By Rachel Puryear
In previous posts, I have discussed certain types of toxic personalities including crybullies – people who victimize by playing the victim, as well as sneaky emotional manipulation tactics, and toxic jealousy and lack of gratitude.
These subjects will now be built upon in discussing one of the most toxic and destructive kinds of person there is – hateful, extremist bigots.
Hatred and bigotry – racism, misogyny, and other prejudices – are among the world’s greatest evils. They currently pose a grave threat to democracy and personal freedom worldwide, and they always have.
It’s not always clear what leads some people to cling to such despicable, antisocial views.
Learning prejudice and other nonsense early in life is certainly a factor. But we also don’t know whether some people are also more predisposed to bigotry than others – particularly if they have an authoritarian personality.
There’s a key element to bigotry that seems to get largely overlooked, too, and that needs to be addressed – that element is a false sense of victimization.
Let’s explore that particular element further.
Bigotry is about hatred. It means feeling superior to others. But is goes even deeper than that.
Bigots tend to falsely believe that they’re victims, rather than victimizers. Furthermore, they believe that their problems – real or imagined – are the fault of the people they hate – even though the ones they hate are usually being systematically marginalized.
Take, for instance, people who:
- Claim that there’s a war on Christianity because they cannot use their religious beliefs to justify their discrimination (often including performing duties that are part of their job description).
- Complain that following #MeToo, they’re being “targeted” for being “friendly”, and that they’ve victims when they face even minimal consequences for their actions.
- Complain about minorities and undocumented immigrants “taking” their jobs. And getting all kinds of “special treatment”, if they get equal rights.
- Or, complaining that people who receive public assistance are lazy, and “mooching off of their hard-earned tax dollars” – including the ones who are supposedly taking “their” jobs, even though this makes no logical sense.
- Complaining that the 2020 US Presidential election was “stolen” from Trump – when not only is that false, but these are typically the same people who refuse to see and acknowledge that the 2016 US Presidential election was stolen from Hillary Clinton, by way of voter suppression, Russian interference, and likely more that has yet to be uncovered.
- Complaining about “voter fraud”, which is not a real problem; but using it to justify voter suppression (very distinct from “fraud”) of largely minority voters – unlike the lie of voter fraud, voter suppression really is still a huge problem in the USA.
These are just a few common examples.
Bigoted people don’t like to see anyone (who’s not like them at least) succeed, or be happy in life. They don’t even really want to see anyone enjoy life, but especially not those who don’t live by their “rules”, and the way that they think everyone else should live their life.
It’s not enough for bigots and authoritarians and fundamentalists (and there’s lots of overlap there) to just be allowed to live the way they want, and for others to also live and let live. These people want their way, but they also want everybody else to be bound by their ways, whether they like it or not.
They don’t see it as a violation of everyone else’s freedoms to force their awful, backwards beliefs on everyone else. Even more so, they don’t care, either.
Yet they see not being allowed to force their views on others, and other people having the freedom to also live their lives the way they choose to, as somehow a grave and terrible violation of their own rights (the bigots).
Bigots believe that when they’re not allowed to abuse and control everyone else around them, that they are somehow the ones being abused and controlled, and deeply victimized.
The greatest victimizers frequently believed that they’re the ones really being victimized. They have a profound lack of insight, empathy, self-awareness, and self-examination – this prevents them from seeing any truth and sense of fairness.
It’s truly disgusting, and sickening. And it’s posing a huge threat to the stability of and personal autonomy within the USA – and other nations, too.
Bigots often complain that the targets of their prejudice – as well as others rightfully offended by their offensive behavior – are too sensitive, are “snowflakes,” are making too big of a deal out of “nothing”. And there’s plenty of other name-calling that I’m not going to write here, but can be frequently found in many comment sections elsewhere.
However, the bigots generally do not examine or realize their own excessive fragility, or take any responsibility for their own actions and beliefs.
So, how do we deal with bigots?
Much as I’d like to just make them all disappear, or at least shut up, that’s unfortunately not realistic.
One thing that’s definitely important is to outvote them. In the USA, politicians bankrolled by ultra-wealthy interests have fanned flames of public bigotry for many years to gain a lot of votes they’d be unlikely to get otherwise, and have utilized various forms of voter suppression to gain an advantage in elections that they couldn’t win fairly (while crying “fraud!” when they don’t succeed in stealing them).
Trump (and his copiers) have done this more blatantly than most, but it’s nothing new. Nor is it unique to the USA.
Nonetheless, it’s still important to turn out and vote, and to urge others to do so, too (especially if they vote against fascists). As I have said time and time again, policy matters – and voting gives a chance, even if it’s stacked.
Furthermore, people who are intelligent, empathetic, and reasonable must stop accepting self-victimizing excuses for behavior that’s bigoted, abusive, destructive, and coldhearted.
That means on a smaller scale, in terms of people in our lives, and in managing our relationships. That means on a grander scale in terms of the community leaders we choose to support, and the narratives we decide to believe.
Thank you, dear readers, for reading, following, and sharing. Here’s to defeating bigotry and hatred – including the false victim mindset of bigots. If you enjoyed this content and want to see more of it, please hit “like” and subscribe, if you have not done so already. xoxo
Check out my other blog, too – Free Range Life, at https://freerangelife.net. It’s about personal finance, freelancing and remote work, current events and political commentary, and traveling and the RV life.