What does “bigotry” really mean?

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There’s a strong tendency in our culture for uneducated people to use words and language they don’t fully understand. As a writer, I’ve long been fascinated with the etymology of words and how their meanings change from one generation to the next.

For example, did you know the word “bad” was originally a derogatory term for an effeminate man? Saying “Oh, that’s bad.” was the equivalent of saying, “Oh, that’s gay.” Means the same thing. Go look it up if you don’t believe me. Gives a whole new meaning to the term “bad boy” doesn’t it?

There are countless words that people don’t really understand.

Take the word “bigotry” for example. Judging by the context in which it is frequently used, most people don’t seem to know what the word means. Many people tend to think it is synonymous with words like racism or sexism or xenophobia. The actual definition is nothing like that.

Bigotry means “a stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.” In other words, in most sociological debates, both sides are guilty of bigotry. All too often, that word is used to deride one side of a controversy. Typically, conservative people who hold sound and traditional views are condemned as bigots. The opposing side of disproved and progressive liberal views never consider themselves to be bigots. But they are.

Everytime you see protesters clashing, both sides are showing intolerance for the others opinions, and are therefore exhibiting bigotry.

Everytime opposing factions are screaming at each other with bullhorns, both sides are stubbornly opposing the others belief and are showing bigotry.

Everytime someone gets upset because other people disagree with them, that is bigotry.

Militant liberals are bigots.

Intolerant conservatives are bigots.

Anyone refusing to entertain opposing views is a bigot.

As you can see, bigotry is not synonymous with xenophobia. Xenophobia means “an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange”. Bigotry is not a fear or hatred. Bigotry is an intolerance of a different creed or opinion or belief. Being fearful of a thing and intolerant of a thing are very different indeed.

Therefore, being a bigot can be a very good thing. There are times when we should exhibit a stubborn intolerance of different beliefs. When you come across a group of pedophiles who see nothing wrong with abusing children, you should not tolerate those beliefs and opinions. You should be proud to be a bigot. Freedom fighters who are opposing the tyrannical despotism of a dictator are bigots, because they are intolerant of the creed which has led to their oppression. When your convictions are ethical, bigotry is an admirable stance.

Most people and the pustulant worms of the mainstream media teach being a bigot is bad. They think the word “bigot” is an insult. But that is not the case. The context of the word makes it a compliment or an insult. In essence, bigotry simply means holding steadfast to your ideals. Not caving in on your morality just because a bunch of sissies are offended by what you think. You never have to respect those with an immoral agenda.

Bigotry can be a commendable resolve. It means you have a backbone. Bigotry means you stand up for what you believe in.

Bigotry is wrong when you start to change your mind, but you can’t admit it. If your opinion on an issue begins to sway to the other side, but you are too proud to admit you were mistaken – that is when bigotry is detrimental. When you use bigotry to stand firm in a steadfast conviction, bigotry is noble. When you use bigotry to hide behind a rhetoric you are starting to doubt, bigotry becomes cowardly.

Just a little something to think about. Next time you want to accuse someone of being a bigot, just because they disagree with a trendy viewpoint, remember that your popular opinion qualifies as bigotry too. Anytime you can’t condone the way someone else sees the issues, you are exhibiting bigotry. Sometimes bigotry can be righteous and noble. Sometimes bigotry can be decadent and cruel. All depends on what you are being a bigot about.

Ethical people can wear their bigotry with pride. Know what the word really means. And don’t let anyone else redefine it for you. Be stubborn. There’s nothing wrong with that. Be intolerant. Because there are beliefs and lifestyles in this world that are inhumane and degrading to mankind. You never need to permit that. Learn how to take a punch and fight for what is right. There is great virtue in holding your ground and sticking to your guns. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.