Hey Sleepy21, how you doing?
Yep those 70yo's are flat out spewing vitriol sometimes. Surprises the heck out of me too.
As I was reading his story, I thought to myself, yes, he should just move if it bothers him so much. I am sure if I had been on the receiving end of that, I actually would have told him so. In a nice and caring way of course.
Telling people they are racist doesn't seem to get anyone very far. Telling them they are being rude, impolite, discourteous or aggressive (whatever the behaviour is) I think has a better chance of being understood as a request to modify what they are doing right now. If they can't, well, there's no point standing there being a garbage can someone dumps all his rubbish into.
There used to be a peanuts cartoon strip I had stuck on my wall for a while. Lucy was doing a maths problem and she reads out something like, a person goes to the store and buys 60 cantaloupes. The next frame she says, you're buying 60 cantaloupes...? what the hell is wrong with you?
Whenever I get a flash of that cartoon in my mind, it not only makes me laugh inside but also indicates I am pretty sure I'm wasting my time. The person's premise may be neither based in reality nor lived experience. More likely they are repeating an overheard or publicised point of view that isn't a result of their own deliberations. Hence, why they can't speak rationally about it.
So I guess I only bother to plant seeds in fertile soil. Some grow, some explode in my face, some wither and die. A few days ago a friend of mine actually repeated back to me verbatim my perspective on anti-chinese racism and China/Australia relations as his own. He had great pride in his tolerance and open-mindedness. In a way it's kind of funny.
The entire time I discussed it with him he fought and rejected every idea (and every fact) and said so many disgustingly racist things I thought I might never be able to look at him again. Seems like it was worth it. He'll never admit it. All good. Just so long as he doesn't keep spouting that rubbish he comes up with sometimes.
Don't give up. You can get through to some people, even if all you say is, omg that just turns my stomach to hear you speak like that. Then just leave it. Tell a joke, move on. No need to explain. The shorter the better.