OpinionBigotry shouldn’t be seen as a valid viewpoint

illustration by Gracen Hoyle It seems the more and more we try to make society inclusive and tolerable of others, the more certain viewpoints get silenced. This is relevant on social media where profiles can get deleted for spreading certain ideas and perhaps saying something seen as hate speech. And the more this happens, the more I see the same outcry: “So much for the tolerant left,” as if we should be giving every single...
Julian ValdezSeptember 16, 202034112 min
https://149362186.v2.pressablecdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Tolerant-Society-GH-1280x1280.png

illustration by Gracen Hoyle

It seems the more and more we try to make society inclusive and tolerable of others, the more certain viewpoints get silenced. This is relevant on social media where profiles can get deleted for spreading certain ideas and perhaps saying something seen as hate speech. And the more this happens, the more I see the same outcry: “So much for the tolerant left,” as if we should be giving every single viewpoint equal value in the general public’s mish-mash of ideas. This makes sense, however, being tolerant also means not tolerating any viewpoint that is intolerant of others.

Why should those who preach inclusivity not tolerate certain views? Well, for one, certain views go against the main idea of inclusivity. If someone believes a certain race or a certain culture is less than another one, then this goes against trying to include them and make their views feel valid. This may seem like a contradiction, but it’s not when you break down the logic.

If someone fights for inclusivity, they are inherently fighting against everything that is against inclusivity. What is the consequence of this? Well, this means trying to show how certain viewpoints are wrong. This doesn’t necessarily mean silencing someone completely. It just means we should treat it as a false viewpoint and one based on bad logic and bigotry. This means not letting people post whatever hate speech they want against a specific group, even if they believe that their viewpoint is inherently true.

I will then point out how the alt-right sees this as censorship and tend to try to cause an outcry when they are silenced on certain platforms for what they say and the ideas they spread. First, you can still say what you want, but it does not mean that we should tolerate that viewpoint and allow you to spread it further. Second, in any private platform run by a company and not the government, they have the right to remove those they deem not good for the platform and their image.

I think Americans are too used to having freedom of speech pushed into our collective minds as a proud right that should be defended in all uses at all costs. However, this simply isn’t true and our words carry meaning. Language and the use of it are so important. Racial slurs demean the races they attack, and the use of them normalizes that mindset. Spreading conspiracy theories of Jewish people controlling the world is an old and dangerous theory that led to the mass genocide of them in the second World War. We can never deny the existence of these terrible views, but the moment we actively allow this kind of speech to thrive and influence others is when we allow bigotry, hatred and ignorance to win.

Now, I am not trying to divide people, I’m simply trying to bring people together and trying to get those who use their words to spread hate to understand why they get silenced so easily. When they attack others — those not similar to them and “harder” to understand — they forget that they are humans from all walks of life. In the end, that is their goal, to show them as “others.” I want us to empathize more as a society, but this does not apply to everyone and I hope we all can learn that. Despite how politics are today, I want us to stop seeing racism, sexism and all other forms of bigotry as normal. They should not be normalized as valid viewpoints because being anti-human rights goes against the very livelihood of marginalized people. These alleged opinions shouldn’t be considered because they fundamentally undermine the humanity of others. We need to fight against them constantly to have an inclusive society that values the diversity of this world.

Julian Valdez

3 comments

  • Tom

    September 17, 2020 at 8:06 am

    “If someone believes a certain race or a certain culture is less than another one, then this goes against trying to include them and make their views feel valid. ”

    That’s great. Does this mean that everyone who preaches the new social gospel of “white privilege” is going to be silenced soon? Because the idea of “white privilege” simply boils down to this: white people are morally inferior to non-white people because of their white skin. Every now understands that “racism” is not an overt action or even a thought: “racism” means being white in a majority white society. There is only one thing that makes a person “racist” in 21st century America: having white skin, and all such people are by definition “racist”. That is the entire basis of “white privilege theory”. So, believers in this theory by definition “believe a certain race [the white race] or a certain culture [Anglo-Saxon Christendom] is less than another one [indeed ALL other ones.]

    Looking forward to some clarification Julian!

    Reply

    • Julian Valdez

      September 17, 2020 at 8:00 pm

      No, since “white privilege” is not the concept you try to explain. White privilege is simply having privilege for being white. This isn’t a new concept, but one that has been prevalent in Western societies for centuries. I come from the Latinx community and we see this very frequently with lighter skinned people being seen as more beautiful and less dangerous. It comes to form in the US with people of color being seen as a threat from those in authority (black and brown people being shot by police at a higher rate than white people). Racists acts come in many forms, some we may have not seen to be racist in the first place, so always be on the lookout for how you may be contributing to racism and actively fight against it the same way I explain that being inclusive means fighting against all things that are not inclusive. And sure, maybe you think being called racist is being thrown around at so many people recently, but maybe that’s a good thing? Racism can be done by anyone, even those against racism. It’s learning to accept that we always can learn more about our own biases and behavior and how they affect others that will lead to a truly inclusive society.

      I would ask you to simply question your own biases too. You gave a definition that would not be used by the people you are arguing against, simply changing what they would say about their own views to fit your narrative. No one I know who discusses white privilege academically uses the definition you use, so it shows me you are not educated on the matter. There are plenty of books and readings for this subject to further educate yourself with! I recommend “So You Want To Talk About Race?” by Ijeoma Oluo as a good starting point.

      And thank you for the response, it’s always good to see how people interpret certain writings. Where our biases lies is always interesting.

      Reply

      • Austin Klein

        September 18, 2020 at 12:13 pm

        I’d also like to point out in Tom’s comment the failure to distinguish between individual social interactions and systemically occurring racism. White people may get criticized for their white privilege, such as not having to think about police as a threat to their physical bodies in the same way many non-white families have to. That criticism, while it may be unpleasant to hear and may be delivered in an unpleasant way, is still criticism in good faith. It is drawing attention to a social phenomena that exists. Even in the occurrence of something such as insults simply on the basis of being white (Something that shouldn’t be supported either.) such is an act of individual prejudice. It does not serve to reinforce a structural hierarchy of social, political and economic order in the way white supremacy has. White supremacy has been the structural system enforced by governmental policy, police and military tradition, and by social and economic sectors. That is systemic racism. Being forcefully asked to consider your position of privilege is not equivalent.

        Reply

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