The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age


    Are you a closet racist? Chauvinist?  Do you tout your base religious doctrine (or lack thereof) as the only conviction that is valid and denigrate those whose beliefs are dissimilar? Do you believe that gays are just wrong and weird? 

    Do you feel that those who are different from you aren’t quite as (insert good, smart, worthy, etc.) as you and yours? 

    Take your time, ponder, and then be honest; at least with yourself.  If you do bear the burden of prejudice, it’s time to consider why you feel this way and why you continue to hold on to these feelings. 

    Many of our populace are bigots and yet they will vigorously deny it, even be indignant at the very idea any would even think it of them.  (Of course, there are those who fervently embrace their ignorance and intolerance, but that’s a very different blog.) 

    No ‘group’ is without bigots.   No matter the gender, whether people of faith or not, or any other qualifier, within every group on this earth, be assured, there are bigots.   (And I know that seldom, if ever, does one participate in only one type of bigotry.  i.e. I’ve yet to meet a racist who wasn’t a chauvinist.)

    For too many it has become reflexive to deride another; the faux perception being that disparaging others will elevate their own status.  Most bigots foster the bully brigade mentality, exploiting those perceived as being weaker and without the resources to counteract the tyranny of bigotry; the goal being to render their targets feeling fearful and powerless. This fulfills the base motivation to suppress, denigrate and weaken their prey, attempting to ensure they will not be a threat to the bigot’s own perceived status quo (as the omnipotent entity). 

    I’ve long contemplated the query about the nature v. nurture aspect of various prejudices.  I have come to the conclusion it’s a combo plate, including more than a dollop of personal traits that influence our choices; because after a certain age, bigotry is really a personal choice.  I assert that once we are adults, we are responsible for our own partialities, don’t you?  It’s like my momma said, “Unless someone is holding a gun to your head, a knife to your throat, you can say no, and walk away.  Don’t ever try to blame anyone else for what you do or say.” 

    Fortunately, I was raised by a mother who would have peeled the white right off me if I ever subscribed to any form of bigotry.  She told me, “If someone doesn’t like you or finds fault with you, don’t you think it should be because of your actions and not the color of your skin or that you’re a woman or a blonde or a member of a certain church?  People who base their opinions of you or anyone on that stuff are just ignorant.  The color of your skin, your gender, ethnicity and other hereditary traits are nothing you had any control over; but your behaviors, even your attitudes, are always of your own choosing.”

    (Ah, the older I get, the more I am thankful for and value her wisdom.)

    For many of us, it wasn’t until the TV program ‘All In The Family’ that bigotry was even a topic of community conversation.  Many friends and families, after viewing this sitcom, discussed subjects that most likely would not have been otherwise introduced.  As I remember, an episode of this sitcom was the basis for the first real conversation I ever had about homosexuality.  Yes, it definitely was a different era.

    The fact is that until this election, I was choosing to reside on the Isle of Denial about the current status of bigotry within our country.  Oh, sure, I knew there was still some bigotry out there, but these past few months have delivered an unpleasant dose of the reality that while there has been a reduction in the size of their chaotic crowd, bigot’s motives are still as brutal, ugly and hideous as ever. 

    Do you believe that if you don’t stand up and speak out whenever you are aware of bigotry, that you most likely either subscribe to some form of bigotry or at the least, don’t care as much about those who are the targets as you do ‘one of your own’? Oh, any can rationalize their silence and/or lack of positive reaction; but reticence has and always will be viewed as compliance. 

    No surprise, I’m a big advocate of standing up and speaking out.  Been there, done that and will never stop.  I won’t condone, ignore, excuse or enable bigotry no matter who the participants. 

    I’m not sure why I have such a visceral reaction to bigotry, but I do know that our world would be a much better place for all if we could rid ourselves of this plague. 

    If we are to ever be and do better, we need to acknowledge bigotry, talk openly and work fiercely to ensure we are part of the needed hope and change (yeah, I went there).  Mom would tell you, ‘Do unto others as you would have then do unto you’.


    Bigotry is like an insidious virus, could you be infected and not even ‘know’ it?


    The bigot (bigotry) is like the pupil of the eye, the more light you put upon it, the more it will contract.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes


    Well now I do get a little cranky right after I awaken from a nap!

    We all have biases.

    I do not particularly enjoy watching men kiss on TV...on the radio it aint so bad. hahhaha

    All I have to do is hear and then see Pat Robertson and my id erupts.

    I attempt to work with it.

    dd, I have the same reaction to Robertson.  IMO, he's the worst type of bigot - he intertwines his bigotry as if it is factually representative of religious tenets.  A perfect example of one who I do not like or respect because of his personal behaviors.

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