To whoever called me a bigot on instagram,
I understand where you are coming from, I must seem pretty awful to you. I am sorry you feel that way, I wish it wasn’t so. I wish I didn’t mess up too. But I really want to talk about your point because I feel like we can all benefit from thinking more deeply about what your words mean to people like me. So, I thought maybe I should propose a little thought experiment:
So, lets presume for a second that I am a bigot, that I am intolerant of other cultures, of races that arent white (although I am brown,) of gay people, of transgender folk, and of women. And I was trying to adjust my image so some college would admit me, would it be a good thing to reprimand me for trying to seem less intolerant? Presumably showing me that there is no way I can fit into a society that you live in. Maybe I would feel hurt and I would confide in communities which tell me that my bigotry is okay. Is that what you want? Or, on the other hand, would it be better to tell me, a bigot, that I had improved and that I am a better person, to offer me acceptance and forgiveness, which would probably encourage me to continue on a path that would eventually lead me to abandon my bigoted views and instead embrace diversity and inclusion.
Now, presume for just a moment that I am not, in fact, a bigot. That I am someone who genuinely has learned from my mistakes. I am someone who has been educated and now has an understanding of both sides of the story, I am someone who is trying to make a difference in this world, to teach other people that don’t understand the impacts of their actions the importance of forethought and understanding of other peoples. Would it be a good idea to tell this person that they are a bigot? Showing them that maybe despite their 180º that no one will ever accept them within a diverse community. Showing them that they are permanently canceled and they may never be able to rejoin your part of society. Maybe I would internalize this and come to the conclusion that no longer should I try in vain to be a good person and instead sink back into my past. Into the uneducation that led me to make my mistakes in the first place. Is this the impact you want to have with your post?
I think you intend to do good by calling me out. I really do. I think you are trying to do something to benefit communities which I hurt. To defend them in some way, by not letting me return to society easily. But I think you need to think more deeply about the repercussions of your actions.
Luckily, I know I am not a bigot, I know that the pain I caused my peers at —— was a result of my uneducation, not of prejudice. I know I posted those things in satire. I know that the mistakes I made were not because of hatred but because of stupidity. And I also know that the people in my life who I respect and love are of the same opinion. So I won’t seep into the recesses of hatred and intolerance, I will continue to do my best to make this world a better place. But that is luck. If I didn’t know any of that, your words could have done real harm. Real harm to communities that you think you are helping by calling me out. So, once again, in the best interest of the communities you think you are defending, don’t call me a bigot.
I am not one.
I tried to frame this argument as objectively as I could, but I still feel like I need to address my feelings a little bit. You really hurt me by calling me a bigot. I feel like someone who has tried my best to not only try to learn from my mistakes but to actively try to make others not fall into the mistakes that I made. I know that the actions I have taken after ——— have done good in this world and in the communities that I am a part of. And for that to be met with your post and comment really hurts me, I know that is probably not worth much in your eyes but I still felt like my feelings needed to be acknowledged.