Stereotyping Old White Guys

Old White Guy Stereotypes

President Barack Obama greets a family affected by last week’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

If you’re an old white guy from Kentucky or some other Red State, some people — especially other old white guys — think there’s no way you voted for Barack Obama.

I’m a 63-year-old Bluegrass State-born-and-reared white guy. I cast a ballot for the president in 2008 and again last November.

The other day I met this white guy who is 64. Out of the blue, he shifted our otherwise innocuous conversation to politics. He called the president a liar – a de rigueur charge from Capitol Hill Republicans these days.

I politely let him know I’m a union-card carrying Democrat whose politics lean leftward. I suggested we agree to disagree and change the subject.

He excused himself to gab with somebody else. As he decamped, I could almost read his mind: “How could somebody like you vote for Obama?” (I wish I’d had a chance to tell him I’m also a longtime NASCAR fan. That really would have blown his mind.)

I’ve been blowing minds in my home state since my salad days as a leftist newspaper columnist.

“Where’s that Berry Craig from?” one of my detractors grunted at a colleague of mine he happened to meet.

“Kentucky,” the reporter replied.

“No, no, I mean from where up North,” the guy demanded.

“He’s lived in Kentucky all of his life,” my buddy explained, truthfully.

“I don’t believe it,” came the rejoinder. “He’s got to be from up North.”

So it continues into my golden years. “Half the fun is making them jump,” the famous Yankee liberal lawyer Clarence Darrow supposedly said of those who declaimed him.

I guess I’m proof that some white guy conservatives don’t just stereotype minorities. They stereotype other white guys.

These right wingers seem to think that if you look like them and sound like them, you’re one of them.

Okay, there aren’t many old white guys like me in Kentucky. I don’t think “socialism” is a dirty word. I’m not of the Jesus-loves-me-but-He-can’t-stand-you persuasion. I’m on the “wrong” side of the Religious Right’s “social issues.”

Anyway, the stranger reminded me of what the ancient Greeks considered one of the worst sins: hubris.

Berry CraigIt means too much pride. I can’t think of a better definition of hubris than to consider it inconceivable that anybody could think differently from you.

Maybe the conservative I met will henceforth think twice about dissing the president in front of a stranger. More likely, he’s been amazing his friends and family with the true tale of an old coot he met who voted for Barack Obama not once, but twice.

Berry Craig

Friday. 7 June 2013

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Comments

  1. poppa india says

    I spent 8 years hearing strangers diss Bush and only politely disagreed with them. I never thought they should not give their opinion. Most of them thought it inconceivable that someone would think differently than them, BTW, i’ve belonged to 6 different blue-collar unions and have voted across the political spectrum all my life.

  2. Yayas says

    What’s really fun is wearing a shirt with a picture of a flag on it to a town hall meeting of your Republican congressman. All his supporters think you are one of them until you ask a question. I definitely recommend it.

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