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This is a question Racist grandparents

It Came From Planet Aylia says: "My husband's mad Auntie Joan accused the man seven doors down of stealing her milk as he was the first black neighbour she had. She doesn't even get her milk delivered." Tell us about casual racism from oldies.

Thanks to Brayn Dedd who suggested this too

(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 11:54)
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This question is now closed.

My Grandad's not racist.
He's just from a different era. A very, very racist era.
In all seriousness, I doubt he hates any member of another race. He's just got the habit of putting his foot in his mouth whenever he speaks to someone who's not white. Or, as he's got older, just anyone in general.

Imagine the family horror, therefore, when we realised Grandad was going to be in town whilst we met his favourite granddaughter Louise's new Chinese-Australian fiance, Hobart Xiao.*
We make small talk in the pub, while we wait for Grandad's inevitable arrival. Hobart's there with Louise, and he's getting on with everyone well enough.

But...everyone knows what's going to happen when Grandad arrives.
This means there's a little current of terror in the air, and nobody's really at their ease apart from the blissfully oblivious groom-to-be.

Cometh the hour of doom, and in saunters my Grandfather. He clocks Hobart. Hobart smiles back.
You can see Grandad's cogs turning. Grand-daughter? Check. Asian Fiance? Check. Ashen-faced family? Check. All present and correct. Initiating small-talk mode.

"So, you're Hobart, are you?"
"Yes, I am."
"You're Australian then?"
"Yes."
"Do you eat a lot of Chinese food at home?"

Oh God, here we go...

"Only every bloody day, mate, only every bloody day."

And they clicked! Perfectly! They bonded over cricket! Fuck me, they actually had spirited banter about cricket! If Grandad had given the bloke more of his blessing, he'd have married him himself!
But to cap it all, I overheard this conversation while they were both at the bar:
Hobart: "I like you Wilf. You're not uneasy around Asian people. Not like the rest of these bastards."

*Not his real name. His real name's even more ridiculous. And I'm not talking about the Xiao part.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 13:47, 6 replies)
And now for something completely different.
My mum killed a young black girl.
We were driving down a dirt road in Africa, not particularly fast on a clear, sunny day in the late 70's. My mum was straight, sane & sober. I was in the car, mum driving but I was a wee sprog and can't really remember much else. A young girl - probably about my age (7-8 from memory) stepped out from the overgrown bushes on the side of the road. My mum had no time, she put on the skids but it was no good. After a sickening thud we had slid to a halt.
Mum flew out of the car, the girl was on her own lying on the road - I remember her head was bleeding. Mum got her in the back of the car. We had shouted help as loud as we could, mum beeped the horn & I went into the bush to see if anyone else was about. She had been alone.
Mum fucking hammered it to get to a hospital - she got pulled over once we got to a main road & then we had a police escort. At the hospital they worked on her, but she had died either on the way or after arriving. The cops eventually found out who her family was - mum insisted on being there when they were told. The little girls name was Margaret, she was a year older than me at the time.
My mum was eventually charged with what I guess was the equivalent of accidental vehicular manslaughter. AFIK she didn't lose her licence, she didn't do time or anything. I think the court took into account her clean record, the fact that she had done all she could to save the little girls life & her clear sorrow, remorse and regret. Bear in mind this was a pretty much a completely 'black" judicial system, she was a white lady who had accidentally killed a young black girl. There was no need for them to be lenient if they had chosen not to be. I don't know exactly what punishment my mum received but I'm pretty sure it paled in comparison to the feeling of having taken a young child's life.
My mum got to know Margaret's family. They probably hated her but as her only way of appeasement she clothed and put thru school all 3 of Margaret's sisters. Even up to her death about 5 years ago when Margaret's youngest sister had finished uni in South Africa.
My daughter was about 2 when her grandmother died - so at least there is a grandparent in this tale. That and the fact that there is nothing casual about racism.
And no apologies for believing that. Ever.
(, Tue 1 Nov 2011, 23:10, 26 replies)
One Christmas
my family were telling amusing anecdotes around the table, as we were wont to do.

My grandfather joined in with his story: "When I was an engineer I worked in a big factory near Manchester. One afternoon, a coloured fellow walked up to the foreman, bold as brass, and asked for a job!!!"

That was his story. We looked at him blankly.

"So we chased him out with a stick".
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 15:55, 6 replies)
Great QOTW
I know a lot of people have had a downer on this weeks question, but I've found it a fascinating insight into the views of the general public.

It's a bit like pulling back the covers to reveal the repressed feelings of individuals who don't speak their mind only because of fear of criticism rather than because they think it's wrong.

I'm mixed raced and have encountered my fair share of racism (mainly in the 80's & 90's). It's still there, just whispered rather than shouted.

Anyway, my kids are mixed raced and for the time-being oblivious to the prejudice that exists in the world. One afternoon over dinner, my father-in-law referred to the guy over the road as "the coloured chap". Cue my wife and I looking at each other aghast.

My boy who's nearly four piped up immediately "What, like the people in Avatar?"
(, Tue 1 Nov 2011, 9:49, 10 replies)
The Opposite of Racist
This is a bit of an odd question for me because of my grandparents.

My granddad was a prisoner of the Nazi's during the war, brought from the former Yugoslavia as slave labour and held in a camp. He managed to escape, walked across Europe and, once in Britain, joined the RAF to fight back. A hero of a man I never actually met.

My grandma was a bright British girl, who met my granddad, fell in love and married. Her entire family disowned her for marrying a "foreigner".

After the war, my granddad worked in a tyre re-moulding factory to support his family, and having been repeatedly passed over for promotion due to his "foreign" sounding name and Mediterranean good looks, started his own factory. He designed a new way of re-moulding tyres, which were so efficient that he put the his former employer out of business.

I'm telling this story, not because I want to demonstrate that idle racism is bad or ignorant, you're a twat if you don't think that anyway, or because, "Oh woe is me - my family was the victim of racism" but because he died when my dad was 12, I never got to meet him, but he still inspires me everyday.

And there's racism in the story fitting QOTW neatly.
(, Tue 1 Nov 2011, 21:19, 13 replies)
So...
me, The Lovely Mrs Ring Of Fire and our girl where on a train to York when a load of Football fans got on. With glances over to my family a group of them decided now was the time to go through their repertoire of racist jokes and comments. Within a few minutes my little girl had been introduced to some new words, sambo, nigger, wog, coon. I asked them to stop, we tried to move but the way was blocked, threats where made. Each joke teller was trying to push the boundary, there were jokes with niggers being hanged from trees, drowning wogs, burning black men....just jokes mind.

And that was the day the world became a bit of a nastier place for my little girl, when she realised that she was second class, subhuman in some peoples eyes.

Now we've taken a corner of the internet that's supposed to be a bit of a laugh and polluted it with this shit. Forever in the archives and being returned in searches.

Some of the worst posts have disappeared, but there's still much shit on here that was pretty much word for word, on the list of jokes from those guys.

And that's why I don't like it.
(, Fri 28 Oct 2011, 16:40, 44 replies)
Goodwill gesture of HATE! ------------------------^ Go Legless!
I walked my Gran back to her house after a funeral a couple of years ago, with my mixed-race cousin. She was feeling nostalgic, talking about the area and how much things had changed in 85 years and how bad the traffic was as it flew past.

- "There's loads of them these days" She said, almost defeated.
- "Cars, Gran?" I asked.

She rolled her eyes, nodded in the direction of a black guy walking towards us and said "No! NIGGERS! They're everywhere!"

My mouth fell open and I looked at my cousin who just smiled and shook his head. My Gran saw the look of shock on my face, chuckled and said "Richard isn't a nigger! He's half-caste."

My brain had just been kicked in the fuck by those words. Embarrassed beyond belief, I bashfully tried to diffuse the situation, making things just that little bit more awkward with the words that make me die a little each time I recall them:

"No... But his mum is."
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 12:57, 3 replies)
My grandad only wears slip on shoes, or ones that do up with Velcro.

(, Sun 30 Oct 2011, 5:56, 16 replies)
Fans will remember that I taught EFL in the depths of Romania in the early 1990s, just after Cheuchesku fell.
Being English was very nearly as good as being American, and so was my credit card to pretty well everything; socially people fell over themselves to invite me to their gatherings and parties.

I quickly learned that some of the Romanians, and some of the Hungarians living in Romania, are rather like a much quieter version of Israel and Palestine - they've been squabbling over the same patch of land forever, and absolutely loathe each other. These battles have been vicious, including one Romanian general who, apparently, on capturing a bunch of Hungarian officers, systematically slit each of their throats, toasting each one with a glass of red wine, claiming to be drinking their blood.

One family I stayed with were Hungarian, and on my first evening there I was invited to cheap old pub to celebrate something. The pub was packed, loud, and as I was led through, pretty girls smiled invitingly at me, people blew smoke and laughed with each other, and I think somewhere people were singing a folk song. I was led to a long wooden table, at which were seated about 20 of the (predominantly male) extended family, and after a brief introduction in Hungarian, was greeted to cheers, a space at the table was made, and I was invited to sit next to the grandfatherly head of the family.

I don't speak any Hungarian, and my host's English was pigeon at the very best. They were a convivial lot, however, and conversation flowed around and over me, and as the wine flowed I was able to somehow converse in that sort of pleasantly vulgar combination of alluding to sexual imagery by indicating body parts and nodding towards the various women in the pub, and shouting seemingly random words (true - at one point I did convey that a girl had a lovely arse by pointing to the top of a table leg).

As the evening wore on predictably the mood became more mellow and quiet, conversations clearly turning to matters of the heart, and of loss. Cigarettes were now being chain smoked, quiet moans escaped, and more wine was poured, increasingly inaccurately.

My host, to lighten the mood, stood, and made a little speech in English. "This (pointing at me) my England friend *hic* (crowd picks up, laughs). He my friend, and my grandson is to his teach. My grandson make teach, and in England beoomes a work! (applause, cheers). When my grandson is work England, I am thanks (cheers), and ... one day ... to a girl for me? (laughter, son goes crimson). So my England friend Vagabond, I am thank! (MASSIVE cheers)"

I smile gratefully, and it's clear that I must return the sentiment.

"Well" I say, "You are all very kind! (cheers, applause, clapping on backs) When I first came here, I was alone, and you have made me feel like a family member! (cheers, welcomes, lewd implications towards the women at the table) So, for making me feel welcome, here is to all of YOU!" I said, raising my glass of red wine.

Silence. As in, the whole pub went silent.

Anger.

My host stands up "He England" he says smiling, diplomatically, "Is thank." and puts his hand on my shoulder to seat me.

I had, it seems, in essence, just toasted the violent death of their officers.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 15:00, Reply)
Golliwog debacle
I worked with a lady who was quite old (so I bet she was a grandmother) she was continually casually racist. eg she heard a car alarm going off she would say "oh the darkies are at it again". She was a horrible hateful old bag

One day she was holding forth in the coffee room about the fact there was a load of old fuss and nonsense about the golliwog. She was maintaining there was nothing offensive about it.

I tried to explain that because she didn't find it offensive didn't mean it wasn't offensive and perhaps she didn't find it offensive because she was white. She didn't agree so I told her every single sexist joke I could remember. With every joke she got more and more upset, it's okay I told her I don't have a cunt so it doesn't upset me. Which she really took offence at. But somehow she still didn't get the point.

That's the problem with racists they're thick
(, Fri 28 Oct 2011, 13:54, Reply)
My wife's colleague's Indian family lives in a village close to the border of Pakistan..
She told my wife about the tradition of the town elders from both sides of the border gathering at the fence and spending a good few hours each week hurling racial abuse at their neighbours.

They will then offer individual farewells to their adversaries, who they have previously greeted by name, and will then arrange a suitable date to continue their ritual abuse of eachothers countries.

I rather like the idea of that tradition.
(, Fri 28 Oct 2011, 12:17, 7 replies)
My dad is not unlike the Brigadier in Fawlty Towers
He's not really racist, he is just of a different generation and growing up in the sticks he didn't really know any non white people. In fact when I went to school in the 80s there was not one single non white person in the whole school of 600 children.

Anyways, back in the 80s I was watching Fresh Prince of Bel Air and father came into the room and started watching too.

"Bloody hell" he exclaimed over his single malt, "those niggers are so rich they've got their own nigger"


BTW, I apologise for the use of the n-word there. I will only use nig-nog from here on in like my mother taught me.
(, Fri 28 Oct 2011, 10:23, 2 replies)
A very uncomfortable meet-the-parents...
My (ex)girlfriend and I went to her parents house after six months of dating. I'd managed so far without having to meet any of them and was very pleased with myself, but the day had inevitably come. I hired a car to drive us there (in case I should need a quick escape) and on arrival on a crisp snowy morning in the Scottish Highlands we were greeted at the door by her parents. A lovely couple, who warmed to me immediately, as I did to them. Next came the first uncomfortable moment where we entered the house to find her entire family waiting to meet me. I mean ENTIRE family. Mother, father, sister, brother, cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. So after a four hour drive along the snowy, windy roads I was now faced with a sea of faces to meet and greet.

Somehow, I got through it. Well most of it, until I was introduced to her grandad, who was in deep conversation with her grandmother and hadn't looked up once. He turned to me and without hesitation said: "You're a darkie?!" He then turned to his granddaughter and asked "What's wrong with you? Could you not find a decent white boy?"

Now as a long-term b3ta and sickipedian, I found this outburst to be an excellent icebreaker. And replied: "What's wrong gramps? I thought everyone was here to get their shoes shined!" and chuckled heartily.

I don't know if it was just that everyone was embarrassed or offended by the exchange, but the rest of that afternoon was very stilted. We left early and headed home.

A massive argument on the drive home about my conduct, no invites at all to any family functions and the inevitable end of the relationship a few months later.
(, Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:56, 7 replies)
What about the house prices?
My grandmother went in to kennels a little while before she died; at the time, I happened to be in need of somewhere to live, so house-sat. Eventually, though, it was time for me to move on, and the house was put up for sale.

One of the neighbours - who was old enough to be someone's grandparent, and so is fair game here - was worried by this development. He came around especially to ensure that the house wouldn't be sold to any black people.

I wish I could have seen his reaction when he discovered that it had, in fact, been sold to a gay couple.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 14:01, Reply)
I'm nearly 40 and German...

... I think I got this covered.
(, Fri 28 Oct 2011, 13:43, 2 replies)
It is with a heavy heart that I get this one out of the way now...
The Nazis treated my grandfather terribly during World War Two.

Passed him over for promotion, time and time again.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 22:16, 1 reply)
My grandfather told me this story, which he got from his father.
It's so repugnant I've declined to translate it from the original Irish.

"Breathnadóireacht, Toisc Go Bhfuil Mé Tábhachtach.

"Moladh an cheist seo ag "Tháinig sé Ó Planet Aylia", ar a dtugtaí Janet Aylia. Mar sin, éist tú le liobrálacha.

"Aylia, ina liobrálach agus bean, neamhaird mo thuairimí a fhoilsiú. Cinnim dofhulaingthe seo. Tá mo thuairimí tábhachtach.

"Léigh sí teachtaireachtaí agus mo díspeagadh sciar ...

"An bhfuil sé iontas go bhfuil mé míshásta ...?

"Tithe tábhairne an chuid is mó Liobrálaithe dhíbirt. Nach bhfuil an teach tábhairne bhuail mo éilimh ...

"Sláinte,
Gan Cosa"
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 21:37, 13 replies)
My senile grandpa has been left behind a little bit in his old age.
I constantly enjoy asking questions of him and wonder in amazement as he makes up an answer almost on the spot. He has the strangest disposition of thanking no-one at all at the end of the stories he often makes up too and I'm beginning to worry about him.

For a time now he's held this belief that where someone comes from somehow defines them and that they are all exactly the same. I believe his fear is beginning to manifest itself in irrational hatred. Where once his stories were a somewhat pleasant distraction, his racism has recently infected them to the point of mild obsession. Just the other day he embarrassed me in public by making some wild, unfounded and wholly irrelevant claim about another race. I'm thinking of cancelling his Daily Mail subscription.

Cheers.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 13:36, 3 replies)
I can only speak for myself, but as an Aboriginal person
this QOTW sucks and is hurtful. Yet, I have had a sly giggle at some of the answers for two reasons - it's been said to me in the past and I am so past reacting with profound anger or it's just so outlandishly wrong as to be not worth my time. Some of them are just flat out funny, never mind the racism. Other ugly posts make me a feel sad and sickened, the same as the high moral ground responses. Just another QOTW, really.

Racism, in any form, is wrong. But the thing about this QOTW is that things change and it is nice to be part of it. It ain't perfect, but in my lifetime I can now walk down the street and not be physically harrassed over what I am. I have been denied employment, had my grades fucked around, been spat on and hit by complete strangers; but everyday I believe that more and more people find that unacceptable.

For the majority posts here, I understand that in saying these things of our grandparents, we recognise it is wrong and our own behaviour will never be like that. Gotta applaud anyone who stands up to it, changes their mind on it or never wants to revisit it again. Yet I do believe, moderators, that once is definitely enough for this QOTW.

But this is just my opinion, mind.
(, Mon 31 Oct 2011, 7:30, 12 replies)
I'm quite racist
but also far too gutless to state my own opinions, even anonymously on the internet.

Can anyone suggest a way I could disguise my views as an anecdote about someone else?
(, Sat 29 Oct 2011, 1:00, 4 replies)
I resent the implication in this question
that just because someone is old, they will automatically have been racist. This is an offensive stereotype of a generation of good, solid, decent people. Take my grandparents, for instance, not a racist bone in their bodies. I know this because they treated their slaves every bit as well as they treated all the other animals that slept in their barn.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 15:25, 3 replies)
Not a relative
but a tough (super-rich) old bitch (I'll call her Laura Horton, because that was her name (she's probably dead now)) at the dance club I taught at a looooooooooong time ago, who wasn't one of my students, but on occasion I was forced to dance with her anyway, came out in a loud voice with this succinct little gem, having been asked by a lovely middle-aged doctor of Indian descent (well-spoken, beautifully dressed etc.) if she would give him the pleasure of the next dance:
"Cheeky wog."
His calm, smiling response - "Forgive me - is that a 'yes' or a 'no'?"
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 13:54, Reply)
My late Grandfather hailed from Belfast, but moved to South London after the war.
He was surprisingly open minded when it came to the 'local coloured chaps', never had a bad word to say about them, and would often cook us exotic 'Caribbean' food, and he was the only relative not to talk to Mrs Quackblast, who is Korean, as if she was retarded upon being introduced to her.
Not very racist so far, eh?
However, get him going on Catholics and all sorts of 'not to be used in front of Children of our age' words would be used, causing Mum to roll her eyes and change the subject. Hopefully not on to Germans though.
'Uncultured Savages. Always hated 'em, even before the war. That's why I volunteered to man the anti aircraft guns at the shipyard. So I could shoot them'.
All this pales into insignificance compared to his hatred of the Portuguese. I'm not sure why, it was never explained. He even went as far as to tell me to 'Fuck off' when I told him I knew the Portuguese for 'Parrot'.
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 13:35, 1 reply)
an old lady on the bus
When it was her stop struggled to get her ubiquitous old lady shopping trolley down the step. A nice guy in a turban who was getting on kindly helped her with it she said to him "Thank's my dear, I hope your head gets better soon"

honestly these urban myth racial stereotypes make me sikh
(, Thu 27 Oct 2011, 13:01, Reply)
My maternal Grandmother...
A five foot nothing seething ball of barely repressed rage* was ancient enough to not only remember the days of the Raj, but mourn their passing on an almost daily basis.

Continually fuming that since her return to this Sceptered Isle she had no servants and thus had to make her own tea.

In 1976 she wrote asking her husband's old regiment to provide her with a house boy and was near terminally furious that they had, with some perplexity, utterly refused.
Especially since her letter specified that she wanted a decent well bred young indian boy, and would not settle for simply being assigned an english servant girl from the regiment staff as the girls today were disrespectful and lazy.


*I may have also described my mother similarly, quelle surprise
(, Wed 2 Nov 2011, 16:54, 10 replies)
A good whitefella friend of mine
Married into an Aboriginal family. My mum said that he would now be the white sheep of the family, but he didn't think that was funny.

I still get teary eyed thinking what a waste that joke was on him.
(, Mon 31 Oct 2011, 5:04, Reply)

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