Monday, 25 May 2015

Politics and Photos of Cats

Just to annoy everyone :)

To completely misquote a common "meme"......

(Two things that I happen to know really annoy SOME of my FB friends)

Here's the politics.

This is just another variation on the complete and utter bollocks that you hear all the damn time:

"If you are intolerant of intolerant people, that makes you intolerant."

First time I faced it in person was on the same topic, the whole anti-gay thing. It was from a person who claimed she had gay friends, but she couldn't possibly condone their homosexuality. She didn't say if was because of her religion or the "ick" factor, could have been a bit of both, but I'll be perfectly honest, I was at a loss for words. I mean what can you say at that point that will really achieve anything?

Thankfully it's somebody I don't see very often, and I usually just avoid the topic.

But it also crops up from time to time in other discussions, and I've given it some thought when I've had time, so that if I need to, I can explain it.

As we're on harm this week, let's get this one out of the way.

Prejudice tends to be harmful. If you don't understand why, we need to talk. I'm assuming you understand that it is.

Therefore, intolerance, which tends to manifest as prejudice, is potentially harmful.

Does that matter?

Depends. I am prejudiced against serial killers, strangely enough, don't know about you. I don't want them near me or my family. I want them locked up. Forever. I want them kept apart from society. I want them treated as faulty, and I want them treated as ill. Incurable. (I do not want them dead, but that's a separate topic).

Intolerance against serial killers is sensible. Prejudice against serial killers is sensible. They are harmful people. They've killed many times and would probably do so again, because they are psychopaths.

Prejudice doesn't mean you have to spit on them, torture them, fail to give them basic human rights and dignity, etc etc. That makes you no better than them, actually, and it is unnecessary harm. But you can be intolerant of them to the extant that you EXCLUDE them from the fun we have out here. They lost that privilege.

I am not prejudiced against Native people. They are just a different culture and/or ethnicity, no better or worse than mine, they are fellow human beings living their lives the same as everyone else. I could say I'm tolerant of them, but that's not correct. Tolerance is only required of something you don't really LIKE. I either like or dislike these people individually, not as a group, same as all people.

If you are are intolerant (and therefore potentially prejudiced) to Native people, you can cause them considerable harm. And this is exactly what has happened over the years. They have suffered the most disgusting treatment at the hands of prejudiced people of European heritage for no good reason whatsoever. They have been and are still being harmed by intolerance and prejudice. I see no end in sight.

If I am intolerant of those who are intolerant of Native people, where's the harm exactly? What am I doing to prevent their health and welfare? While I try to prevent harm of one group, how am I damaging the other?

"I live near a Res, and they're all on welfare, and they're all drunks....."

Have you ever taken the trouble to find out why? If you did.....but that takes too much effort. You'd like them to just "snap out" of centuries of abuse, and be fine upstanding citizens. Just like you. Well, if you are intolerant and prejudiced, guess what? You're not a fine upstanding citizen. You sir, are a bigot and an arsehole.

In any example, of any group, anywhere, big or small, who are the victims of intolerance or its brother, prejudice, the harm is coming from the perpetrators of that intolerance and prejudice. The harm is not being done to them. If they are scolded for being bigots and they want that scolding to stop, they need to stop the bigotry. Get help. Help is available. Get counselling. Go to a mental health professional, and say "HELP! I'm a bigot and I can't stop!"

And if, as in the link above, the excuse given is religious, then check that religion. Does that religion ask you to hate thy neighbour?

But don't worry. If all of that is too heavy for you. If it upsets your groove. If it is painful to think about, if it hits too close to home, well......

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