20A025 Bigotry & Prejudice by Jim Davies, 6/23/2020  


A large fraction of Americans are heavily bigoted.

The word is most often used in connection with race, but that's only a small example; literally, it's "stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own" according to Dictionary.com, and I use the word to include an inability or unwillingness to open such opinions to discussion.

Closely similar is prejudice: "an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason."

So yes, it includes a belief that black-skinned folk are superior to whities, or goyim inferior to Jews, etc., because those who hold them aren't about to debate the matter and could not do so if they were put on the spot. In times gone by it was certainly possible (and common) for a Protestant earnestly to discuss key points of theology with a Roman Catholic, but in Ulster not long ago the differences were whittled down to slogans and slurs; they refer to each other just as Prods and Papists and until all the hot-heads died out they would blow each other up.

In more arid climates Shia and Sunni are still doing so, with unrestrained ferocity, over who should have been successor to Muhammad; a member of his family (Shia) or someone chosen by his most senior supporters (Sunni.) Once upon a time that too may have been debated earnestly; more recently explosives are used in place of reasoning.

All that's bigotry. Not just a closure of the mind, but also a rigid adherence to one viewpoint without pausing to reason about it, ie pre-judging or prejudice. I can respect anyone willing to reason while holding a strong opinion, but not anyone who will neither change nor consider why he holds the belief he does. And alas, most of the population is in exactly that state. As the LP ad says, it's not just repugnant, it's irrational - very literally. Reason is excluded; that's the basic problem.

Most recently this has been very evident on social media with respect to the alleged crisis of the Wuhan virus. Important people say there's a pandemic, take actions to close down commerce, and all of a sudden the world shudders to a halt. Many of us point to good reasons why the allegations are false; but almost nobody pays attention; thought, and reason, are suspended. In This Bogus Crisis I showed why infections and deaths are some 48 times less lethal than this year's influenza, but it doesn't make a difference; the matter is pre-judged. Bigotry has taken over. I've even been called a "loon" as if I was the one without a functioning mind!

Such abandonment of reason, the atrophying of the mind, is not an accident. That habit - of accepting whatever Authority says and closing off all consideration that it might be wrong or even deliberately misleading - is exactly what the government school monopoly is designed to produce. It does its utmost to destroy the critical faculty; to "Question Authority" is what it most suppresses. Happily, it doesn't always succeed.

To question authority, however - to examine and think through existing norms and prevailing opinions, policies, theories of behavior by people and substances - is the very mainspring of human progress. Without it we'd still be living in caves. Even the hunter gatherers, hungry for meat, questioned existing methods and invented spears the easier to obtain it, sharpened rocks the better to carve it up, figured out that cooking made it taste better, and so on. Even some non-human animals can make simple tools. Developing that use of reason, that dissatisfaction with the status quo is the very essence of education; yet in the monopoly of today it's exactly that restlessness that is most heavily suppressed. Little wonder so many are easily hornswaggled by the Corona frenzy.

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