This week's topic: bigotry/racism.
Okay, this could potentially get involved in religion and politics, but since I don't want any bickering in cyberspace, let's agree to disagree, shall we? We all have our different views, and that's okay.
So what exactly is bigotry? Or, maybe a more appropriate question would be, "When it comes to comments about others, how far is too far?" Jokes about Mexicans, Lutherans, blondes, whatever--when do those jokes stop being funny, and go too far?
A lot of it, I think, depends on your attitude. If you don't mean what you're saying, then what's the harm? And I can almost hear people say it: "What if the other party doesn't know you're joking?" That's where we run into some issues. You may not mean it, and the other person may know it, but they can still feel put down. Hopefully, that's something we all want to avoid.
There are also comments that could be taken different ways. You know what I mean--things that when someone says it, you can't tell if they're joking or being serious. Maybe it's their tone of voice, or previous comments they've made, or just intuition--but you can't be sure.If you can't tell whether or not a person's joking, chances are they're not (at least, that's been my experience).
And then there are the things that no matter how you try to explain them away, they're just racist and prejudiced comments. Whether the people that say those things are prejudiced against other races, genders, or faiths, the fact of the matter is this: they are simply not bothering to understand something before they judge it.
We've all done it on some level, whether or not we want to admit it. I know I have. And dont' worry, this isn't some huge altar call where I tell you "Now is the time to confess your sins!" That's your business. Just something to think about.