Did he really just SAY that?!? (UPDATED)
Posted by Lissa on March 1, 2012
As I placidly munched my almond-decorated salad yesterday, a couple opened the office door and came in. Elderly, well-dressed and polite, they asked if the lady could use our bathroom, as the doctor’s office had closed for lunch and she really needed to go. I waved her in the direction of the facilities and made polite conversation with the man while he waited.
When he talked about the hopelessness of inflation and degradation of the currency, I politely agreed but optimistically argued that perhaps the euro falling apart and the reappearance of the Greek drachma would be a harbinger of more common sense.
When he talked about scummy politicians who don’t read the Constitution, I inquired if he was in favor of a Constitutional amendment imposing term limits and discussed why that might be a good or bad idea.
But then . . . when he said he had no faith in the system and talked about power-hungry politicians . . . this phrase came out of his mouth:
“And our illustrious colored leader in Washington . . .”
I have no idea what the rest of the sentence was. I blanked.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a real live person – not a stereotype on TV – use that word. I was floored.
Now, to give the guy his due, he was definitely old enough to have lived in the times when “colored” was the polite term to use. It’s like the word “retard,” which is now a mean and nasty slur but was once the polite and kind descriptor (as opposed to “idiot” or “moron”).
I held myself to a blank expression and polite attention for the next few minutes until they left.
UPDATE: Thank you for the comments, everyone. I think I should have emphasized that the italics were in the originals and not added by me. The dude sneered the term, with emphasis. That’s what really threw me. I don’t think too highly of Pres Obama, as you know; when I consider his skin color, it’s because I see him as an “affirmative action” candidate, in that I truly do not think a white man with identical accomplishments (or lack thereof), mentors, baggage and history would have been elected. But I am *not* used to hearing people denigrate the man and his position with color-laden pejoratives.