The dictionary defines a bigot as: “A person who is obstinately or intolerably devoted to his or her own group, beliefs, or opinions.”
When was the last time that you read a post or an editorial or heard a podcast, speech, or sermon condemning bigotry? Has it been a decade? Racial bigotry and religious bigotry are two forms of bigotry we hear about. But they’re not the only kinds of bigotry.
Within the last month have you heard anyone condemn or belittle a person of with alternate beliefs or contradictory opinions? If you have, I’d wager the issue was political.
I admire and aspire to adventure, courage, and grace. So, I deliberately engage with people who have experiences and perceptions beyond mine. I have some firmly held beliefs. I advocate and nudge for those ideas … ideally with some humility and grace. I’ve learned that sometimes what I intend as a nudge is received as a bludgeon.
Most people close to me have different political perceptions and/or hold contrary spiritual beliefs. More than 75% of my clients disagree with me on at least of one of those two important topics. My clients have heard repeatedly that is not important that I agree with them, but it is vital that I understand them.
Social media, podcasts, and broadcasts provide many Americans with news. Spin doctors, on both sides, focus on the errors, flaws, gaffes, inconsistencies, or stupidity of the other side. The result sounds to me like “obstinately or intolerably devoted to his or her own group, beliefs, or opinions.”
If I am polite, may I be direct? Do you know any political bigots?
Political bigots have huge platforms. Many people only read or listen to people who agree with them. That tends to make them more obstinate and less tolerant. It reduces civility. Scoring points matters more than truth or relationships.
That is bad for our society. Would we rejoice at the promotion of racial or religious bigotry?
About half American adults perceive political reality differently than you do. Suppose they won’t leave the country or convert to your side.
How will you deal with political bigotry? Ignore it, practice it, condemn it?
Terry Moore, CCIM, is the author of Building Legacy Wealth: How to Build Wealth and Live a Life Worth Imitating. Read his “Welcome to My Blog.”