There has been a great deal of discussion about racism in society in recent weeks, especially in connection to issues such as the Baltimore riots, relationship to poverty, and even the First Lady’s aversion of museums.
However, one trend that has gained more traction in recent years is a form of soft bigotry that is pervasive among the extreme Left, especially among Progressives.
This came to the forefront this week in my mind because of the behavior of Bloomberg News Editor Mark Halperin. Halperin, in a much documented interview with Senator and Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, asked a serious of questions that can only be termed as ‘race baiting’. His questions centered on Cruz’s ethnicity more than any intellectual or policy positions held by this distinguished man.
This correlates quite nicely with how many, if not most, progressives view ‘Non-Liberal Minorities’. Anyone in a minority group who does not conform to the Progressive ideology is considered an anomaly, to be outed and criticized.
In a time long past, they would be using the term “Uncle Tom”.
Halperin’s interview is actually only a microcosm of the problem. Ask any minority conservative how Progressives treat them and their ideology, and a very common theme arises: one in which the Progressive is aghast that a minority can hold a conservative ideological position. And therefore, since their viewpoint is an anathema to their cultural background, the conservative must prove their ‘worth’ when it comes to minority status.
This reaction is fundamentally based in arrogance, ignorance, and ultimately…a form of soft bigotry.
The fundamental position held by Progressives that act this way is that they, and their cohort of believers, know better than any other individual how best to think. Furthermore, that ideological position is so certain, so foundational in their minds, that any minority that holds a belief in opposition must be either stupid, deluded, ignorant, or must be actively being paid to hold such a position.
Of course, a corollary of this is the behavior of Gay activist when a prominent Gay Hotel owner in New York City decided to [GASP!] talk to Senator Ted Cruz. Mati Weiderpass and his partner, Ian Reisner, were inundated with hateful attacks from Leftists and Progressives after hosting a sit down chat with Cruz. The simple act of sitting down and eating with someone who disagrees with you is apparently a bridge too far for many on the Left.
In an editorial Sunday, Weiderpass took his critics to task:
In the U.S., if the rights to free speech, expression, and association are whittled away, the gay community along with most other minority communities will be vulnerable to losing all that has been gained. Shunning dialogue with political opponents is not the road to advancement.
Beyond the free speech issues, what this shows again is the inability of many on the far Left in this country to accept true diversity of ideas. They are sadly intellectually limited only to a diversity that they can see visually; any deeper philosophical diversity is beyond them. Fundamentally, if one does not conform, they do not deserve to exist, in the Progressive mind. And that goes double for those of us that are minorities, because, apparently…we should know better.
The presumption that any group, whether it be based on race, creed, sexual identity, or some other superficial criteria, should only think a certain way is inherently prejudiced, racist, or bigoted. A tolerant society would accept every thinking person for their belief system, and their individuality…and ideally, would try to understand their intellectual position, instead of relying on the most inane component of that person’s being. Until progressives reach this type of acceptance…bigotry will continue, just in a form that we are historically not used to.