On the George Washington Barack Obama Project: Special Racism Edition

27Oct08

In which The Gay Recluse becomes sad and nervous, yet tries to remain hopeful.

Today we were talking to our mother, who was telling us how disappointed she is in some of her old (in every sense) friends who are voting for McCain.

When she pressed them as to why, all they could offer was that they “didn’t like” Obama. As my mother understood, that’s code for “I’m racist.”

You see, these were not traditional Republicans, but — at least nominally, until now — liberal Democrats she met in the early 1970s, while fighting for women’s equality. That these people could betray everything they fought for is truly incomprehensible to our mother.

It goes without saying that every person in this county is on some level racist. (And sexist and homophobic and probably ten others, too.)

The only difference is that some try to acknowledge these irrational impulses and move beyond them, whereas others succumb.

And then there are those — like our mother’s friends — who have grown brittle and soulless in their old age. They have apparently lost the ability to think rationally, and so have forgotten former lessons and small victories.

Which is depressing to think about, not only in terms of the election, but as we consider the prospective hardening of our own souls as we grow older. Can anyone really deny the temptation to shut down, to give in to the relentless stereotypes with which we are constantly bombarded? Have you not seen this in your own friends, who after a certain age begin to look fearful, so that it’s suddenly quite easy to see them as old men and women voting for tomorrow’s McCain?

Thankfully, we have our mother’s example. She’s seventy-five and hasn’t forgotten anything (or at least anything important)!

And for that we’re grateful.

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2 Responses to “On the George Washington Barack Obama Project: Special Racism Edition”

  1. I think we should set up a playdate between your Mom and mine. She is also 75,was a part of the same movements that your Mom and peers were in. Only she is still out there fighting the good fight like yours. Its cool to have your blood line present such good role models.
    PS, I am a fan.

  2. Thanks, Suz — if your Mom is in either South Hills (Pittsburgh) PA (summer) or Vero Beach, FL (winter), I would totally make the introduction! My mother’s always looking for smart, liberal friends around her age!


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