My friend Eric Reitan has a thoughtful, calm response to an image that’s been circulating on Facebook recently. He and I, while politically quite similar, have very different temperaments. If you want calm and rational, go read his piece. I think he’s right (except for all the god and Jesus crap, of course). But if you know me, you can probably guess how I might respond to this:
Oh, fuck off.
This bullshit is yet another example of what I’ve started calling the New Bigotry. How is it different? Well, classic bigotry was pretty straightforward. It was openly hostile and hateful and had no problem saying “Fuck you, faggot!”
The New Bigotry, on the other hand, is a transparent con game. A bait and switch with used car salesmen ethics and aesthetics. Its first move is to deny someone legal rights (an action) while avoiding any language that might sound hostile. Then put on a plastic smile and blithely equate bigotry with rudeness (despite the fact that no dictionary defines either word that way). Once you’ve made the false equivalence, you then politely state that since the other guy was rude (by calling you a bigot) but you’re being “nice”, they’re the bigot and you’re the victim. You then seek out people who are big enough dumbfucks to fall for this shameless bastardization of human social values, and the game is on.
Let me state this in no uncertain terms: All opposition to gay rights is bigotry. If you think being gay should be grounds to deny ANY right enjoyed by straights, you are a fucking bigot. Opposition to gay marriage for any reason whatsoever is bigotry, no exceptions.
The New Bigotry does not alter this situation at all. I don’t fucking care how polite you are. I don’t give a shit if you claim to still love gays. There is no rat in the universe in possession of an ass that I would give about your sincere beliefs. And absolutely no amount of self-congratulatory masturbation about how much Christian “love” you have can give me one fucking iota of sympathy for any anti-gay position. It’s bigotry top to bottom, through and through.
Bigotry is bigotry regardless of how much love and puppies and sugar you smear all over it. Denying someone their rights does not become more acceptable when you do it nicely. Quite the opposite, dressing up bigotry in smiley hugs and rainbows actually makes it more insidious. If anything, the New Bigotry is worse than what came before. That image above pisses me off more than someone just coming right out and saying, “Fuck gays.” At least the latter bigot is being honest. The New Bigotry expects me to believe that hateful actions can be excused with “loving” language. Well, they can’t. And they never will.
One thing the New Bigotry has in common with the old, though, is its hilariously appalling ignorance. Either the maker of that image has no idea what the word “exactly” means, or he/she has nothing even vaguely resembling a fucking clue about what’s at stake for gay people’s lives when gay marriage is banned.
Really, Christians? That’s “exactly” what they don’t want done to them? The only issue here is being called fucking names? I’m pretty damn sure that if name-calling were the only problem gays face, we wouldn’t be hearing much from them. The maker of this image–and, let me emphasize this, EVERYONE who agrees with it–is so ignorant, so stupid, so childish, so selfish, so disrespectful, so inconsiderate that he/she cannot take even two god damn seconds to consider how his/her actions–which are misleadingly called “beliefs”–affect other people. If you can’t see how insulting, degrading, and downright moronic that “exactly” line at the end is, then something is terribly wrong with your brain. (Hint: Your brain malady starts with a “p” and ends with “rivilege”.)
I’d really like to see more people attack the New Bigotry more directly. Its dangers go far beyond merely harming gays. It bastardizes our values wholesale by muddling up concepts with false equivalences.
Bigotry is not the same as rudeness. Belief is not the same as action. Name-calling is not the same as legal denial of rights. And while, yes, you do have the right to speak your ignorant beliefs, you do not have any right to be shielded from criticism. If you say something stupid and bigoted, people will rightly criticize you for it. Fucking grow a spine and deal with it. There are people who have to put up with a lot more shit than you ever will. At least no one banned your fucking marriage.
…”Exactly” my fucking scrawny white ass. I don’t think I’d be half as mad as I am right now if not for that one fucking word…