Bullies and Bigots

facebook bullyThere is a tumblr post going around about a guy who trolls an ignorant bigot on facebook.

Its funny.  And I think its funny because the the ignorant bigot is so unbelievable to me.  It feels like a Saturday Night Live sketch.  Over the top.  An exaggerated version of real life.

But stop.  Wait.  No.  This is real.  And then its just sad and a bit depressing about human nature on both sides.

This bigot is struggling along with the IQ probably pushing 90.  Education failed him.  He doesn’t know he’s struggling under this incapacity.  He thinks he’s thinking.

The troll is warping along pretending he is some kind of heroic enlightened person pointing out the bigot, but in reality he is a bully pushing around the weak kid to get laughs.

The bigot isn’t going to change.  He’s very likely incapable of it.  His hateful ideology is part of his identity.  And studies show that you generally need a certain level of intellect to change deeply held ideas and beliefs.

There are also studies that show that making something ridiculous changes people’s minds.  And there is an entire sect of Atheists and Liberals who pursue this as an ideology.  The followers of PZ Meyer come to mind.   The bully knows he isn’t going to change the bigot’s mind.  But he has an audience.  And those people may be influenced.

Even though the bully and I share many of the same viewpoints, I will never give up on the concept that kindness is a better way to pursue life and that being a bully in any context is not the person I want to be.

I don’t think we have to pursue a taunting attitude when we stand up to bigotry.  Although, I concede that it is often an easier one.

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