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Playing With / Racist Grandma

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Basic Trope: An elderly person who carries racist attitudes and/or uses racial terms now considered derogatory.

  • Straight: Alice refers to Bob as "that negronote  over there."
  • Exaggerated:
    • Old man Alex committed war crimes in the SS.
    • Alice treats Bob like he's there to serve her even though he isn't.
    • Alice upbraids Bob for not being out in the cotton fields toiling, and demands to know where his "master" is.
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    • Alice turned her backyard shed into a gas chamber
  • Downplayed:
    • Alice ignores Bob in a reception line because she doesn't shake hands with black people.
    • Alice says that Bob is a credit to his race.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is unaware that the term "colored" is no longer acceptable.
      • Alternatively, Alice is South African, and is unaware that, in America, "colored" is an out of date term for Black people, rather than the more or less acceptable term for mixed-race people it is in South Africa.
    • Alice hasn't been around many different-race people in her life; anyone who looks different really stands out to her.
    • Alice grew up in a time when her behavior would have been seen as normal and acceptable, and has a hard time accepting that times (and standards of behavior) have changed.
    • Or, she has accepted that times have changed, but is going senile.
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    • Alice is a member of a Neo-Nazi group.
    • Alice realizes such terms are generally considered offensive, but actively considers such modern values Political Correctness Gone Mad.
    • Alice grew up in an environment where many different-race people bullied and possibly tortured her. The end result is a Broken Bird who despises people of different races.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: Alice keeps staring at Bob because he looks different... But then it turns out she's staring because Bob reminded her of someone she used to know.
  • Double Subverted: She then realises that Bob isn't the person she thought, and promptly calls him a negro.
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  • Parodied: Alice has the attitudes towards racial matters of the Deep South in the Fifties. The Eighteen-Fifties.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice doesn't show outdated prejudice against people of color—as long as they're professionally dressed and groomed. Any variation from business attire brings out her bigoted side.
    • While Alice does refer to blacks as negro she was and is a major civil rights activist. If called upon it she apologizes for it but unfortunately has trouble remembering.
  • Averted:
    • Alice uses no racially-insensitive terms.
    • Alice never meets or sees Bob.
    • Alice only refers to Bob as "The darker skinned gentleman" there, and asks for his name so she can use that rather than descriptors for him.
  • Enforced: The story takes place in the South sometime after the period of the Civil Rights Movement, Alice is from an older generation that still caries some racist attitudes.
  • Lampshaded: "I'm sorry, Bob...Grandma hasn't caught on with the whole PC movement..."
  • Invoked: Alice can't reach something at the supermarket, and requests (or demands) help from Bob.
  • Exploited: Alice is running for City Council and her opponent sets up a situation with Bob to reveal her outdated views.
  • Defied:
    • Alice doesn't want to be seen as racist, so she reaches for the MacGuffin herself.
    • Someone informs Alice of the social changes of the last few decades, and Alice makes an effort to comply with current social norms. (But not in a Totally Radical way.)
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Bob is one of her grandson Charlie's best friends and their relationship becomes strained.
  • Reconstructed: Charlie is mortified by Grandma Alice but Bob, tired of dealing with subtler, more grating back-handed racism, finds Alice's combination of candor and impotence entertaining.
  • Played For Laughs: Alice unnecessarily gets off the bus when a black person gets on.
  • Played For Drama: Bob takes Alice's remarks personally.

I don't want to be the one who has to back to the main trope and tell Gran that she doesn't have N-Word Privileges anymore...

Example of: