Another small truth

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’?

Anyway.

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.

Also? Bigotry.

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.

Bigotry.

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?

Big-Bee.

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….”

 

Maybe.

  9 comments for “Another small truth

  1. 4 April 2011 at 11:57 am

    I am a bigot or hypocrite and I am well aware of it. I think it is in our nature. People just don’t like stuff. It is the blanket statements that need to be avoided. And I try. But I might suck at it.

    • 4 April 2011 at 12:03 pm

      Fair enough.

      For some reason, it seems to just feel better when folks acknoweldge it. I wonder what that’s about. It’s the people who talk about how much they hate hypocrisy and bigotry and then turn around and say something so ridiculously offensive that I slap my forehead in frustration.

  2. Cheruby
    4 April 2011 at 12:59 pm

    You’re right of course. The ordering of objects and people is a human survival strategy borne of evolution. We can’t get rid of it without ceasing to be human.

    The blessed Principia Discordia teaches us that the best thing we can do to counteract the potentially dangerous ordering of people and things is to accept all the different perspectives possible.

    Take, for example, take the guy who is currently serving a sentence for breaking into my house and stealing my DVDs. Was he a poor man trying to make a living? Was he a soulless ruffian who was stealing just because he could do it? Was he a victim of European colonization, forced into a life of crime because his aboriginal culture is oppressed? Or is he just a part of the dreaded “Indian Problem” you mentioned?

    All those categorizations could be true, some of them could be true, or they might all be bullshit. I get to decide which I believe is true, if any, and I can change my mind. I am the artist of my worldview and life experience. By having my pigeonholes change constantly, I am proud to say I am hypocrisy-free, merely flighty and unrealiable.

    Hair Eris!

    • Cheruby
      4 April 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Hair Eris? Oops. That unexpected bit of spelling disorder is worth another hearty Hail Eris!

      Hail Eris!

  3. Stark Raving Dad
    4 April 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Anyone that tells me they don’t have any bigotry in them, or never uses / believes stereotypes, or is 100% open and accepting of everyone/thing, I know immediately they are lying.

    I’ve never met a human being that would fall into a 100% unbiased all the time category. I don’t think I ever will.

    • 4 April 2011 at 1:57 pm

      But you’re FAR less gullible than I am when it comes to that. Maybe I should just be more cynical.

  4. Jim
    4 April 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Sometimes, I think that it is a problem of definition. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines bigot as “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”. I keep talking with people who only consider the second half of the definition.

    “I don’t hate theists. I try my best to educate them, and free them from their brainwashing.”

    “I don’t hate atheists. I pray daily that they’ll be saved from the eternal punishment they deserve.”

    “I don’t hate (members of political party), but I won’t stand for their attempts to destroy my country!”

    Et cetera.

    When I realized that being addicted to my own preconceptions and needing motivation to learn more made me a bigot, not simply active animosity towards a group, I realized I am a bigot. But I had to learn that both definitions of the word were valid, first.

  5. Arnisador
    4 April 2011 at 5:09 pm

    In a world of political correctness, its not the word/definition anymore that is the issue. Its the connotation.

  6. shaedofblue
    11 April 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Another example is when someone rants about underweight people, saying that they are hideous skeletons who should “go eat a sandwich,” and saying that with the exception of those that are attracted to this particular person, they are all very unpleasant people.

    Okay, that was more than a bit passive aggressive, but it is hypocritical for people who refuse to acknowledge their hypocritical bigotry when they are called out on it to tell others what hypocritical bigots they are being.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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