For Bigotry to Flourish, Its Victims Must Be Stripped of their Humanity

by Pitt Griffin on May 16, 2015 · 0 comments

in Crime, Gay Marriage, Immigration, Misogyny, Police, Racism, Welfare

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Harper Lee – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.

Racism, xenophobia, and other bigotry are easy when you do not see people as individuals – but only as part of a larger group. The children of propertied white families might be found playing with the black farm laborers’ kids. The mistress of the house might well confide in her black domestic. And Miss Daisy can find companionship in her driver, Hoke Colburn.

But when the bonds of relationship do not exist – when blacks are an amorphous mass – then white people assign them the characteristics of a group to be feared – with larcenous hearts, unbridled violence, and disturbing sexual promiscuity.

Freddie Gray died in the custody of the Baltimore Police. To law and order conservatives, he was a thug, who deserved his death because he had been frequently arrested – never mind that his conviction record was less gaudy. But most importantly he was just another shiftless black man, indistinguishable from the rest.

Liberals are guilty too. To them, Freddie Grey was a symbol of police oppression; his killers members of a blue uniformed gang. But to treat cops as a faceless mass, is to fall prey to the same easy categorization as conservatives do of minorities. Every cop is an individual, and the actions of one of them do not speak to the motivation of any other.

I am a man

Conservatives are no better with illegal aliens. They tar them all with the same brush as blacks, as equally larcenous, perhaps not so sexually depraved, but more diseased. How do these conservatives, who value life back to conception, show such stone hearts to desperate teens yearning to be free of Central American hell-holes?

These are children who have shown American guts and initiative to get here. These are go-getters, who take responsibility for their lives – strive to better themselves. How does a conservative turn his back on them? By stripping them of their humanity. These unfortunates are reduced, in the right-wing imagination, to nothing more than the diseases they supposedly carry.

Heaven forbid you received some government money. Conservatives have your number. You’re a taker. It doesn’t matter that you are on social security. Or that you get unemployment checks because your job is now in India. You’re just a 47%er. You aren’t you anymore – you’re just a greedy, needy statistic.

Women seeking abortions are immoral Jezebels. Women wanting equal pay are feminazis. Women demanding contraception are shameless sluts. Women raped on campus were asking for it. But they are never people. They are never a daughter, a sister or a mother.

Gays choose their ‘lifestyle’. They have an agenda. They are fifth columnists, infiltrating decent America. Spreading their filthy message. Seducing virgin youth to adopt perversion. All in lockstep in a march on morality.

In another time, another group of people were stripped of their humanity. And in Shakespeare’s words, one member of this tribe spoke one of literature’s most famous monologs. Shylock spoke for Jews, but he might have been speaking for any oppressed group:

“I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
rest, we will resemble you in that.”




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