Pollster Stanley Greenberg and political operative James Carville, last year, reported on a series of focus groups with older, white Republicans in Georgia. They were on a quest to understand the hardcore opposition to Obama. Is it racist?
They concluded no. They admonished us to “Get over it.” The animus to Obama, they claimed, is “based in the same unwavering, bedrock conservative principles that have always led them to oppose liberal policies. Some of their subjects even claim to be post racial-”proud” there is an African-American president.
I have my own informal focus group, and I’m not buying it.
I work as a psychologist in nursing homes, and I talk daily to the older salt of the earth. The other day I assessed the cognitive status of an 87-year-old male member of the Greatest Generation, and realized yet again how enmeshed racism is in our cultural DNA.
He seemed reasonably reasonable, only his toe dipping in the pool of mild dementia. He still recognized everybody. Could name all his grandchildren, outline his work history, and share anecdotes about the war. So what if he couldn’t exactly remember exactly which day it was in October. He remembered it was October. I dare you to try to keep track of the day of the week if you are in an institution and don’t find the newspaper on your doorstep every morning to begin your day. Not as easy as you think.
Read more here.