Muftic: Defining racism and bigotry
November 25, 2016
Sometimes in the battle of words and name calling, we throw around terms that sound awful but we fail to look at the meaning: There are two hurled often:
One is racism and the other is bigotry.
I ran to Websters' dictionary for defintion:
"Racism:1. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race2a : a doctrine or political program based on the assumption of racism and designed to execute its principlesb : a political or social system founded on racism"
By that definition the KKK or Neo Nazi groups fit that definition to a tee. Inclusion and belief that all men are created equal are the opposite terms.
Bigotry is a bit more subtle: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot
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"Full Definition of bigot. : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance."
How we apply the definition and to whom are the stuff of which political discourse is made. The key in that definition of bigotry is "intolerantly" as does the following clause. You may have strong views you hold dearly, but the difference is how you treat or speak to others, especially a racial or ethnic group.Example of Breitbart bigotry in the their own words: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/us/politics/stephen-bannon-breitbart-words.
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Is Steve Bannon, formerly with Breitbart and now closest policy advisor to Donald Trump, himslef a bigot?
A case could be made either way. He admits to being a nationalist, but a white nationalist? Probably not, though he has provided the media forum for some of those holding such views to be an advocate.
What I am seeing on Facebook regarding Muslims are many postings painting their religion and their followers as all being to be feared as a threat, is sheer bigotry since the remarks "treat the members of their group" with hatred and intolerance.
One of the tools used by those who are intolerant of Muslims is to gin up fear that their 1 percent of the United States population will impose Sharia law on us. That has been an ongoing theme in anti-Muslim bigotry since 2011. Our forefathers had experienced "divine right of Kings' and wisely wrote an amendment to the Constitution that prohibits setting up a state religion.
It is found in the First Amendment. "Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,….".