It’s A Simple Question: Do You Oppose Bigots or Not?

Let’s make this clear.

If you are not actively and vocally opposing bigotry, you are supporting systemic and institutional bigotry.

Whether you intend to or not.

That’s why it’s “systemic” or institutional bigotry.

This kind of bigotry isn’t someone snarling slurs and twirling their mustache. [1] It is bigotry embedded into the way the system works. It has nothing to do with your personal intent or how “good” or “bad” of a person you are. [2]

You can be well-meaning and still create a bigoted situation. I have.

It’s about how the system is put together. Like Monopoly. It’s *designed* to have the players behave awfully toward each other. That isn’t about the *players*, that’s just the way it is.

Likewise, this statement is not just a matter of perception. This is just the way it is.

It’s like weeds, or dandelions. I don’t *intend* to grow either in a garden. But if I do nothing, I am giving the land over to them.

Whether it’s something relatively obvious – like the logic error that leads to racial profiling – or something subtle, it doesn’t matter. Hell, there’s ways that systemic and institutional bigotry effects our behaviors that we may not even be aware of, because it’s just “the way things are”. And again, it does not matter if it’s “deliberate” and intentional or not.

If you do not oppose bigotry, and keep opposing it, in ways big and small, then you are allowing it to grow.

That’s the way it is. You don’t get to control that.

You do get to control what you do about it.

Featured photo by Fibonacci Blue from Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.

[1] Though we’ve seen those assholes still exist, and some even refer to them as “very fine people”. Fuck that. Fuck them.
[2] Though if you’re, for example, still sporting a “stars-and-bars” and claiming it as “history” (it’s not), I’m gonna assume you’re just racist and trying to justify it.

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