Friday, November 09, 2007

Ageism

And It Turns Ageist

It is sad that of the few acceptable forms of discrimination left in America, Barack Obama has hit on two of them in less than two weeks time. I know folks laugh when, as a gerontology minor, I bring up ageism from time to time. But it is important to remember that ageism can be just as damaging as any other form of discrimation or stereotyping.


Ultimately, stereotypes are dehumanizing and promote one-dimensional thinking about others. Elders are not seen as human beings but as objects who, therefore, can be more easily denied opportunities and rights. For example, elders are frequently misdiagnosed or denied medical treatment because they are seen as "old" and, therefore, incurable. Elders are also frequently denied employment or promotion opportunities because they are "old" and less productive. Such discrimination is also evident on the social policy level where the elderly are blamed for having medical problems and consuming public resources rather than seeing them as having human needs requiring appropriate social responses. Seeing people as objects also increases the likelihood that they may be subjected to abuse and other cruel treatment.

A final consequence of ageism is that by devaluing this segment of the population, a vital human resource is lost. This is contrary to many American values which entail respect for human worth and dignity. Cumulatively, the elderly represent a vast amount of experience, skill, and knowledge which this country needs to remain strong and true to its ideals.


Obviously I don't think he's a bigot, but this casts serious doubt on his ability to 'unite the country' if he's going to continue tossing under the bus nearly half of America's voters. At least they'll have company with the gay folks under there...

And speaking of gay folks, let the flaming begin!


3 comments:

Pooya said...

Kyle I understand why you don't like Obama because of the preacher that he was speaking with, although I don't neccesarily agree. However, to accuse him of ageism is just slander. Or would it be libel? All he said is that Clinton was stuck in the 60's and fighting those old battles. That doesn't mean he hates old people. Come on.
And I am not an Obama supporter either.I always criticize him for trying to unite people. I want a partisan Democrat to win and beat the shit out of Republicans and their special interests, not sing kumbaya and hold hands in a circle and talk about feelings. Isn't this the Bruin Democrats blog? Why are we attacking Democratic candidates? Shouldn't you posting an article about Crookiani's chief of police, kerik, being investigated by the Feds or something about how the LAPD is trying to racially profile Middle Eastern residents in LA?

Kyle said...

However, to accuse him of ageism is just slander.

I specifically said I do not believe Obama is a bigot - I believe the tactics and rhetoric he is using is encroaching on ageism.

However, to accuse him of ageism is just slander. Or would it be libel?

Well first of all the all-encompassing term is 'defamation.' And secondly, no, it wouldn't, since it's an opinion - not a material fact. Not to mention the issues involving public figures:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slander

Isn't this the Bruin Democrats blog?

Indeed it is! I should know after all, since I created it. ;-)

Why are we attacking Democratic candidates?
Because part of the primary process is investigating all of the candidates' views, opinions, and beliefs. I'm sure that the Obamaites will agree that we do not want a coronation, but a true election. To do that we need to delve into and discuss this sort of thing.

Shouldn't you posting an article about Crookiani's chief of police, kerik, being investigated by the Feds or something about how the LAPD is trying to racially profile Middle Eastern residents in LA?

I could...but then again, so could you. I post when the blog bug comes up and bites me. If you notice that even though many of my posts are humorous, many also deal with important issues - both political and policy.

Ultimately this blog represents, and is in fact, a free speech area. Members of Bruin Democrats are free to post whatever they wish on the blog, so long as it is not racially/ethnically/etc etc offensive. So if you want to talk about that stuff by all means, post away! :-)

Curtis said...

Dude, this is seriously a bullshit article. Obama never said Hillary was too old. He said that the politics of her generation isn't capable of bringing the country together. That's not ageist. Everybody knows that the culture wars are largely responsible for the bitter partisanship we see in Washington today, and everyone knows that the culture wars are the battles that were left unsettled in the 1960s.