, no matter what age group is spouting it.

theykillhorses Tue 29-Jan-13 12:24:35

I agree it is despicable and I worry often about the world my mixed ethnicity children have to negotiate. I let them down this morning but not being more direct with him. and yes talking about it does make me feel like next time I will be much stronger about it.

I did pull him up, in a very polite way, and say I didn't agree with him and why but I could tell he wasn't listening, he was just happy to tell me his views

until the children ran past and he looked shocked (not sure if it was because he felt embarrassed or just surprised that the very thing he didn't like was so close to him.)

AnyFucker Tue 29-Jan-13 12:28:48

Don't beat yourself up too much, love

it is doubtful you would have had much impact on his views if there were very entrenched, after all

You didn't let your kids down. That racist let himself down x

adeucalione Tue 29-Jan-13 12:33:31

I agree that racism should always be challenged, but people rarely react well to being told they're wrong.

Generally they either don't believe you, or they inwardly admit that you have a point but outwardly get defensive.

It's not often that someone, when challenged, will admit you are right and change their mind.

Unfortunately the older generation often do hold racist views - they are of a different era, when racist sit coms were must-see tv and racist comedians had sell-out tours.

Smile and mention the positive elements of multiculturalism ad nauseum - I am well versed, having several older racists in my family unfortunately.

manicinsomniac Tue 29-Jan-13 12:34:29

I don't think this is that ageist - there are more racist older people because the views were more mainstream when they were younger and some people haven't changed their opinions.

I've never met a racist person my age and very few of my parents age but loads of my grandparents age. I just try not to think of them as racist because it is how they were brought up and is normal for them.

RuleBritannia Tue 29-Jan-13 12:37:51

We have to remember that older people (75+) remember what this country was like not only before immigration became a headache but how they could play in fields that are now housing estates, how they could play in the street but not now because of the amount of traffic, how they could have a clip round the ear from a policeman for a naughty deed (eg scrumping) rather than be hauled up in court. They remember how a bus fare was 1d or 2d (I remember that) and how churches were full on Sundays. They remember how to cut their cloth according to their means and never borrowed money. People were frowned upon if they owed money (mortgages excepted).

They remember leaving school at 14 or 15 and were able to read and write properly with neat handwriting that others could read. Their spelling was excellent, too.

The man was just airing an opinion about how, in many ways, life is remembered as being better.

AmberLeaf Tue 29-Jan-13 12:41:17

If he is working he isn't that old.

Yes you should have challenged him.

If your children are mixed race then it is even more important to challenge racism.

PeppermintPasty Tue 29-Jan-13 12:42:17

There is a difference between a full on racist rant, as the OP describes, and a nice nostalgic trip down memory lane fgs!

AmberLeaf Tue 29-Jan-13 12:42:27

RuleBrittania. What a load of old bollocks!

FlouncingMintyy Tue 29-Jan-13 12:42:58

BerryChristmas - exactly why should anyone "walk away" from another person spouting racist shite? What nonsense.

You should say something "I find your views racist and offensive" - that's the brave and correct thing to do. Granted it is very difficult if the person is of an older generation and I understand op's difficulty.

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