Accepted vs. Bigotry

Late last week I listened to a podcast from Intellectual Foreplay (IF 016: Examining our Relationship(s) ) where Ginger mentions she was self regulating her actions to be acceptable when what she wanted was to feel accepted. I was part way through a blog post about it, then over the weekend there were mass shootings, yes plural, that hit the news. The post I have partly written had headed toward bigotry being a huge block preventing many from feeling accepted. Now it looks like I need to talk about the dangers of bigotry.

The shootings in El Paso were the result of racial bigotry, often called racism. I remember through the years there have been attacks of various kinds because the perpetrators were bigoted against gays. I’ve also heard reports that gay men are bigoted against lesbians, or straights. I have heard of swingers who are bigoted against polyamorous folks.

I decided to change to bigotry as the topic because on my Twitter feed this morning was a clip from yesterday’s Deadline Whitehouse from MSNBC. The clip is of Eddie Glaude, a professor at Princeton University talking about how the shooting cannot be laid on President Trump alone. His rhetoric is part of the problem but it is all of us. We look for too simple of an answer. Blame the President, then we can move on. Professor Glaude really hits the problem spot on.

I have the YouTube page of the clip currently in another widow and will link to it, but the clip I watched earlier was a longer segment that includes some context to the discussion he was part of. One thing brought out in that longer segment is that bigotry has been a challenge to our peace for longer than Trump has been in the Whitehouse.

I remember reading of bigotry towards Irish immigrants when reading about the building of the transcontinental railroad. At least then the bigots had to look for something other than skin color to know if their bigotry could come out or not. The longer clip mentioned that during the Obama Administration a report came out noting the rise in white supremacist groups. There was such an out cry of bias the Administration issued an apology. If there was any bias about the report on increasing white supremacist groups it would be that it was released in a hope of being an ounce of prevention so we wouldn’t need the hundreds of pounds of cure we are now faced with needing. We need that same out cry going on now about those in political power who are blaming the Dayton shooting on the fact it is now legal for same sex marriage. There is no connection between same sex marriage and the Dayton shooting, it is just an attempt to stir up bigotry.

Why would I want to blog about this when my overall subject is about sex-positive attitudes especially for seniors? I was once a victim of religious bigotry. Even though it didn’t take the form of a bullet, it damaged my life for many years. I’m glad those bigots didn’t feel a bullet would be acceptable.

I want to raise my voice against the bigotry that is being used to tear this country apart. Getting politicians to stop fanning the flames of bigotry is a start. I’m in favor of some reasonable gun legislation but want to encourage that should those become law that we don’t become complacent. We cannot let bigotry in any form or the fanning of the flames of bigotry become acceptable.

Also, bigotry can be aimed at anything different. There are many trying to get non-monogamy accepted. When the politicians who use these methods run out of groups to aim the bigots at based on skin color, they could easily aim them at proponents of non-monogamy. They could use language that demonizes activities like swinging and instead of a Walmart being shot up it could be a swingers club or a BDSM dungeon. It has happened before to places frequented by gays.

I’m not trying to scare anyone. I’m trying to point out that bigotry can take many forms. Even if it isn’t affecting you personally right now, the day could come when it will. Keeping it from being acceptable in any form is important for us all.

I have to confess a form of bigotry in my make up. When I hear there are people letting bigotry take root in their communities, I tend to avoid that community. I mean like not doing business with a company based in a certain state because I don’t think they do enough against bigotry. I’m sort of a bigotry bigot. I need to realize that may work for a company with bigoted policies or statements but not a town or state. The government of a town or state cannot really legislate against bigotry. I do think the citizens can make the politicians aware they will not accept that kind of rhetoric, but that often doesn’t make the news. That Ohio lawmaker that tried to tie the Dayton shooting to same sex marriage may be showing her bigotry, but I’ll bet it would take a really loud push back against her to make the news. That I don’t see it in the news doesn’t mean her community isn’t pushing back against her statement. I don’t really need to boycott businesses based in Ohio because one lawmaker made a stupid comment that got nation wide coverage. Her constituents need to call her on it just like I need to find ways to call my representatives on the fact I don’t think they are doing enough to make these kinds of acts more difficult to commit.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” - Declaration of Independence.

These bigots are more than happy to deprive some of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Many of the same people that approved that declaration later saw a need to form a government of a certain form. We now live under that government more than 200 years after it was formed. Many of those founders were bigots of one form or another but they gave some very high ideals to their creation. It is now up to us to raise our voices to get our representatives to put in place laws to help us protect our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We also need to raise our voices to not let certain statements become acceptable. We don’t need laws to prevent those statements, in fact those kinds of laws could be used to cause more trouble. We need to just speak up against those views. We have to tell our representatives we don’t find those views acceptable. If those views are being expressed by those representatives, then they need to be voted out no matter what other views they hold.

In my opinion, if we want a sex positive society that lets individuals pursue happiness in their own ways as long as they are not harming others, then we need to be strongly opposing bigotry in all its forms.

©2018 Michael Yocom 

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