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Unpopular opinion alert!
If we’ve been friends for any amount of time, there’s something you know about me: I do not tolerate intolerance.
I’ve been called a hypocrite for this stance.
And, in fact, that’s the argument I hear so often — not just from Trump apologists but also from people who consider themselves to be removed and rational from any triggering political situation:
“If you’re so tolerant, you would tolerate neo-Nazis/sexists/racists/insert-intolerant-person-here.”
And I’m sure so many good, tolerant Germans felt the same way when Hitler came to power.
This, my friends, is what is called the paradox of tolerance, as addressed by philosopher Karl Popper in 1945.
Quoting directly from Wikipedia (because it’s succinct, and I’m feeling salty enough already): “The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant.”
That. That is why I am intolerant of intolerance.
The conclusion, in the words of Popper himself:
“We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”
People who believe women shouldn’t be allowed to make their own health decisions? That’s sexist. I do not tolerate that.
People who believe LGBTQ do not have the right to marry? That’s discrimination. I do not tolerate that.
People who believe it’s OK for white supremacists to advance their fascist agenda? That’s racist. I do not tolerate that.
I do not tolerate that = I will not sit quietly by and passively endorse hatred with silence.
Because make no mistake, silence or dismissiveness is actually passive approval.
I will fight hate with words, with my vote, with my money, with my art. I will raise my fist high and shout.
Speaking up is the biggest problem here, and one that many “tolerant” people have a difficult time doing. Many tolerant people would rather drink coffee, take naps and pet their cats.
I realize I’m preaching to the choir here. We are friends because you, too, strive to live in a society where social and personal freedoms are for everyone, and not withheld because of who you are, where you came from, what religion you practice, what skin color you have.
I hope that you see this as a pep talk.
Resisting hate is hard. It’s deflating.
Some days it feels impossible, and you can feel so small, how can you really make a difference?
Here’s how: Be the squeakiest wheel. Do not try to rationalize with people who can not be rationalized with. Stay away from the crazy, from the Internet trolls, from the Twitter replies.
Just shout from your hilltop.
Whether your hilltop is Instagram, the impromptu rally in your town/city, your family reunion, or a blog like this one, shout as loud as you can. Try to get into as many ears as you can.
Stand up and be counted as someone who will not tolerate intolerance.
Anti Hate Protest Art
Art is a high-res 5×7. This free version is watermarked with the Little Gold Pixel logo. It’s for personal use only. No redistribution, selling, shady business or other mean stuff, mmkay. Feel free to share on social media (tag me: @littlegoldpixel so I can see, too!). I just ask that you do not crop out my logo.
Anti Hate Protest Art: Buy the Full Version
Your watermark-free download comes in 6 dimensions, printable up to 24×36 poster size, so perfectly suitable for protest rallies and marches.
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