Blogpost 3/14/19: Hate and Bigotry

The bigotry resolution on the house last week and the uproar around it really only made sense if you pay close attention to politics. On its face there is only good things about portions of the government expressing formally that they will not stand for bigotry (except maybe that there are bigger fish to be frying). The problem Salt of The Streets had was the refusal by portions of Congress to treat Ilhan Omar the same that they did Steve King. For her to be hung out to dry and stripped of committee assignments because minority members of Congress were personally offended by things that she had said, the same has happened with Steve King.

Hate and bigotry in all forms is wrong, that is a fact and a moral most people hold true. No one form of hate is any worse than another, and racism is racism no matter the color of the person expressing it. The definition of racism is “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”, but in some groups in this country and political climate there is a contrary belief. There is a theory that only a “more dominant” race can be racist, other than that it’s just prejudice. What’s the difference?

There are portions of America, and probably the world, that still are unable to (or choose not to) understand that not all Muslims are terrorists. Those same people, I think, would be irreparably offended if anyone were unable to make the distinction between a white person and a member of the KKK. I am a HUGE comedy fan and am particularly into dark humor. I appreciate all types of jokes. But the progression of real actual stereotypes and sheer racist ideologies is genuinely surprising to me in this time of growing intersectionality.

I’m not sure how anyone gets to a place of hate like that. I can’t even begin to imagine all the different scenarios that any given citizen of the United States could be subjected to, but even taking into account I may have no idea what someone else has experienced, I am still confused. Confused as to what someone could experience that could sour their view of an entire race. How someone could get to a point where they are unable to separate the acts of an individual from a particular group they may belong to.

When it comes to conflation of the religion of Islam and terrorism as a whole, one event commonly used as an argument is 9/11. I was 7 years old when the Twin Towers were struck, but I have no lack of appreciation for the magnitude and important of that event now that I am an adult. I understand very well the circumstances around the attacks and the proceeding wars in the Middle East. It is incredibly difficult for me to understand how grown adults who have been shot at and lost friends and allies at the hands of radical Islamic extremists are able to separate the individuals they fought from the religion they belong to, but citizens from the country are not.

One of my biggest problems with modern day progressives or the new breed of intersectional thinkers is that they want equity not equality, and go about it in very divisive ways. The use of an “oppression hierarchy” has becomes regular and is used to devalue the struggles of what are perceived to be “those in power”, and that at its core is counter to the stated goal. I’m not saying racist and prejudice things don’t happen, because they do and when they happen they should be identified. I am saying that lowering or raising the value of someone or their experiences because of their race or some other immutable property about them is nothing but divisive. They slander the other side as hate and fear mongers and claim to be the only ones looking out for the well being of the country, and the only ones who stand against hate.

One of my biggest problems with the base of our President is that they cause the same divisiveness as the left but claim it is out of self preservation. They have been convinced by a President and pundits who have no qualms about using derogatory and slanderous rhetoric to try and scare and bully people into agreeing with them. They lie and claim to be the only source of truth to try and convince people they are the only ones that can be trusted. The pundits will parrot the talking points of the President even if he is speaking in support of the dictatorial leader of another country. Their allegiance is only to the ideals they hold, not to this country.  They will claim to be the only ones with everyone’s best interest at heart, and the only ones who stand against hate.

Hate is driven and progressed by people on BOTH sides of these modern political debates. Hate is progressed by anyone in either party that refuses to look at any person, action or piece of legislation on the facts, merits, and value it serves or harm it causes to the American people. It is driven by anyone who has never and will never vote outside of party lines. It is driven by anyone who will not call out racism and bigotry in their own ranks. It is driven by citizens who do not address prejudice among their own family and friends. Hate is progressed by those among us that will share an article without reading it and share information they don’t know to be true.

We can agree that it was wrong for Ilhan Omar to say what she said AND for racists posters of her to be made. We can say that we support the police AND all of the people who were senselessly murdered by police AND the families who receive no justice. We can say that illegal immigration is bad AND that maybe a wall isn’t the best way to fight it. We can agree that the color of your skin or the area you live in should not dictate your future in this country or the opportunities you are given.

Doing what’s right doesn’t always feel good. The truth hurts, a lot of the time. But it’s facing and accepting that truth that allows us to grow and continue on with our lives with new knowledge and experience. It was Ben Shapiro of all people that said “my facts don’t care about your feelings” and as shitty as it sounds I think that might be the answer. Accepting facts that may or may not make us uncomfortable, and working from there. Understanding that our political views are sometimes nothing more than opinions, and that’s okay. It’s okay to not be correct and it’s okay to be uncomfortable with it. It’s what you do with that feeling that matters. If you deal with it, and move on operating on this new found truth you are apt to grow and help those around you grow. If you fight the reality that is progressing around you, you will drive further the very hate you hope to be fighting. It is only through projected and reciprocated honesty to ourselves and those around us that our country will survive this era of divisiveness and political strife in one piece, instead of unsustainable fragments of a once beautiful country.