Is There Any Good to Talk to Bigots?

When I was a debater in high school and college, we’d have debates on social issues. An argument often used by many debaters is how futile it is to convince bigots and how we should target the moderates. Although I can see that winning the moderates is an easier battle, I wonder, was it right to truly give up on the bigots?

I am interested in trying to understand where their deep-seated biases came from. I wish I could figure out what we can creatively do to gain their attention, what manner can we send our messages so they can digest it, and how we can make them realize that they need to abandon these beliefs.

By figuring out how bigots grew into their anachronistic mindsets, we can take that information to restructure society such that there are no grounds that are fertile for prejudiced thoughts. This is the big goal. Someday, I’ll figure it all out.

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2 thoughts on “Is There Any Good to Talk to Bigots?

  1. All the bigotry I’ve ever experienced seemed to 1) have been learned, like passed down from either family values and/or peers, 2) stemmed from outright ignorance, or 3) a result of frequently bad experiences/impressions dealing with a particular race/creed/person/etc.. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible to deal with bigots, however, it’s a challenge. Because while you can try to show them that it’s “the exception, not the rule,” or some other kind of positive intent, all it takes is just one instance of the negative to get them back to square one.

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