Old white dude gets stereotyped (again)

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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I got stereotyped again the other day.

A Trump fan mistook me for a kindred spirit. Sometimes, liberals pigeonhole me likewise.

It’s because I’m an old white guy.

The Ever Trumper was an old white guy, too. He didn’t know me from Adam.

He praised the president, evidently figuring I doted on the Donald, too. I told him otherwise, suggested that we agree to disagree without being disagreeable and walked away.

I am quick to disabuse Ever Trumpers of their notions about me, politely or pointedly, as the situation dictates.

I relish telling Ever Trumpers—thickening my deep western Kentucky drawl for effect—that I voted for Clinton and for Obama, twice.

“Half the fun is making them jump,” the famous left-wing lawyer Clarence Darrow supposedly said of right-wingers of his day.

Ever Trumpers who typecast me tend to be other old white guys. I guess it’s because I look like them and sound like them. I say “dawg,” “hawg,” “frum” and “ink pin.”

The occasional liberals who stereotype me tend to be several years my junior. Admittedly, old white guys do comprise a big chunk of Trump’s base. It’s a hoot to set the kids straight, too.

One youthful liberal called me “a cool old dude.” That was way cool.

The Ever Trumper from the other day just looked bewildered after he discovered I didn’t share his politics. I could almost read his mind: “How could somebody like him be a Democrat?”

Anyway, I’m proof that some old, white conservative men don’t just stereotype minorities, immigrants and women. They stereotype other old white guys.

I’m another book that gets judged only by its cover.

I suspect Ever Trumpers will keep thinking I’m one of them because of my longevity, skin hue and south-of-the-Mason-Dixie-line-accent. (I’m also fond of pit barbecue, white beans-and-cornbread and buttermilk pie; I consider fried eggs with hashbrowns, instead of grits, a sacrilege.)

I’ll keep on letting them know that this old white guy who has lived all his 68 years in the Jackson Purchase

  • Doesn’t think “socialism” is a dirty word.
  • Does think unions and activist New Deal and Great Society-style government are the best things that ever happened to working people.
  • Is deeply offended by racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and all other forms of religious bigotry.
  • Treasures cultural, racial, religious, and ethnic diversity.
  • Considers Donald J. Trump a national disgrace, a serial liar, a boor, a fraud, and a Yankee-born neo-Confederate who shamelessly panders to the vilest prejudices in the body politic.
  • Is convinced that Trump will go down in history, the subject I taught for two dozen years, as the worst and most despicable president ever.

I’d like to believe that Ever Trumpers who take me for one of them and discover that I’m not, will henceforth think twice about stereotyping the next old white guy stranger they meet.

More likely, they’ll regale other Ever Trumpers with the true tale of a close encounter of the worst kind with this crazy old coot who’s “a traitor to his kind.”

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Featured image – stock photo by Dragan Grkic via Shutterstock.com.

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