Although the young hunter, a white man, helps Phoenix to right herself after she falls over, he calls her "Granny" repeatedly rather than ma'am or some other title that would show appropriate deference to her age. We often hear the adage that we ought to respect our elders, but he does not do so because she is black and he is white. He also tells her "Now you go on home, Granny!" as though she is a child to be told what to do. He even points his gun at her, asking if she is scared by it. Not only is this disrespectful, but it is also cruel. One might assume that he would never treat an old white woman this way.
Later, the attendant in the doctor's office doesn't say hello or ask how she can help Phoenix. Instead, the woman simply says, "A charity case, I suppose." The woman has no patience with Phoenix, a very old woman, at all, ordering her to "Speak up" and even asking, "Are you deaf?" Again, Phoenix is spoken to as if she were a child to be ordered around. The nurse is the kindest white person Phoenix interacts with, but even she refers to Phoenix as "old Aunt Phoenix" and tries to "hush her" when Phoenix continues to talk. Again, this is something one might do to a child when they are upset. The attendant then offers Phoenix "a few pennies out of [her] purse," another action one might perform for a child. In general, whites seem to condescend to Phoenix at best and threaten her at worst.