Bigotry is alive and well in the United States of America. Each day’s news, including the current political news from the presidential election, brings evidence that there is a sizeable number of American citizens who have an intense aversion to the toleration of people who are different from them or people who simply have different opinions.
Since the beginning of the Obama administration in 2008, it has become more and more evident that the successes of the Civil Rights movement have not rid our country of bigotry. Slurs routinely directed at President Barack Obama, our first African-American president, show the racism that runs rampant in American culture.
Sexism has been shown in the insult of “bitch” and other unprintable slurs directed toward presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Individuals have gone to Twitter to suggest she could never be president because she’s a grandmother and has female hormones — while the 12 male presidents who were grandfathers and the seven who had affairs while in office never faced the same kind of criticism.
In Dec. 2015, Donald Drumpf announced that he, if elected president, would bar all Muslims from coming to the United States. This is not only unconstitutional, but Islamophobic and incredibly bigoted, and the cheers he got for announcing this plan in a South Carolina rally showed just how close to home this bigotry is. Recently, Drumpf refused to disavow an endorsement by David Duke and his hate group, the Ku Klux Klan.
Closer to home, bigotry has been on display. In their desire for the “good ol’ days,” some of our neighbors have made public their hatred for those different from themselves. Recent controversies at two separate schools, Lake Lure Classical Academy and Brevard High School, provide evidence.
In November 2015, Lake Lure Classical Academy banned all school clubs because of a community wide dispute over a new Gay/Straight Alliance organization. Parents, community members and churches alike came out against the school for allowing students to form the club, and the school temporarily shut down all student organizations. They were eventually reinstated with a few new rules, but the question still remains — what would ever lead them to become so upset about something that doesn’t affect them that they’d want to shut down a club?
Around the same time, WLOS reported that racial bullying had become a major serious problem at Brevard High School. The bullying claim was made by student Marlon Cruell, and classmates and his father believe that it stems from a racial divide found at that school.
These are the issues that point to bigotry, the same bigotry that we thought our society had overcome after desegregation and the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationally.
Bigotry is seen in the whines of people who are upset that their rights are being infringed upon because other people are gaining the same rights they have always had. They are longing for the days where families sat around the table each night. The same days that a woman’s place was in the kitchen with an apron tied around her waist. The same days that African-Americans were living in fear of beatings, lynchings and the KKK. Days when white men were still in charge of everything.
The truth is the good ol’ days weren’t that good if you weren’t a middle or upper class white man. Even if they had been good, they are long gone. People who have been oppressed deserve their rights, and their rights rarely affect the lives of those who are so vehemently opposed. So here’s a word of advice: get over it, mind your own business and adjust to the fact that it’s not all about you. Our country is making progress. It’s about time to realize the simple truth. Other people deserve rights, too.