January 15th, 2021

Age notations help to fuel prejudism

By Letter to the Editor on July 18, 2020.

Re:”Long way to go to end systemic racism” – Lutz Perschon

Mr. Perschon is so right. Systemic racism is going to continue to exist as long as media, social or otherwise, continues to practise it on a regular basis. And I feel compelled to bring up another stigma that needs to go the way of the dodo bird: ageism.

Ageism is the last acceptable -ism, and its prevalence is all too visible. Much like the article pointing out that Alberta’s new lieutenant-governor is Muslim, articles that mention someone’s age cause a prejudice, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s intentional or not.

In a recent News editorial, a woman in her late 60’s was referred to as ‘old’.

Now, anyone who has ever been referred to as old will tell you that that is not a complement. As a society, we tend to regard ‘old’ things as having less value, and perhaps in need of replacement.

The same can be said for stating that a 21-year-old male was arrested for theft or speeding. Well, that’s just so typical of that age group, isn’t it?

An 89-year-old ‘senior’ male was ticketed for causing an accident. Well, at his age, why does he even still have a licence? Saying that someone drives like an old man has never been a complement!

The list could go on and on.

Regardless of whether it’s social media or a news report, it’s time to drop any references to the subject’s race, age, and even sex for that matter. I don’t believe that they add any value to any story, and only serve to fuel more prejudice.

It’s up to each and every one of us to put an end to it.

J. Coombes

Medicine Hat

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