Well, I should qualify this by saying he's done a lot of community integration work in the past, and his two best friends (yes, it's a cliche, but it's true) are black and Indian respectively, part of the first wave of immigrants in the post-war years, and he spent most of his professional life helping immigrants and whatnot find work and things like that, but a year ago he had a stroke and it...did something...to him.
It turned him racist. Not in a foaming at the mouth, Nick Griffen type of way, more in a genteel "old left winger who don't understand how the modern world works" sort of way.
He's 67, BTW.
Here's what he told us today:
"I watched Life last night. Got to that part about not looking a chimp in the eyes else they'll turn, and I said, 'No need to go to Africa to find that out, Atty, I could have just introduced you to Chalky! [his friend]'"
"I took the bus with [his wife] up to Asda yesterday. A bunch of the black girls got on, but it was alright - they were the friendly ones."
When he says things like this I'm disgusted, but at the same time, he's my uncle and he's a really cool guy (or was back in the day), an original campaigner. I'm not sure he even realizes he's saying it half the time. It reminds me of Stewart Lee, when he says "If I wanted to have no choice but to politely agree with racism I'd spend Christmas with the family."
He's actually possibly spending Christmas day with us.
What can I do by means of subtle dissuasion? Saying, "I'm offended" gets me nowhere.