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..

Greensleeves Tue 29-Jan-13 12:45:58

There is no ageism here to get outraged about confused, OP is saying that the man's age made it harder for her to challenge his views, because she has been brought up to be respectful to older people. It's an interesting point and well worth discussing.

I find it very difficult to challenge or disagree with people's obnoxious views as well, and probably more so if they are elderly. I think we should push ourselves to do it, though, because it's important. Personally I find MN threads like this very helpful and worthwhile, because they give me ideas for how to challenge - "I don't share your views so it's probably best we don't have this conversation" is a really good one to use with someone who might be a bit aggressive, I think.

Madlizzy Tue 29-Jan-13 12:46:37

If people aren't challenged in their views, then nothing will change.

Greensleeves Tue 29-Jan-13 12:49:52

RuleBritannia - I respectfully suggest that your post is horseshit. Myopic, subjective, ill-infomed, bigoted horseshit.

AmberLeaf Tue 29-Jan-13 12:51:53

He really can't be that old though can he?

He is just racist!

Old doesn't have to mean racist by default!

Jojobump1986 Tue 29-Jan-13 12:56:02

While we were visiting my aunt in Yorkshire a few years ago my dad was looking out of the window & asked DAunt if they often have teenagers urinating against a wall outside their shop. My gran chimed in with 'Well, that's just how people behave where they're from'. hmm My dad instantly pointed out that these were white boys & even if they weren't there was no reason to assume they were from a culture where public urination was acceptable. I was really impressed that he called her on it! She was obviously embarrassed & mumbled something about them having learnt it from the 'other boys' before leaving the room.
We've since discovered that she was in the early stages of Parkinsons when she made these comments but I'm not convinced that's an overly valid excuse!

Greensleeves Tue 29-Jan-13 12:58:09

I feel I should qualify - I find it difficult to challenge people face to face. MUCH easier in writing grin

ethelb Tue 29-Jan-13 13:01:20

interesting that there should be a cry of agism on this thread.

There was a thread last week where someone complained about a '20 something snot nosed little wankers sitting in seats on the tube' , and no one commented at all.

taketheribbon Tue 29-Jan-13 13:02:58

RuleBritannia - sorry, but the reason you get hauled up in court rather than given a clip round the ear from a policeman these days is because if the policeman clipped you round the ear now, he/she would be the one in court.

And you can't play in the street now, not because of the traffic, but because a) your parents are frightened you'll be abducted, and b) they'd be hauled up in court for neglect.

Oh, and do these people remember also that in the 1950s child poverty was so bad that schools had to stay open in the holidays just to provide a hot meal, because that was possibly the only hot meal (or indeed meal of any kind) that some children would get all day?

And finally, having just read the other thread on the costs of childcare, it wasn't so much of an issue back then was it, because if both parents had to work, they just chucked the kids out on the street...

LayMizzRarb Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:16

Sorry, but automatic respect does not come with age. I am civil to everybody, but people have to earn my respect.

Hemlet Tue 29-Jan-13 13:09:36

Amber, who is saying old means racist by default?

chicaguapa Tue 29-Jan-13 13:14:25

I try to call people on it when they're being racist. I do have a reputation for being confrontational though, so am trying to play it down.

But I remember my FIL was telling me a story about someone he used to work with and said he'd run off with a black. I asked 'a black what?' which really stopped him in his tracks. DH still laughs about the expression on his face as he didn't know what to say.

I am going to try 'What a LOAD of rubbish' now though. I can use that for lots of things when people are spouting crap. grin

AmberLeaf Tue 29-Jan-13 13:24:01

Hemlet.

It is implied when people use the excuse of 'he is old' when someone 'old' says something racist.

theykillhorses Wed 30-Jan-13 13:30:35

Amberleaf, the man was over 60, my father's age and that automatically made me polite and respectful, it is an inbuilt reaction and one I am trying to change.

I don't think all people who are older are racist! and I can make allowances for the ones who just seem unsettled by the changes of the modern world but not the ones (like the man yesterday) who are coming from a hateful point of view. At least people like him don't come into our orbit everyday.

AmberLeaf Wed 30-Jan-13 14:42:09

No no! I wasnt thinking you were saying all older people are racist!

An elderly relative of mine would be 98 if she were still alive now [died about 8 years ago] and she was certainly not racist. Quite the opposite in fact and she worked alongside immigrants from the caribbean and lived on the same rds/areas as them too, so not a liberal do gooder who only had to speak about such things.

Age is no excuse, if she could adapt to immigrant populations, then a 65 ish year old now certainly can,

There has been immigration in britain for a very long time, I dont think there is anyone alive for whom this is a 'new' concept that they are struggling to adapt to.

Some people are just prejudice/racist.

I used to get a twisted kick out of watching racists squirm when I told them I didnt agree with that viewpoint and my husband is Jamaican! they would fall over themseves trying to get out of it! grin

Ive met some lovely old people, on occasions Ive braced myself for a racist comment and have heard the exact opposite and then Ive heard some shocking stuff from people who are young.

I understand your wanting to be polite and that is good, but as soon as someone oversteps that respect afforded to them should go out the window.

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