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Random Thoughts About Bigotry

One of my Facebook friends has a friend who once said that the immigrants coming from Central America should all be sterilized so they don’t breed. He spoke about them as if they were not human, and I truly believe that he didn’t view them as human in the first place. He was an awful person and he would not have been on my friends list.

Hate is exhausting. Why not love instead?
The Opposite of Hate

The friend who had this man on his list tried to defend the man’s view by saying, “Oh, well I don’t agree with him but I like to share all views.” But this is not a healthy view. It shouldn’t even be on the table and you shouldn’t be supporting it, even to this degree. There is a huge difference between differing views and someone who actually suggests harm to another. Just by letting him use your page as a sounding board, you are agreeing with his view!

There are some dangerous views going around the country and some of them border on Nazi philosophy. We haven’t seen things like this going on since the 1930s. It has been almost a hundred years since they were popular and suddenly we are dealing with them again. It makes me wonder how affective World War II actually was at getting rid of these people. We are in the twenty-first century and still dealing with views of the last century, and not even the late part of the century. It’s pathetic!

We should not be sharing these views, unless we are here to show how they are dangerous. Just leaving them on your page for all to read without any guidance is not a good thing, nor are you helping these immigrants who fall victim to these views.

Let’s forget about the Nazis for a second and talk about the people who support them without meaning to. I am talking about what I call the pseudo-liberals. These are people out there who claim to be liberal and progressive, but when you talk to them, they don’t view immigrants or people of other races as human, either. Some of them don’t even view women as human. They fight for the rights of marginalized groups in one breath and in the other spout bigotry without knowing they’re doing it.

I can give a fine example of this phenomenon. There is a woman I know who views herself as not racist or sexist. However, she views women as meek victims who are unable to defend themselves and men as violent victimizers. She feels sorry for people for being a different race or nationality. “Oh, you poor, POOR Asian girl!” She worries about the homeless population, then judges poor people for not spending all their money to save the environment. She’s a living contradiction of bigotry, and she doesn’t even know it.

Most of these pseudo-liberals, however, are Baby Boom men, who grew up in a time where racism was just a part of life and not looked down upon as it is today. Women stayed home in the kitchen while men went off to work, the races lived separately, and everyone was worried about the Red Menace. What is sad is that these men never abandoned their views, they just learned to hide them and think they were free of them.

Look at my dad, for example. He always swore up and down that he wasn’t prejudiced, he just hated East Indians, Brazilians, black people, Asian people, Mexicans… The list goes on. I remember him saying in one conversation that he thought it was great that people could celebrate their heritage, then complained about Mexican immigrants celebrating Cinco de Mayo. I guess it was okay to celebrate those traditions, as long as they were European traditions.

Don’t even get me started on his views of women! He would speak of successful women as if what they were pursuing was very amusing, as if they were cute little children. He would speak of bold woman with scorn and disdain, calling them all sorts of names and complaining about them for hours. He attached stereotypical assumptions to his wife and daughter. His non-binary child was forced into a stereotypical role based on the parts they were born with.

That was a problem with both my parents. They were okay with gay and trans people, as long as it wasn’t within their own family. Even as a small child, I knew I didn’t fit any gender role and insisted that I wasn’t a girl or a boy. Mom gave me a talk about a man named Christopher who became Christine, then immediately told me that that wasn’t me. I was later told there were asexual people in the world, but I was too young to decide that for myself. Mom had ulterior motives for that one.

“I want to continue my blood line,” Mom would say, fiercely.

Dad would get equally angry. He would talk about how I needed to breed because there were too many stupid people in the world, which was bigotry in itself. But Dad went a step further. He would not only tell me that I was to have children, he would talk about how I was to raise them. I was to make sure they had a father figure in their life, which, of course, I was not, because he’d already decided I was a woman, and he despised women.

Yes, the hate was strong in this one. Sadly, he didn’t even think it was there. Neither did Mom, but it was. It snuck up on them like a panther on the prowl, only that panther was dressed in sheep’s clothing and made them think it didn’t exist. (Fortunately, Mom was able to free herself from it, but Dad never did.)

I’m not sure which is worse, the blatant bigotry and outright hatred spouted openly by organizations like the KKK, or the subtle, hidden bigotry that burrows so deeply into the minds of both liberals and conservatives. I will say this, at least the KKK is honest about it.

Bigotry is probably the only non-prejudice entity out there, in the end. What do I mean by that? I mean that it doesn’t care about race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, etc. It makes its home wherever it can. It doesn’t care if you are black or white, Jewish or Christian, American or European, old or young. If you let it in, it’ll make itself at home.

You don’t have to be a white, heterosexual, Chrisian, American male, either. There are African American groups who hate Jews. There are gays who hate asexuals. There are women who hate men. There are atheists who hate religious people. There are plenty of Europeans who are more than happy to come on social media and talk about how subhuman Americans are. The hate is everywhere and in every group. No one is immune.

I was just watching a YouTube channel run by a transwoman. She was talking about trans and queer representation in movies and television. I was all into her channel until she started bashing cis people. It turns out she hates them all, and she said as much on her channel in blunt language. Click! I’m done!

I’m sorry, even if you are in a marginalized group, hatred is not okay. I’m asexual, but that doesn’t mean I hate people who have sex. I’m aromantic, but I don’t hate people who want a romantic relationship. I’m agender, but I have nothing against cis people. Why should I? They haven’t done anything to me, and even those who have only represent a small set in a large group. It’s like a basket of berries; just because one is moldy doesn’t mean the rest are bad.

The hatred online has gotten out of hand. There are people who look down their noses at other people for anything. You’re part of the wrong generation. You drive the wrong car. You’ve got the wrong haircut. You like the wrong toppings on your pizza. It’s stupid and it happens every day. And it’s very sad. It’s sad that people can find such trivial things in which to judge other people.

Sometimes I question the good that social media has done. There are a lot of benefits to it. People are more connected, you can stay in touch with your family even if you are halfway across the world, people have found online friends, and it makes it easier to share ideas. But it also makes it easy to share nasty ideas, just like the ones I’ve mentioned.

It’s nothing new, unfortunately. Social media just makes the bigotry more visible today. I guess this could be both a bad and good thing. We can no longer hide our bigotry from the world, it comes out for all to see, and maybe something can be done about it now.

We’ve all fallen victim to bigotry in some form, both by being the target of it and by being the instigator. Even I’ve fallen for it, though most of that was my parents’ influence. Once I stepped away from them and looked at the world for myself, I felt ashamed. I don’t share the same beliefs today that I did back then, because it’s possible to set yourself free from the shackles of bigotry. When you do, you’ll find the world is a much better place. Hate is so exhausting.

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