Terry Sarten

Singer Songwriter

How to be a bigot in 12 easy steps

The following satirical take on ‘How to be a Bigot’ will either make you laugh, make you cry or change your life.
It is easy to become a bigot. Lots of people have managed to do it without even thinking at all. Taking an entrenched prejudiced view on other people does require some determination as the facts and opportunities to engage with mind altering circumstance are all around us. This all contrives to make being a bigot quite hard work.
Step One: Learn to play the xenophobe. This is a badly tuned instrument that does not like to be alongside anything foreign. This entails mutteringly darkly about foreigners and the need to keep them out because they are not like us. It is important to avoid any exposure to foreigners as this might reveal that they are not so different from everyone else.
Step Two: Always assume that what you see on the outside of a person - skin colour, clothing and names you cannot pronounce is all you need to know about a person do decide you do not like them and therefore can say nasty things about them without it bothering your conscience.
Step Three: Say nasty things about people you know nothing about and when challenged, laugh it off as being ‘just a joke’ while ignoring the appalled faces of those who do not share you views.
Step Four: Pass your bigotry on to your children. Children catch it from their parents and relatives. Talking trash about people is contagious. Do it often enough and your children will grow up believing that is the way to do things. Warning: There will be a point when your children grow up, go out into the world and discover that most of what they were told is not supported by experience. Some may even have friends or marry partners who are the type of people you have always held strong views about.
Step Five: Resist all attempts by well-meaning people to change your mind. Do not read articles written by scientists and academics. These may contain outlandish ideas such as there is no such thing as race and that in fact we all share the same basic DNA and have much more in common that differences.
Step Six: It is important to ignore facts as they get in the way of bigotry. Avoid any internet material that might offer a view contrary to your own. Take a tip from the anti-vaxxer stalwarts and avoid exposure to any forms of scientific evidence that suggests you might be wrong.
Step Seven: Develop a solid core of ignorance. This has nothing to do with actual IQ. This is ignorance in a different form that can be worn like armour to deflect any logical interpretation of how prejudice functions.
Step Eight: Only read things that echo your own thoughts. This ensures there is no reason to ever see anything that might in some small way challenge your views on the world.
Step Nine: If Step Eight is not working for you - just give up reading. People who never read anything by choice (not because they cannot read) can feel safely cocooned in a life where nothing can intrude that might disrupt their bitter little world of hate and loathing.
Step Ten: Hold onto your conviction that you are right and respond to every challenge to your bigoted views by vigorously asserting your right to hate on specific sections of the population on the flimsy premise that other people do it so that makes it OK.
Step Eleven: Say something like “some people I know are (select one or all of the following) - a different skin colour, religion, sexuality, class, foreign, disabled, have mental health problems, are poor - so when I say nasty things about them behind their backs it that means I am only a wee bit prejudiced”.
Step Twelve: Being a bigot requires commitment to holding onto your prejudices by following the Steps One to Eleven with a passionate disregard for facts, evidence, compassion or understanding.

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