Against Bigotry

I spoke to a crowed at the end of our protest march in front of the Boston State House. I am feeling a desire by many to bring true change. But that will not be easy. This march/protest was aimed against policies on deportations and refugees and Muslims.

I am with Jackie here, she is my friend; I am her friend. She is my ally and I am her ally. We stand with others as friends. Let me be clear here: I love people. And because I love working-class people, I have decided I can no longer be a friend with those who support the legislation of hate. What does this mean? I will not travel with you nor visit your home. If you are against LGBTQ folks, female rights, undocumented friends, black, brown, and others, and if you support hate and American exceptionalism, I am not your friend and you are not my friend. This is not just a virtual notion; it is true for me day-to-day. If you believe you are “just” due to your faith — we are not friends. To be my friend means you are my ally, and thus are seeking to evolve by walking with me to denounce bigotry. I will work with you on the job. I am working class and have to pay the bills. I have no interest in your religion or church if your members are not allies. I will be nice and say hello – Mom and Dad raised me well. I will work beside you at work — but just know I cannot be your friend; if you are not my ally, we are not friends. If you are arguing about my realities and the realities of my friends and allies – we cannot be friends. We cannot break bread in my home or have a glass of wine.



4 thoughts on “Against Bigotry

  1. Hi Eddie! Let me say, my first reaction to your post was, yes! Me too! But then I started thinking about all the people around me that are completely on the other side of the issues than I am… For me, like you said at the end… it all comes down to the people you want to walk through life with–who do you spend your free time with and enjoy being with? So, yes, I’ll continue to be kind, loving, honorable and generous with all those around me, but be careful who I allow to be my friends. It’s an important distinction.

    • Hi Michele,

      Thanks for the comment. I see life not with politics, but with love. How can I trust a person who lacks the compassion to love another person? I would not allow a black person into my home nor trust who who displays hate at my white friends. So, I concluded that I could not be around those who cannot love people who live in their own identity. We must not allow people with evil minds to halt our efforts at love.

  2. This would be a more stunning sentiment if it wasn’t one that seems to be becoming more prevalent from many people on the left lieu of the last election, a sort of psychological defensive mechanism as a way to deal with the results. The thing I find most unfortunate about it is that it paints individuals on the other side of the issue with a very broad brush.

    It appears that if one doesn’t agree with you on these issues, he is automatically, not just mistaken or misguided, but ipso facto a hateful, malevolent, evil person, whose disagreements with you cannot possible be grounded in any rational reasons, but must simply be guided by bigotry or any of the other “isms” that are so frequently thrown out as a method, not of dialoging, but of shutting down conversation. How intellectually lazy. This isn’t an uncommon viewpoint from those on the left, but as I said, it seems that these sentiments have been amplified even more.

    A recently read The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. You should check it out if you are not familiar with it. He is not a conservative, but he discusses the research he has done regarding how people make moral judgements (using 6 criteria) and how those on the left lean more heavily on two of the six, while conservatives tend to have a more equal distribution across all six. It is this difference, he says, that helps explain the struggles people have with understanding the other side.

    I get that we are all more naturally drawn to those with whom we share similar viewpoints with, but wow, if you don’t think like me we can’t be friends. So much for tolerance. This reduces an individual down to nothing more than his views on politics. How would this make your students feel, if there are any among them that don’t share your viewpoints, however small that chance might be given your school and its location? You’ve basically just confirmed every stereotype that many people have about liberal teachers.

    • You wrote”…It appears that if one doesn’t agree with you on these issues, he is automatically, not just mistaken or misguided…”. This is not about agreement. It is how we elect to treat folks. I said nothing about agreement. However — I did say it is my job as a good person to love folks. That is what I do. And to love folks is to fight for them. I am far from a liberal. Trust me. Liberals talk too much and enact silly policies that are not wholly about change. I am a far leftist who not only marches in the streets for folks, or who walks with them to the court house to be their ally, or who teaches my students about human dignity, but I am also a person who gives all of his free time to the homeless or folks with out meals. I act because I am called to act against the wrongs in our world.

      You also wrote”… not of dialoging, but of shutting down conversation. How intellectually lazy. This isn’t an uncommon viewpoint from those on the left…”

      I am willing to engage in discussions of disagreements. But — not with those who justify hate. I have no place in my heart, mind, or soul for that.

      I will checkout the work. Give me a few days to get back with you on that.

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