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That’s Not How Tolerance Works

Tolerance is something we should all support. It promotes the idea that we are all equal. It helps establish that the rights that exist for the majority also apply to minorities. It is something that must exist because we can no longer have a world where oppression is acceptable. Tolerance is a good thing. 

But some people don’t like the idea of ending hatred. They want a world where they’re allowed to attack or degrade someone based on their race, religion, disability, sex, etc. They feel empowered by that hatred, by the oppression that results from it. 

But some take their hate to the next level. They try to ruin the meaning of tolerance by appropriating the word itself. They like to make the “tolerance goes both way” statement. In my experience, it’s only the bigots that say it. 

They’ll claim, “I don’t like gay people getting married, so I’ll keep it from happening by not letting them get a marriage license. You say you believe in tolerance. You have to tolerate me. You have to accept me.” 

They’ll say, “Liberals like to call me a bigot because I believe in white genocide. They’re not very tolerant of opinions they don’t like.”

But that’s utter bullshit. No one has to accept this kind of behavior. Ever. 

What they’re wanting is for people who are facing actual intolerance to be complacent about that intolerance. They don’t understand how disgusting their desire is. But if they expect a marginalized group to smile and take it when they’re being intolerant, then they’re sick fucks. 

Photo credit: tedeytan via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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