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Elderly (so 70+) relatives who make racist remarks in general conversation ...

(177 Posts)
Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 16:29:20

do you personally challenge it or do you ignore?

If you've challenged, what's happened?

Mulberry72 Fri 28-Apr-17 16:44:32

My MIL is like this, everything that happens is the "bloody forriners" fault, and other choice gems.

I challenge her every time and call her out on it, she does it in front of DS(10) and I will not have him picking up things like that, his best friend at school is from Eastern Europe.

She doesn't like it when I call her out, I don't give a toss, she's vile when she talks like that and I've told her so.

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Apr-17 16:45:26

Why does it matter how old the people who make racist remarks are?

ChocolateSherberts2017 Fri 28-Apr-17 16:49:53

I asked one old dear if she meant to be so rude and bad mannered after her ranting about the p***s taking all the jobs. Then I asked who was going to wipe her arse in her nursing home when her kids dumped her their. She shut up pretty quickly after that. I might have been in a really filthy mood after having an argument with dh

ChocolateSherberts2017 Fri 28-Apr-17 16:50:26

In there not their

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Apr-17 16:53:02

So she was racist- you were ageist.

Gwenci Fri 28-Apr-17 16:53:11

Sigh. This is my FIL. Up until very recently I always challenged it but I've come to realise it fuels the fire.

If he says something ridiculous about immigrants and I roll my eyes and ignore then the remark falls flat and we get on with our lives.

If I challenge it you can almost see him rub his hands with glee then launch in to a further tirade and berate me and DH as naive lefties.

To quote solid MN words of wisdom, you can't argue with stupid.

(Only time I will always challenge is if DC's are around but he reigns it in when they're about.)

Gwenci Fri 28-Apr-17 16:53:31

Agh, reins, not reigns!!

DonaldStott Fri 28-Apr-17 16:53:56

My mum, her husband, and their numerous friends are 70+.

Not a racist one among them.

Age is nothing to do with it. People are either racist or they're not.

I don't know anyone who wasn't racist, reaches 70, then suddenly becomes racist.

I do however know people from 20 years ago, who were racist then, and still are now.

I know it's not the question you asked, but this topic comes up now and again on mn, which seems to assume people over a certain age are racist and it's inherent and they can't help it.

Racism should be challenged at ANY age.

bigbluebus Fri 28-Apr-17 16:57:49

Agree. My DM (was 87) would male those sorts of remarks - especially about foreign Doctors blush. My PIL (89 & 92) however would never dream of saying such things - so clearly nothing to do with age.

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Apr-17 16:59:32

And people now 70 grew up in the 1960s. Not the 1940s, despite what most mumsnetters seem to think. And the EDL is not noted for its cohort of over 70s.

UppityHumpty Fri 28-Apr-17 16:59:41

Challenge every single time. Old is not a synonym for stupid, racist, or twat.

AllTheWittyNamesAreGone Fri 28-Apr-17 17:01:37

Being old doesn't give you a license to be a cunt
A racist is a racist and should be challenged

Imagine saying 'well yes he abused children but he's old so...'

Batgirlspants Fri 28-Apr-17 17:05:42

Silly ageist thread.

Lalalandfill Fri 28-Apr-17 17:05:57

There are 70-somethings like my mil who make remarks that are not nasty, more ignorant, because they grew up in sheltered communities at a time when there were no "foreigners" in their town and such talk was common. They weren't taught at school, b friends or family that it was wrong.

So I think there is a difference between a 70-year-old and a, say, 50-year-old. Nonetheless, if a 70 yr old says something nasty, then yes, challenge. MIL is more likely to describe someone with brown skin as "foreign". When I point out they're not foreign, they were born here and are British, she looks a bit puzzled but then agrees. She doesn't need to be bawled out, just gently corrected

Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 17:07:18

Age doesn't make you racist, no. I think most people realise that. But the thing i'm interested in IS related to age though.

It's hard to explain. Maybe i should have asked:

Is there an age at which you wouldn't bother to challenge racism?

5foot5 Fri 28-Apr-17 17:08:49

What sort of racist remark?

Only sometimes what are considered "acceptable" terms change over time.

I know these days the term "coloured" is seen as offensive. However, when I was growing up in the 1970s this was considered much more polite than "black". (The n-word was always very offensive, I remember a girl in my class getting a tremendous dressing down for using that.)

Therefore, I could imagine some older people might use the word coloured with no racist intent at all.

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Apr-17 17:09:00

"There are 70-somethings like my mil who make remarks that are not nasty, more ignorant, because they grew up in sheltered communities at a time when there were no "foreigners" in their town and such talk was common. They weren't taught at school, b friends or family that it was wrong."

Of course they were. They are 70, not 100!

Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 17:11:48

Oh i mean proper racist views. Not out dated terms.

Have you had to tackle a family member bertrand?

BertrandRussell Fri 28-Apr-17 17:12:54

The only proper racists I know are under 50.

Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 17:14:06

Proper racist for me would mean 'they're all over here taking our jobs/women/houses' sort of thing. Thinking of the uk being 'over run' ect.

Lalalandfill Fri 28-Apr-17 17:14:57

They weren't Bertrand, if you grew up in a little village in Cornwall in the 1950s you never saw anyone with a dark skin and when you did assumed they were "foreign."

They were ignorant, not prejudiced as such.

Laiste Fri 28-Apr-17 17:15:28

See i'm just wondering how often 'we' tackle these issues in our elderly relatives if they're there.

Easy to say we should. I find it really hard.

dinosaursandtea Fri 28-Apr-17 17:16:07

Using outdated terms IS racist, though.

Batgirlspants Fri 28-Apr-17 17:16:12

Well to be fair Bettrand I grew up in the 70s and am 51 and racist jokes and comments were completely normal In the 70s. Not everyone was racist of course but it wasn't considered as it is today.

I remember the conservative poster slogan 'if you want a nigger for a neighbour vote labour, and all corner shops were the' Pakki Shop' sad

There's no excuse now though at any age. And there's no evidence that older people are more racist than younger people.

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