We Seem Fine to Let One Form of Bigotry Thrive

Ageism gets a pass in the US, and that should change, writes Gary Abernathy
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2022 2:25 PM CST
We Seem Fine to Let One Form of Bigotry Thrive
Stock image.   (Getty/ Senir y Viajar)

Our culture rightly recoils against racism, antisemitism, homophobia, and other prejudices, writes Gary Abernathy in a Washington Post op-ed. But the 66-year-old can't help but notice that another form of bigotry is alive and well in the US—ageism. In "too many cases, the United States, compared with other cultures, holds its aging population in contempt," writes Abernathy. "Too often, 'old people' here are regarded as useless, helpless or a nuisance, left to wind down the clock as they stare out the window, a lifetime of experiences, work, achievement and sacrifice forgotten."

He cites the many memes mocking President Biden's age or news reports about crimes against older women that invariably trot out the word "grandmother," as if that bore any relation to the crime itself. Abernathy dislikes the terms "elderly" or "senior citizen" to refer to people his age, though he wishes his peers would stop using "middle aged" when they're well beyond it. "Older people" is better than the rest, he suggests. Yes, we all should be able to take a joke about ourselves, but "the rampant practice of ageist bigotry should join all the other 'isms' and 'phobias' as unacceptable, especially when it crosses the line from friendly ribbing to cruel attacks." Read the full op-ed. (Read more ageism stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.