How to deal with bigots

Published: Thu, 04/20/2017 - 09:06

It’s a voter hate voter world out there today. Liberals and bigots are fighting each other like never before. Oddly enough, liberals are not remotely ashamed to admit that they’re liberals, but bigots (the poor hypocritical darlings) are terribly embarrassed to be called out for what they are. They use far too many excuses to justify their bigotry. Development is the most popular fig leaf, of course. It’s an old tried and trusted excuse favoured by Nazi supporters.

Since bigotry appears to be on the rise around the world, I’m hoping that a sensible liberal will write a comprehensive etiquette guide on how to deal with bigots around us. Consider these scenarios:

 What if (God forbid) your parents and/or siblings are bigots? Apart from giving them long, sanctimonious lectures, what can you do to save their souls? I guess I would meet them a little less often than before, with bags of flavoured popcorn and DVDs of movies like Schindler’s List, Parzania, and Rakesh Sharma’s The Final Solution, a terrifying tear-inducing documentary on the Gujarat pogrom. If that fails to reform them, I would take them for counselling. I really would! I’d do more or less the same with other relatives like aunts, uncles and cousins, but I’d draw the line at counselling. There’s absolutely no way I’m going to waste my hard-earned money on small-minded people.

Friends are easier to deal with. Just fob them off with an airy “Yes, we must meet soon, but I’m very busy right now getting ticks out of my doggy” line. You can even pretend to have a socially embarrassing contagious disease like herpes if the horrors drop in uninvited. However, if a recently out-of-the-closet bigot happens to be your best friend since childhood, what would you do? Dump him or her? I’m fairly certain I would. I mean, heck, what do you say to someone who wants to exterminate, banish, or badmouth members of a community?  Instead of clinking glasses of Bloody Mary, I’d probably smash mine against his/hers! It’s not going to work, forget it.

Jobs are the most difficult, particularly if your boss owns the company, and he publicly supports a bigot and all his lousy policies (take Reliance or Mahindra & Mahindra, for example).  It’s easy to quit your job, but not so easy to get another one. I really have no clue what I’d do in such a situation. Of course, I’d have head hunters on speed dial and haunt job sites every spare minute. Fortunately, as far as bigoted colleagues are concerned, they can be ignored. Hooray!

And finally we come to neighbours. It’s not terribly easy to avoid them. You’re bound to bump into them in the lift. What I do is, I greet the outed bigots with a grimace instead of a smile. Then I stare at my cell phone in an engrossed manner and play Spider Solitaire to avoid conversation. What happens when nasty neighbours ring the doorbell, though? You can’t tell them you have something like herpes because the news would spread faster than the virus and even the security guard wouldn’t ring your doorbell to inform you that the building is on fire. I take the following precautions:

  1. Ensure that the spy hole on my front door is cleaned thoroughly daily.
  2. Always tiptoe to the door in case I don’t like who I see through the spy hole, and pretend no one is home.
  3. If, however, I forget to tiptoe and I’m caught out, I call a friend before I open the door and trash bigotry in a loud voice, hoping that it will make the neighbour squirm. Trust me, they never linger.

These are just my knee-jerk ways of not engaging with bigots. I’m waiting with bated breath for a proper guide!

 

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This story is from print issue of HardNews