Bigotry: Nothing Funny About That

If someone were to make a list of the top 10 least funny things, “bigotry” would undoubtedly make the cut. There’s very little that’s funny about bigotry. That’s all the more unfortunate because everyone tells me laughter is the best remedy.

Really, the whole Bigotry family is stamped from the same unfunny mold—first cousin “Prejudice,” aunt “Discrimination” and children “Hatred” and “Violence.”

Photo by durantelallera/Shutterstock.com

In previous years, Bigotry would have been relegated to narrow geographic areas and would have enjoyed less-than-welcome status in any decent neighborhood. But today, having a totally dysfunctional family certifies you as fully qualified to host a TV show or hail yourself as an expert in one or more internet swamps.

In the warped world view that dominates the mobosphere, Bigotry is synonymous with entertainment. But when did “extreme” become the new orange, new black or new pink? (And by the way, when were any of those colors actually new?)

It’s not like we don’t have cultural experience with bigots. It’s not like we’ve never seen them before. Yet, when they show up, too often some media talking head introduces them as if no one has any historical memory at all. 

My church, the Church of Scientology, has been targeted by antireligious extremists. Anyone who has tried to do anything positive anywhere has suffered similar attacks, but fortunately the Church’s international growth, the widespread popularity of its humanitarian programs and the real and tangible help it provides its parishioners and neighbors tends to neutralize extremist rants. Honestly, for anyone familiar with Scientologists or the Church, such extremists appear a few coconuts short of a full load.

But I empathize with churches that have neither the resources nor the expertise to deal with the unpleasant Bigotry family. Why should such churches, or anyone, have to tolerate foaming attacks on their beliefs? It’s not like we don’t have cultural experience with bigots. It’s not like we’ve never seen them before. Yet, when they show up, too often some media talking head introduces them as if no one has any historical memory at all. It’s Groundhog Day all over again, without the humor, happy ending or cute, furry rodent.

So, is there any humor possible when it comes to Bigotry?

Well, not really when we’re talking about Bigotry itself. But on the bright side, there’s few things bigots like less than not being taken seriously. So, maybe that’s our way to find the humor: when the Bigotry family comes a calling, we can all give them a resounding greeting of dismissive, deflating laughter.

I hear laughter is the best remedy, after all.

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