Andy Marlette Proves Bigotry Still Has a Platform, Even in 2020

It never ceases to amaze me that stupidity and arrogance so often go hand in hand or, in Pensacola News Journal columnist and cartoonist Andy Marlette’s case, pen in hand.

His hatchet job on the Scientology religion published this weekend is another in a tedious series of lazy, warmed-over, bigoted tropes repeated over the decades to discriminate against a minority religion that is simply trying—and succeeding—to help people, and is decidedly nonpolitical, both in policy and practice.

Marlette seizes on a successful local Scientologist’s decision to donate to a candidate’s political campaign, and deems that individual’s personal political choice as reflective of the opinions of the whole global population of Scientologists, which numbers in the millions and spans across every continent, every race and over 100 languages.

Bigotry still has a platform
A participant in a January march against anti-Semitism in New York (Photo by Christopher Penler/Shutterstock.com)

It reminds me of the time I visited a friend at the University of Wisconsin long ago. Coming off the train, I was surrounded by some of her friends. At first, I was flattered by their attention, but soon learned they were merely curious to see where I, as a Jew, grew my horns.

He has put himself into the very same categories—pompous, know-it-all, bigoted—that he purports to skewer with his writing and his art.

Marlette is no different. Without bothering to do his homework, he bases his ignorant opinion of Scientology on what he’s read or seen from others who have, in turn, either bigoted fish to fry or money to make or axes to grind. Like the gawkers at the train station, he sees “Scientology” and thinks “horns.”

He has put himself into the very same categories—pompous, know-it-all, bigoted—that he purports to skewer with his writing and his art.

Marlette, in turning his smug phrase, likely clucks at his own cleverness. What he doesn’t realize is he is hurting real people doing real good in this world, if he’d only care to look beyond his own arrogance, stupidity and hate.

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