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Please Be Nice to Bigots

Recently I’ve seen a common theme of absolute hostility gracing my newsfeed. No, these aren’t radical Trump supporters making disgustingly racist comments (although there are too many of those around), this animosity is coming from people who support human rights. People who are supposed to support positivity, equality and giving everyone a voice.

The thing is though, the comments they’re making are nasty. They’re a terrible representation of who we strive to be as both a movement and of what we are trying to aim for. Please don’t tell me that sometimes you have to be harsh to get your voice across, I get that. However so many people are dragging other people down, insulting their looks or their education levels, things that people really can’t help. Aren’t those hateful comments something we’re trying to get rid of?

I’m sure that they’re no where near a proper representation of the lovely human behind the screen, but the image that comes across is shameful. It portrays the movement, notice how I make it into a group thing, in an extremely negative light. The idea that you aren’t willing to listen to anyone who doesn’t completely fall in line with you is forced upon anyone who views your online profile.

I support free speech and I’ll silence anyone who disagrees with me.

Do you see the irony in that statement? If you don’t then please, please do a little research on what it is to be open minded. To be respectful to others opinions, no matter how much you disagree with them or how disrespectful the other person is.

It matters how we handle ourselves both online and in real life, something we can learn from the numerous celebrities getting called out. Are they really racist or did they just word something in an unfortunate manner? Is that really dog abuse, or has the footage been manipulated? Hint: I’m talking about A Dog’s Purpose, and it’s animal abuse video. It was in fact, heavily edited and it is impossible to say what happened without further evidence – yet people were all up in arms about it.

Please do your own research on these things. Don’t blindly accept something unless it’s condemned by the actual marginalized group it effects.

I’ve seen countless white activists, not hating just stating, who claim that something is offensive. Yet the comment section is flooded with the people that it ‘affects’ saying that it really wasn’t that big of an issue. Please remember that people might have their own agenda for claiming that you should shun something, and that you should always try to get your information from people who are actually affected by it.

If you’re commenting on something, representing a movement – you need to be responsible. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 followers or 2M followers, all it takes is 7 seconds for someone to get their first impression. If you’re a hardcore feminist, and the first thing we can see when we get to your page is you roasting someone, that doesn’t give us a very good picture. In fact, there’s a huge chance that someone completely new to the idea, will see your page and act accordingly.

The real question is: How can anyone take an advocate for equality seriously when all you see them do is put someone else down?

  1. Hatred is a cycle
    Responding to their hate allows them to plant their seed of hatred. That seed will grow into anger, as I have seen so often on various different social media sights, and anger makes you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. It makes you lash out at them, call them names and act in a way that dissuade your cause completely. We all know that burning sensation that occurs when someone says something completely ignorant, racist, sexist etc. Don’t let them get the better of you. Don’t let them win.
  2. Lashing out at them only SUPPORTS THEIR BELIEFS
    This does nothing but secure them in their little bubble of comfort, and lets them think that they were right all the time. It allows them to preach with confidence. Rather than intimidating them, or opening them up to your cause; you’re simply driving them down the road that they were already taking – at your own expense.
  3. Say something enough times, and it starts to get through
    You may not see the change, but you can begin to plant your own seed of knowledge. After all, isn’t that the point? To have everyone accepting of one another, to have equality and peace. If that isn’t your goal, then please continue reading this article so that you can find out why people should be nice to YOU. What matters is that we’re making them think, in a calm and rational way. We’re giving them a reason to listen to us, no matter how infuriating they may be.
  4. It gives you the chance to listen, and then prove them wrong
    Informative conversation is best had without the undertones of anger and confrontation. Perhaps the whole reason that they’re bigoted, is rooted in a giant untruth. It’s impossible to know a person’s background, therefore we shouldn’t be lumping everyone into one category of pure hatred and ignorance. Sometimes all it takes is a little push to get them on the right path. Spewing obscenities and threatening them ( something which so many people seem to be doing nowadays ) will do nothing in our favor.
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Fleur Henley
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When I'm not writing, I'm probably watching Netflix or shopping.

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