Bigots exist. They come in all shapes and sizes, all walks of life, and all skin colors and cultures.
Some are easier to spot than others. The Alt-Right has some scary websites. The Ku Klux Klan still exists. Racism isn’t only ugly when it wears a pointy hat and talks with a hillbilly twang.
It’s also ugly to me when it wears fashionable togs and has a college education.
There was never a time, except for a 30-second moment of hesitation in the voting booth, when I was going to vote for Donald Trump, but that moment of hesitation was courtesy of Hillary Clinton calling my husband and a fair number of other people I know “deplorable”. If I’d ever been planning to vote for her, that would have been when I decided not to.
Racism doesn’t just come from rednecks and neo-Nazis. It can be found in black neighborhoods and political offices. Racists lump individuals together into identity groups and ascribe common negative features to that group rather than deal with them as individuals. That collectivism bridges all cultural, social and economic differences. Racist have one unifying quality in common … they reject people as individuals.
Collectivism has been the root of just about every terrible idea in history. It has rationalized wars and harm to one’s neighbors throughout time. It doesn’t change its spots just because it issues from people who have college degrees or law licenses or have worked for the government.
Today’s social justice warriors may share nothing with the Alt-Right besides this collectivist urge, but because everything in their orbit is judged through the lens of collective identity, anyone they lump into a category with negative features becomes irrelevant to them.
Thus it’s fine to say that anyone supporting Donald Trump is in a “basket of deplorables” that needs to be kept away from the reins of power because “Oh, my god, you know how those people are.” Those people have less worth than other people because they don’t belong to one group, but belong to another. There is some superficial scale for measuring oppression based on skin color or gender and those people are not deserving of sympathy or empathy.
Identify politics is a root-source evil. It creates division in society and tons of misunderstanding because it deals in stereotypes. Bigots can come from rural Georgia, but they also emerge from Chappaqua New York.
Collectivism is a societal poison and the antidote is to abandon identity politics and start treating all people as individuals deserving of dignity and respect.