Being a Bigot and Its Effect on Society
Robert Wace a twelfth-century aristocratic writer from Normandy claimed the bigot meaning dates back to at least 1598 as a religious hypocrite by the French being a way to insult the Normans for their use of words “bi god”. In the 15th century the word bigot meant “an excessively hypocritical or devoted person”. Whether or not this is how it became part of the English language is unclear. It is, however, a far too common occurrence in today’s society that should not exist.
What Does Bigot Mean?
The bigot definition varies depending on what reference source you are using, but all have the same meaning in all languages; 1) is a person who is narrow-minded of any ideas other than his own, especially on religion, race, or politics; 2) any person who is extremely intolerant of another’s creed, opinion, or belief; 3) a person who regards members of a group with hatred: 4) a person who is openly against whose ideas or lifestyles are different from theirs.
To further define bigot it can be said a bigot will transfer their own low self-hatred and self-esteem to other religious, racial, or cultural groups. Regardless of the truth, they will single out, stereotype, lie, and make up instances about that group.
What is a Bigot?
A bigot is considered to have an authoritarian personality. In the early twentieth-century sociologists developed the premises of an authoritarian personality. A person with an authoritarian personality has strong feelings, of hostility, inadequacy, and dependency toward those in authority, even if they are in an authoritative position. Bigots are inclined to shift their hate and anger towards themselves against other groups due to their own feelings of worthlessness.
Types of Bigotry
The bigotry definition of hatred, fear, and intolerance of anyone who is not like us is the most discomforting quality of the human race. Bigotries are both universal and timeless which has robbed human beings of their rights through persecution and prejudice. Travel anywhere in the world and you will witness some form of bigotry.
In the United States the most common form of bigotry is ethnicity and most notably against those who are not of European lineage. Bigotry comes in many forms and to define bigoted an individual believes his culture, background and beliefs are better than others.
On the self-proclaimed procrastinating website Why but Wait, an increasingly popular site that discusses controversial and touchy topics has listed seven types of modern American bigots in 2014. Focusing on classic “white” bigotry the following list is as follows.
- The extremist are people who get attention by throwing temper tantrums at rallies, commit horrendous hate crimes, picket the funerals of soldiers, and just being upsetting and scary.
- The grandfather though not intentional, he casually drops racial slurs. It’s not that he’s filled with hatred he’s just unaware of what the world is really like and uncomfortable with certain cultural groups.
- Teenager who forgot to get raised in modern times is the teenagers who make bad choices by ranting on the internet about their dislikes of blacks and Asians by mocking their accents.
- The Far Right are extreme republican politicians and commentators. They say the things they think out loud and afraid of all other colors and place that are not white America. A significant amount of far right Americans who think white supremacy is over the top, but not, necessarily, wrong.
- Liberal mother is the open-minded mother who says all the right unbigoted things, but as long as it’s someone else’s family. They would be devastated if their daughter married outside of their race or their son was gay.
- The over compensators are the large number of Americans under the age of 35 who grew up in liberal environments. They are so concerned with not being racist they over compensate and end up insulting these ethnic groups.
- I’m not prejudice otherwise known as the timid bigot judge people by their character, but make generalizations and mocking imitations of groups when with a small group of friends.
Regardless of the level of bigotry, to feel genuinely unbigoted consider the details of that individual’s life that you feel disdain for. They are dealing with the same issues that you deal with. Remember that this person is just trying to be happy, just like you. They are dealing with their own demons and trying to live up to someone’s expectations. A little empathy goes a long way. Realize you both exist in this universe and on this tiny planet at the very same time.
An article written by Swain and Eric Wodening on the website Religious Tolerance www.religioustolerance.org states history has shown you do not have to be of a minority race to be subject to religious bigotry. In the United States every citizen is protected under the Constitution to practice the religion of their choice. Yet every day we witness some type of religious bigotry against Christians, Jews, Muslims, Islam, Wicca’s, Atheism etc in this multi-religious country. In general, with the exception of the radical variations of these religions they have the same purpose to ensure the well being of civilization and to enlighten the soul.
Another type of religious bigotry has surfaced over the years known as religious based bigotry. According to www.faithinamerica.org this type of bigotism is the root of anti-gay attitudes in our society and particularly those of faith. Religious hostility towards the lives of gay and lesbians is a destructive role. People of faith should understand that being gay is not a life choice, but is how you are born. Due to the efforts of organizations like Faith in America and LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexual, and trans-sexual) a Gallop poll showed that the majority of Americans do not view homosexuality as immoral. These core points will aid you when addressing those advocating for religion based bigotry.
- It causes enormous harm to LGBT’s, especially young and vulnerable teens: more than a million teens suffer depression because their religious institutions and families look at them as deviants. Suicide rates are four times higher in gay teens than heterosexual teens.
- Sexual orientation whether it be bisexual, homosexual, or heterosexual is a natural part of a human being: Americans must be educated on the scientific facts about sexual orientation. It is not a deliberate decision to act against the words of the scripture.
- It is wrong to use religious teachings to discriminate against any group: historically religion has been used to discriminate against women, people of color, and religious minorities. Finding a common ground between LBGT’s and historical bigotry is an effective way of educating people about the denial of equal rights.
Religious bigotry is undeniable in America’s history. Isn’t it time we all start to practice what every religion should strive for, the well-being of your fellow-man?
Right Wing Politics and Bigotry
All political parties are guilty of some form of bigotry, but none more prevalent than the Republican Party. The right wing conservative perpetuates racial animosity, anti-gay sentiments, and hateful prejudice towards immigrants to gain support from the existing to the next generation of bigoted voters.
It’s important to clarify that not all Republicans are homophobes, racist, and anti-immigration. There is no denying, though, that some of their members have made horrendous statements with their right wing definition that African-Americans are lazy, homosexuals are tearing apart the moral character of America, and immigrants are dangerous.
It became increasingly obvious before, during, and after the 2012 campaigns none of these epithets were accidental. While the Republicans would not risk alienating women, immigrant, gay, or minority voters they were certain their not so subtle bigotries could easily be decoded by the bigoted voters who shared their bigotry. Such words to describe African-Americans and immigrants as illegal’s, President Obama as the food stamp President, and handouts and welfare are what the supporters of President Obama want and questioning the Presidents citizenship.
More than any other political party it is no secret that all Republicans, on every level, have been caught sending more racially hostile emails claiming them to be “jokes that are politically inspired”, and not culturally insensitive. It is truly tragic that the majority of this political party who express their bigotry so openly will be passed down to the next generation of Republican voters. They should be held responsible for their action and now is the time for all citizens of good will to stand up and hold them accountable for their intolerable bigotry.
The Racist Bigot
One bigot synonym is the word racist. Though it is considered to have the same or about the same meaning there has been a lot of conversation and controversy if racist and bigot really mean the same thing. In social circles the questions arise if these words are interchangeable and just different sides of the coin or are one more accurate than the other in some situations? Or is it simply a case of misinterpretation of the definition?
The definition of a racist is an individual who believes in the supremacy of one race over another or a person who practices racial discrimination or segregation, or one who acts negatively different towards an individual or group of people because of their race.
While it can be said that racism is a particular form of bigotry the fact is that a racist discriminates solely on the basis of race. The bigot will discriminate against gender, race, beliefs, or religion based on their personal opinion or life experiences. Bigotry is an attitude whereas racism is based on actions. If somebody is placed under your authority and you act in a way to deliberately harm them based on their race – its racism.
A racist is a bigot against every race except their own. After all, as the saying goes “all racists are bigots, but all bigots are not racists.
Interracial Families and Bigotry
With over 700,000 interracial families in America society has become more accepting and open minded of other cultures but there are still those who are full of hatred. Bigotry may be hard to overcome and especially difficult to see your children hurt by thoughtless people. As a family, it’s a good idea to have a plan to deal with bigotry.
- Share and acknowledge your own cultural heritages and celebrate them both.
- Prepare your children and talk about bigotry. Ignoring the issue will not help them in dealing with the world if they are faced with racism.
- Bring awareness and appreciation for different cultures to your children.
- Encourage self-confidence. The more confidence they have in themselves the less likely they will be affected when they meet bigotry.
- There are many neighborhood interracial support groups. Through support groups you can lean on each other to positively overcome racism.
- If your child is having a difficult time dealing with bigotry, seek a professional counselor who is experienced in interracial affairs.
The American opinion is it is easier to disregard principles than to do what’s right. The fact that bigotry is institutional in our countries society differentiates us from the rest of the world. This is a tradition that needs to change in our society. If we began to educate and require people from different social groups to work together it would diminish the prejudice attitudes between these groups.
Whether blatant or subtle, bigotry is something nearly all of us deal with every day. Although bigotry is not considered illegal it is an issue that can corrode our school, work, and personal environment. It can weaken relationships between family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
If we as a society do not break the cycle of racism and bigotry the lives of our children will continue to be affected. America and the world itself would be a better place if the word bigoted in a sentence or in any form ceased to exist.