It isn’t cool or acceptable in America to be a bigot. It has been a long, hard-fought battle to get to this place in the second decade of the 21st century.
For much of this country’s history, not only was bigotry acceptable but it was praised, valued and cherished. The inherent supremacy of white male landowners was just accepted gospel, even as the founding documents declared that we were all “equal.”
People fought to enshrine this ideal almost from the start, but for most of the struggle they were ignored, suppressed or murdered. But, eventually, cracks began to form in the bigoted wall. Women got the vote. Jim Crow died. LGBT people could marry. Native Americans had betrayals against them acknowledged. The wrong of Japanese internment camps were admitted. The disabled got access. And on and on and on.
Increasingly in American life the voices of hatred, gender and ethnic superiority were ostracized from the public square. To be sure, they have a right to voice those opinions and I would go to war to preserve their right to express their ignorance.
But within the realm of accepted public dialogue their role has rightfully become marginalized as we have become a better America.
But there are those who refuse to accept that the ground has shifted underneath their feet. Those who insist that despite the ever-forward thrust of America’s story, that we must hold on to the past where they ruled and we lived under their decree.
What we hear now in Indiana, Arkansas, Ferguson and other hot-spots is the mostly deceased carcass of Intolerance, screaming and bellowing as it descends into irrelevance. History is filled with near-dead movements making noises as they seem to be coming back to life, but in reality are about to slumber off into nothingness.
Hate is dying. Please proceed.