MORE THOUGHTS ON MY DAD, ROY W. JOHNSTON
Is there a relationship between right-wing views, racism and dementia?
From the time my brother, sisters and I were children, Dad stressed tolerance for all human beings. He repeated, “Think of yourself as a human being first, and then a Canadian, or Negro, or whatever. Remember, like everyone else, you’re a human being first.”
Dad taught us not to hate when we met prejudice. He did not say that we should love our enemies, but he did say that we should not hate them. Not a bad philosophy for an atheist.
Dad became an atheist during World War II. He could not understand how God could let war and its horrors happen. Dad saw large pits filled with dead bodies. He saw some of his comrades blown to bits. “They went from being alive to being hunks of flesh,” he said. “No God would allow that,” he concluded. “There’s no God and no afterlife. Once you die that’s it.”
Dad hated the Germans. His hatred for the Germans lasted right up until the war ended.
“I was in Berlin and saw a German woman crying, she was really crying,” he said. “It turned out that she was crying because her son, a German soldier, died during the war. And then it hit me: the Germans were not krauts, but human beings just like us! That German mother could be my mother if I got killed. I felt so sorry for that poor German mother, and all my hatred for the Germans vanished.”
Dad said that he vowed never to hate anyone again.
Dad lived most of his life stressing tolerance, and had political views left of center. Why not all of his life? Who knows? Dementia?
Dad slowly acquired his right-wing views and racism as he descended into dementia. Dad started calling liberals stupid. He supported U.S. President George Bush. Dad said that President Bush should drop an atomic bomb on Iraq, and other Muslim countries, to wipe out all the Muslims. He said that we could rid the world of homosexuality by putting all the homosexuals on an island and sinking the island. Dad hated the Chinese. He called them nine-irons. What a difference from the man he used to be!
Dad’s dementia got worse after Mom died. We had to put him in a nursing because he was not washing himself, his clothes, or eating properly. (Most of his meals were microwave popcorn and chocolate bars.)
He spent eighteen months in the nursing home before he died. For fifteen months he was fine. He still had his right-wing and racist views, but he was not violent. The last three months he went wild. He did not go gentle into that good night.
So again I ask, Is there a relationship between right-wing views, racism and dementia?
Posted on February 13, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged chinese, demetia, german, hate, homosexuals, muslims, not go gentle into that good night, racism, right wing, roy w. johnston, WWII. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.