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The Casual Bigot October 16, 2020

Posted by voolavex in Social Issues.
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You are likely to have one or more in your family. Close family. People who use ethnic slurs all the time always followed by – “no offense”. These people may have grown up hearing the same words used by parents or family members or on the schoolyard and repeat what they heard. No one corrected them so they assumed – and rightly – it was okay. (It isn’t). Some of them were corrected and they stopped. Most of them said “it doesn’t mean anything” and kept on. (it does). These are what I call the “Casual Bigots”.

The “Casual Bigot” may not have called all “others” bad names – sometimes it was a certain group – likely one that was in a community nearby. Some were ill-raised and mimicked their close family and friends. And a percentage of them actually “hated” the ethnic group, but had no idea why. Some had experienced unfortunate events with someone within the group and therefore called all of them by the slur. Many will gladly say ‘they have lots of _______friends”. (they don’t). Some think it’s just slang (it’s not). Many will have met a person from the ethnicity and commented on their fine manners (a doctor or a lawyer or a nice clerk in a store or a schoolmate) and insist this is an indication they are not bigoted. (it’s not).

Many imagine their group is superior. If they were shown it wasn’t true, this caused distress and usually epithets that were unneighborly even for the ‘casual bigot’ . Casual Bigots get agitated if a person of an ethnic difference moves on their street. Why? Because it will change the things they say in casual chatter and this will infringe on their comfort zone. How? It could set up a competition (conscious or subconscious) in their mind that would impact almost everything they did. The newcomer will never fit in because the Casual Bigot can’t allow themselves to even consider that. It will be useful however when remarking – “oh I have ______neighbor”.. smile. Or “we have one of THOSE down the street” ..eye roll. But be aware that Casual Bigots do not burn crosses or wear sheets. They do not graffiti synagogues. They don’t even call names. And if their kids do anything bigoted they will get a very stern talking to – but they will continue to hear adult Casual Bigotry at home.

Casual Bigots also form hierarchies for their ethnics. Dark people are not as okay as light people. Ever. Sadly this is common within the ethnicities themselves. My opinion is that this type of “intra-ethnicity” bigotry originates in countries that white people colonized. And i has become so ingrained, for so long, it doesn’t go away. I am not sure if it ever will.

And my own feeling is that dealing with a Casual Bigot is harder than a serious one. Serious bigots hate and maim and kill and brag about their hate and it is easy to spot them. They too exist everywhere but they are so proud of themselves they don’t care if you don’t like it. The casual ones are hypocrites. If you mention that a certain word is offensive to you, they will act very surprised and you will wind up explaining your position and not stopping theirs. They will fraternize “to be nice” and so they can say they tried, then slur the ethnicity when they are gone. They will laugh at home about the differences.

I won’t list the terms and comments they use – you have all heard them. And if you are a Casual Bigot – and you know who you are. You have used them too.

PS Many non-white ethnicities do use slurs among themselves. I emphasize the difference mainly because I have not come across any ethnic slur that white folks use in general to denigrate each other. White people are a caste based culture. And there is nothing casual about it either.

About the author:

I am a white woman of a certain age. I was fortunate to have a father who did not support bigotry AT ALL.

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