Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Iron Laws of Bigotry

I have been watching friends and tweeps engage those who are fans of Trump, and it suggested some general laws of bigotry.

The first one, of course, is that bigots are ignorant.  We see this all the time.  Tonight's example was someone tweeting about female general mutilation rather than female genital mutilation.  This is far less harmful than the other exemplar of the ignorance of bigots: that Islamophobes target Sikhs because a turban means one is a Muslim ... except when it does not.

The second Iron Law of Bigotry is that there will always be politicians who try to gain power by appealing to the bigots.  Here, I do emphasize "try" as there is no Iron Law of Success.  The politics of xenophobia can be self-defeating.  Just ask the Parti Quebecois after the most recent Quebec election.  Just ask Stephen Harper, who tried to use the niqab issue to stay in power.  It can work, but not always.

The third Iron Law of Bigotry is that bigots tend to have shallow learning curves.  They can learn, but it can take heaps and heaps of evidence to get them to change their views.  Or they can find out that their kids are something that they would otherwise hate, so then they relent.

Would the fourth Iron Law of Bigotry be that bigots are usually played by the pandering politicians so that they end up supporting those who act against their interests?  That is, hate can distract someone from realizing that they are voting for people who advocate policies that are harmful.  And bigots fall for it.  Hate not only leads to suffering (see Yoda) but to bad policy, right?

What are other Iron Laws of Bigotry?

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