The 27%

My mother is 90 years old.  She was born and raised Idaho and eastern Washington.  She probably never saw an African American until she moved to Portland in her late teens.  But she is part of the 27% who wouldn’t vote for an African American.   Her parents and grandparents were born in Sweden and her grandmother refused to learn English.   My mother watches Fox News but she could not even watch FOX while Michelle Obama was speaking.

Just an observation.  It’s not just blacks, she feels the same way about Jews and Hispanics.  It’s all about demographics – this will probably be her last election and it will be the last election for many that have her world view.

Author: RON BEASLEY

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10 Comments

  1. I appreciate your honesty about your mom and esp your analysis. Thank you. The wheel turns, and the young(er) come to the mid-stage with their own ideas, hopefully ones that make it easier to live and let live more than before.

  2. But Ron, But look at the son she raised.

    It wasn’t until the rambling stage of my fathers battle with cancer that I learned that he was, and had always been, a racist.

    Fortunately I was forty years old at the time and had been taught by the same man that race didn’t matter. I have wonderful memories of my dad… Not the least is the fact that he worked, for it must have been work, to keep his racism away from his children.

  3. Thanks for sharing that, Ron.

    Anecdotally, I see more racism this time around. It seems people are freer to bring up race than they were in 2008. I had a conversation with one woman who said “I wish he’d stop talking about his black heritage. He’s half white. What about his white heritage? He’s ignoring that!” Um, what? i totally blue-screened on that one. We have 8+% unemployment, a debt crisis, a wealth evaporation/foreclosure crisis, a faltering economy, and THAT’S what you’re talking about?

    And this is in solid Blue State Connecticut!

    I don’t get it. Well, I do, but denial is a happier place …

  4. I wish everyone read TMV every day. There is so much going on here that is thought provoking, that cuts through the fluff and the predictable nonsense. Sorry for the digression, just thought it needed to be said. As for racism in the elderly, my own experience isn’t dissimilar to Ron’s. The family I come from is my two parents, four brothers and two sisters. We are a close family and I feel blessed to be a part of it. My youngest sister was adopted in 1967 and she is black. This was a bit radical for 67 but black children up for adoption were having trouble finding homes at that time and my parents were more concerned about sharing a family with someone who needed it most than they were about ethnicity. My grandmother was never able to really accept her as a family member – for no other reason than her color. It doesn’t make any sense, but there are a lot of people out there who still feel this way about black people. It’s one of the reasons Obama is going to have it tougher this time around than last. We like to imagine we are living in a post racial era, but we are not. The RNC made a point of flashing a bit of non-white in the program, but the sea of faces were all white. That is no accident. We have a LOT of work to do. Thanks Ron for sharing your own experience.

  5. My father was the same way. While doing basic training in NC, he and other whites resented the fact that the “negro soldiers” received “special treatment.” What they missed was the irony of black soldiers died in WWII for a country that held them down. Many had more sympathy for the racism of Hitler…

  6. My father and most of my family on his side are the same way. Actually, same with my mother’s side. Both sides are only 3 generations deep as Americans yet really hate immigrants. Its just mind boggling.

  7. where does the 27% number originate?

  8. My Dad was raised in Jim Crow culture of racial hate…Then years later after poor health something broke as he watched the movie series Roots. He began to cry and could not stop for days. The ‘sins’ of the past rose and washed him past racial ignorance and fear. May it be for all…

  9. During the 2008 primaries, I went to help an elderly cousin and she told me “I’m not ready to vote for a white woman or a black man”. At 80 something, nothing I could say was going to change her mind, so I didn’t even try.

  10. Thanks for sharing your personal story, Ron. It does point to how far we’ve come when we compare the norms of our time with those of our often-beloved elders. My grandfather (who is a total character in so many ways) still talks about the blacks and the Mexicans and the “River People”. I haven’t figured out at this point what a “River Person” is, but I think it is some form of Asian…In any case, he’s about the same age as my husband’s grandmother, who is considerably worse, still talking about how the “darkies” (and considerably more offensive words) bring down the property value in the neighborhood.

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