Is that when you *act* like a bigot, under the pretense of “trying to establish a fair playing field”, you become a bigot.
I’m not talking about lampooning or being sarcastic or any of the other things we do at the expense of bigotry.
This has just really been getting in my buttcrack lately (and by ‘lately’, I mean the last year or two), which is why I keep bringing it up again and again and again and again and…well. You get the picture.
I know people who pride themselves…PRIDE themselves on being so open-minded and inclusive and sensitive to the needs and journeys of all sorts of …dare I say ‘dispossessed’ people and groups. By ‘dispossessed’, I mean impoverished in the sense of rights, humane treatment, all that sort of thing. I’m sure you know what I’m trying to say. Some folks say ‘special interest groups’, but I really detest that moniker; since when is the right to marry whoever the hell you want a ‘special interest’?
So I know many people who consider themselves to be, in old-fashioned language, “liberated”. Anti-ism. Everyone is deserving, and everyone is worthy of honour.
Except those people who aren’t.
Muslims, for example, are not worthy of honour and this doesn’t count as any sort of bigotry because there’s something inherently wrong with their religious texts that tell them to kill people who don’t agree with them. It’s not bigotry. It’s not. It’s just the way it is.
See, that’s bigotry.
Religious belief is not worthy of honour and this doesn’t count as any sort of bigotry because people who believe in God or a Supreme Force are incapable of rational thought and are possessed of vast amounts of stupidity. This is not bigotry. It’s merely factual.
People of European descent are not worthy of honour and this doesn’t count as any sort of bigotry because people of European descent, regardless of where their ancestors came from, are all guilty of taking part in the colonial attitudes responsible for slavery, conquest, and the assimilation policies. This is not bigotry. It’s just evening the scoreboard. Also? It’s TRUE.
Folks who choose not to have children – must be something wrong with them, right? I mean, they’re *nice* enough, but who doesn’t want to have children? It’s not natural. It’s not BIGOTRY, it’s just a weird sentiment, right?
It’s all the bloody hypocrisy that’s getting to me, I think. I hear media people denouncing anti-gay or anti-abortion policies in the States, and then they turn around and make fun of androgyny. I have gone to anti-racism events only to be told that as someone of European descent, racism is *my fault*, and that I am possessed of colonial attitudes that are still part of the problem [I’ve been told this AT THE EVENTS]. I’ve been privy to the discussions where the belief in God is ridiculed, and it’s the *same language* people used to use in my home town when they talked about “the Indian problem”.
I’m not perfect. I’m so far from perfect, I don’t even perf. And I know that it’s tough to keep an open mind about everything, all the time. I’m not even sure I know anyone who does. We can all aspire to being like the Dalai Llama or Albert Einstein or the ascetics; I guess that’s the challenge. But do we have to be so frigging hypocritical? Sure, I do it too. I’m positive I do. I know that I tend to be particularly difficult on groups of people for whom critical thinking is not an important skill. I judge them. I JUDGE THEM. Sometimes, I judge people before I get to know them. I paint them with brush colours I assume to be fitting. And sometimes, I am wrong in my assessment.
You know what else, though? Sometimes I spend time with people whose attitudes surprise me. Not necessarily because of the attitudes themselves, but because it’s not something I expected. I’m going to admit to something there: as much as I rail against labelling people and groups and all that sort of business, I do it *all the time*.
In my heart of hearts, I think most of us do. Whether it’s innocent like “she’s a gamer I knew from such-and-such a town” or “a chum from University” or “one of those people who think that it’s good to wash your dishes with TOXIC CHEMICALS”, etc.. That’s judgment. That’s pigeon-holing…so I guess it doesn’t always have to be hurtful.
But listen, what’s really bugging me are the folks who claim to be open-minded who really aren’t. I sure don’t expect people to just agree with my opinions and points of view. What a boring world this would be if that were the case. But there comes a point when the crappy attitude and hypocrisy gets to be too much, and I think I’m nearing that point.
I think I’d feel better about it if people with those ideas would just preface what they were about to say with something like: “I understand that what I’m about to say may be, or may sound completely hypocritical, considering my stance on open-mindedness, but….”