Halpern: Don’t scapegoat the elderly

I am a regular reader of the Western News, and always appreciate how much work and effort go into producing such a fine campus newspaper each week. But I was dismayed by Jason Winders’ piece Try Something New, London (Feb. 9), which addresses the issue of downtown revitalization.

This brief article demeans the elderly three times. The first instance shocked me the most: “Finally, the city would retain its own young instead of attract others’ elderly.” Another paragraph refers to “an old drunk.” A later paragraph compares a failing project to “a cranky old man complaining about everything.”
Both the old and young can be a source of stagnation and problems, and both groups can be the source of inspiration and change. Please don’t scapegoat the elderly, either in real terms or as a literary device. Most of us would not tolerate this degradation of other groups, and the elderly should be no exception.

Monda Halpern
Department of History