You don’t have to be a racist to be a bigot

You don’t have to be a racist to be a bigot

I’d heard the term ‘bigot’ tossed around in the past, but never really contemplated deeply what it meant or gave it a second thought, really. It seemed to just be a label slapped onto anyone who disagreed with someone else’s opinion.

In this day-and-age, after all, so-called ‘political-correctness’ has gotten out of hand, hasn’t it?

It seems more and more that the ‘left’ as people call it, want to push their progressive values down the throats of hard-working Canadians, right? Why can’t people leave well enough alone, after all?

If you believe the above rhetoric (which was sarcastic, in case you didn’t suss that out) you may be a bigot.

There’s nothing wrong with being dedicated to your own beliefs, convictions and personal views, but it’s when you are unable to hear other people’s opinions, are intolerant of even listening to hear them out, or to allow them to be heard by others, that you’re entering into the Realm of the Bigots.

A person with strong convictions, is not necessarily a bigot. It’s difficult, and perhaps more rare than people are willing to admit, but not impossible.

For example, you can be resolute about where you stand on a certain issue, but not have any prejudices, intolerance or hatred towards people who are on the opposite side of the issue. You are not a bigot.

However, a bigot is intolerant of other people’s point-of-view.

If you feel threatened by another person’s point-of-view, and feel the need to drown out their voice, or feel the need to ‘protect’ others from what they have to say, first, you must not be very strong in your own convictions and second, you may be a bigot.

And being a bigot does not require you to be a racist.

You can believe deep in your heart-of-hearts that all people are equal and deserve equal rights, and still be a bigot.

The good news is, there is a myriad of social issues a person can be bigoted about, so you can still carry on being a bigot.

You can still refuse to call a person by their chosen name or preferred pronoun, think Millennials are all useless and lazy, and resent movements that have nothing to do with you because you feel they are somehow infringing on your rights or undervaluing your life as a member of a privileged majority.

And hey, on the bright side, I’m sure there’s a little bit of bigotry in all of us. If you look hard enough, I’m sure you could find it.

By the way, the word ‘racist’ is a strong accusation that shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. Words are powerful, but when they are overused or misused, they lose their meaning.

As a side note, while news articles need to be free of opinion and journalists need to do their best to show both sides of any issue in an impartial light, writing devoid of opinion does not make the writer racist or a racist apologist.

An opinion column, on the other hand, is a perfectly acceptable and appropriate place for a journalist to express their personal point of view. It’s the whole purpose of a column, after all.