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Speaking of elderly parents

... I spoke to my 84 year old mother on the phone last night. After the usual 15 minutes of telling me who died, who's sick, and my Dad's ailing kidneys, she said, "Well, the black guy won again."

I was disheartened but not surprised. It's so weird. She's a loving, kind, generous, warm-hearted woman who would never be cruel to anyone or turn anyone away from her door if they needed something. She's been through a lot in her life. But, typical of people of that generation, she has antiquated and offensive ideas about race and sexuality.

It's the same with my 91 year old father. Loving, warm, funny, smart, witty, kind, generous, etc. But he also holds the same ideas.

How do you, as a child of elderly old-fashioned parents, deal with this kind of thing?

I don't want to "correct" them or start any arguments. But I usually shut down those conversational streams before they go too far.

by Anonymousreply 1711/08/2012

At their age, just ignore it.

by Anonymousreply 111/08/2012

One night in 1988 I was watching the Summer Olympics from Seoul with my dear late grandmother. Whitney Houston's "One Moment In Time" was playing over a montage of the day's highlights. When the song ended, Gran looked at me with a sweet admiring smile and said softly:

"That old n***** gal sure can sing purty!"

by Anonymousreply 211/08/2012

Well, mine spent 10 hours volunteering at her polling place, on her 81 year-old feet all day, helping old and young navigate the polling process, answering questions, and ferrying voting cards.

Then she waited up until 2:00 to watch the acceptance speech she had hoped for.

I'm pretty damn proud of her.

by Anonymousreply 311/08/2012

My father today would have be 84, OP. He voted in the last election and indeed ABSOLUTELY could not get his head around voting for a black man, despite he being from Hyde Park, a fancier part of town than my father had ever lived in, and being very well educated (I suspect B.O. pays his bills on time too, unlike my dad) - but Dad was from that generation, strict segregation and blacks were viewed as a permanent lower class.

by Anonymousreply 411/08/2012

My 83-year-old father, a lifelong dem, loves Obama. In the last election, he HATED Hillary. Said if she won the primary he would vote for McCain. Reading along here, and in some other places, it really does appear that RACE has played a BIG part in this election. I think it's disgusting.

by Anonymousreply 511/08/2012

[quote] I don't want to "correct" them or start any arguments

Then don't. You're not going up change their minds.

I change the subject. "Oh, I saw something in Pier One yesterday that you might like. It's an oil diffuser with shells in it. I think it might go nice in your bathroom."

"Oh, I bought a cheap tabletop candelabra in Walmart for the next power outage. Only 10 bucks, and I can store it on its side.."

by Anonymousreply 611/08/2012

Let it be, OP. I know an 87-year-old woman who speaks fondly of the "Amanda, the colored girl" who cleaned their house and watched after the siblings. Her family paid for Amanda's funeral.

by Anonymousreply 811/08/2012

The black guy did win again, didn't he?

by Anonymousreply 911/08/2012

My mother also refers to the cleaning lady as "The Mexican"

Although, when "The Mexican" had to take a few months off work for an operation and subsequent recovery my Mom would regularly phone her out of concern to check on how she was doing. She sent over flowers and a care package too.

"The Mexican" seems to like my parents too. She arranged to have her sister ("The Mexican's Sister") to clean my parent's house while she was out of commission. She made sure that she knew exactly how my Mom liked things done.

It's a strange generation, the old one.

by Anonymousreply 1011/08/2012

My aunt refers to the cleaning woman as "the schvarz."

by Anonymousreply 1111/08/2012

One of the older guys at work is very much pro Obama because he's black, but is a hypocrite who rants about women in the west who don't listen to the men folk.

by Anonymousreply 1211/08/2012

My grandmother always voted Democratic and I'm sure would have voted for Obama. Still we would correct her when she always used the word, "colored," while knowing she was too old to change. She would even ask us for a piece of candy to give to the "pretty little colored girl" who lived next door to her in her new apartment building. I honestly think that it didn't register with her why that was so offensive.

I knew another elderly man who would have also voted for the Democratic candidate, whomever that would be, although he still used the term schvarz.

by Anonymousreply 1311/08/2012

I can totally relate to your post on So may levels my parents are 84 ,worked hard all there lives ,are generous and kind but she still refers to Obama as "the colored President"

Just ignore ,its ignorance ,fear ,and they are the product of their times.,Racism is still racism ,no matter who it comes from They will be dead soon and the newer generations ,hopefully won't have to deal with the nonsense

by Anonymousreply 1411/08/2012

All old people are not racist. My 90 year old mother voted for Obama and she's from rural North Carolina.

My grandmother, now dead but a resident of Chattanooga TN, never said a racist word in her life and would scold anyone who did in her presence. She grew up in a Jim Crow world but it didn't make HER racist.

I would not excuse racist comments from an old person. Even if you can't change someone's mind, you can tell them to NEVER say racist crap in your presence. You need to stand up for what's right.

by Anonymousreply 1511/08/2012

Baby boomer here. My mother ~ may she rest in peace ~ would have been 94 years old today. I was a child in the 1950s and I graduated high school in the 1960s. My mother hated the N word and would not abide racist slurs of any kind. She had black friends and went to her grave being called by some ignorant folks a N---lover. I am proud.

by Anonymousreply 1611/08/2012
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