Everyone a Bigot?
Victor Davis Hanson
Anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-black -- it is hard to keep track of all the recent charges of alleged bigotry.
State representatives in
Californians took that step in response to the state
Another controversy is brewing a mere 600 feet from Ground Zero in lower
In response, once again the majority has been dubbed bigoted and prejudiced, this time against Muslims for asking for a more appropriate location, farther away from Ground Zero.
After lengthy investigation, Rep.
Rangel's charges come at a time when Rep.
These diverse cases offer some lessons.
One, legitimate public concerns can be reduced to religious, ethnic or racial prejudice in hopes that the debate will hinge on supposedly bad motives rather than convincing arguments. Ad hominem attacks are always a sign of shaky logic.
Two, in most of these cases, the majority is opposed by a variety of activist groups, government officials and judges. The charge of bigotry is usually expressed in terms of a sophisticated liberal-thinking elite reining in the emotional and illogical unwashed masses. We saw proof of that with the release of confidential e-mails from the controversial "Journolist" group comprised largely of influential liberal journalists, some of whom openly advocated defaming their opponents by calling them racists.
Three, these cry-wolf tactics are now stale. A real danger is that when legitimate charges of prejudice are leveled in the future, most will shrug and ignore them.
We live in a complex, multiracial and religiously diverse society. A majority of black voters in
In other words, there is no simple ideological, racial or religious divide between a monolithic "us" and "them." Instead, we have devolved to the point where promiscuously crying "Bigot!" and "Racist!" signals a failure to persuade 51 percent of the people of the merits of an argument.
It is too often that simple -- and that sad.
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Everyone a Bigot?
(c) 2010 Victor Davis Hanson