Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Bigot

:  a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially :  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary

We use that word a lot; it means a lot more than not agreeing with each other. When someone does not agree with marriage equality many of us call them a bigot. When someone does not believe that we are transgender because the person might not have Gender Confirming Surgery some of us call them a bigot, and when someone does not believe a child should transition we call them a bigot. Are they really bigots or is that the wrong use of the word?

Notice the definition “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices” it says nothing about hating. It says “obstinately or intolerantly”
Full Definition of obstinate
1 :  perversely adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion [obstinate resistance to change]
2 :  not easily subdued, remedied, or removed [obstinate fever]
When someone doesn’t recognize your right to exist whether or not there is any hate that is bigotry because they “perversely adhering to an opinion” and they are treating the members of a group with intolerance.

Can say a black man who is facing an intolerant person and calling that person a bigot be also a bigot because they don’t respect the person’s views? Or can a trans person who is called a “man in a dress” and calls that person also be a bigot because they are intolerant of the other person’sopinions?

In the Huffington Post, Dr. Joe Wenke writes “Is It Right to Call a Bigot a Bigot?” and in the article she says,
It really comes down to this: If, based on your religious beliefs, you demonize people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and you deny people the right to have sex and marry, then you are against freedom and equality for those people. You are practicing bigotry. You are a bigot, and you deserve to be called a bigot.

Yes, it is right to call a bigot a bigot. In fact, it is a responsibility. I will embrace that responsibility whenever necessary, and I call upon everyone who values freedom and equality for all people to do the same.
Or to put it another way the oppressed in not a bigot for calling the oppressor a bigot. When they are denying us our humanity our right to exist they are by definition “bigots.”

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