On Sunday, when mom and I were on the CTA on the way to the concert, a mentally unstable person walked into a car. He sat down and started to yell something ineligible. I was more concerned that he was not wearing a mask than anything else.
Mom didn’t say anything until later (on the way back, there were two young women with the music turned very loud, and we walked to another car). At that time, she asked why this man “was yelling so loudly.” I told her that he was mentally unstable, but as it often happens now, she didn’t listen and didn’t try to understand what I was saying. Instead, she continued: a white man would never do that! What are they trying to demonstrate? Are they trying to prove that they can do anything they want now, that they are not slaves anymore?
When I was walking home, I thought about how I could talk to her and explain how racist her conversation was, and I did some prep in my head. But the next time I was over at her place, she was in one of these moods when she started from one statement and literally did not hear when I tried to stop her and make a contra argument. And then it was one of these circles when she jumps from one repetitive passage to another, and I know all of them and all possible sequences, and I have no choice other than to sit and listen.
That racist stuff really bothers me, even as I understand, that she can’t make new mental constructions anymore. Even if I would try to reason with her to the effect of whether she thinks about herself as “white” as her most important characteristic, it does not feel like she can make new connections. Even if we talk about issues other than race, no matter how many times I explain to her that things she considers impolite are perfectly polite in the modern world, Russia and America alike. She just replies: but that’s how I feel! I have a right to feel a certain way, the way I was raised!
That was just to document the current state of things. I do not know how fast things will be developing from here. No conclusion.