Home America Now Tolerance, Diversity, and Bigotry: The Three Most Misused and Abused Words in the English Language Today

Tolerance, Diversity, and Bigotry: The Three Most Misused and Abused Words in the English Language Today

by Paul-Martin Foss

Language is incredibly powerful, which is why those who seek to enact dramatic social change often seek to gain control over words and pervert their meaning in order to accomplish their goals. This Gramscian revolution within the form plays on the fact that most people give relatively little thought to words and their meaning. They are borne along the waves of popular opinion and freely go along with changes in meaning, happily using the old forms while the substance behind them has changed completely.

Just look at the evolution of the word “liberal,” which formerly referred to those who espoused the ideals of classical liberalism: free trade, individual rights, and republican forms of government. But who are the self-described liberals today? Leftists who advocate for autocratic socialist or fascist forms of government, heavy government involvement in the economy if not outright nationalization, and restrictions on basic human rights such as freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.

Or look at the evolution of the word “gay,” which formerly saw use both in traditional Christmas carols and in popular culture as being synonymous with “happy.” But its use by homosexual activists has perverted its meaning so much that any use of the word in its original context is inevitably met with juvenile snickering.

The three most misused and abused words in the English language today are similarly being used in a context and with a meaning that negates their actual meaning. Those who misuse them in that way are intentionally doing so in an attempt to force their social engineering on an otherwise unwilling populace. Those words? Tolerance, diversity, and bigotry.

Misuse of those words plays on people’s feelings and emotions. After all, who wants to be thought of as intolerant and inflexible? Everyone wants to be tolerant, compassionate, and understanding, a “nice guy” as it were. Diversity is a rather amorphous concept in most people’s eyes, but it conjures up images of a multiplicity of people from different backgrounds coming together and all getting along Kumbaya-style. And of course no one likes bigots, those unthinking, hard-hearted purveyors of hatred. But each of these three words has been divorced of its actual meaning and is being actively abused to further leftist social agendas.


Actual definition:

the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with.

Common usage: acceptance of the legitimacy of all points of view and lifestyles except for those which are in keeping with common Western Judeo-Christian values.

The abuse of “tolerance,” “tolerant,” and “intolerant” is perhaps the most ironic misuse of language today, as those who have weaponized those words are in fact the most intolerant people in existence today. The purveyors of and partakers in homosexual relationships, open marriages, cohabitation, transgenderism, etc. are quick to denounce religious conservatives as being intolerant for believing in traditional sexual morality. The modern-day disciples of tolerance often even go so far as to proclaim that they are incapable of coexisting alongside such outdated Neanderthal attitudes, seeking to ostracize their neighbors, fellow students, and work colleagues who don’t enthusiastically proclaim the virtues of free love and uninhibited sexual abandon, even to the point of getting them fired from their jobs.

But most traditional conservatives are in fact quite tolerant. While they believe that sodomy, adultery, fornication, etc. are immoral, they don’t seek to criminalize those behaviors, nor do they seek to harm those who engage in them. They understand that evil exists and that sinful behavior will always occur as a result of fallen human nature. They can tolerate the existence of immoral and aberrant behavior without calling on that behavior to be eradicated through force.

But the disciples of “tolerance” aren’t really interested in mere tolerance. When they announce to the world that they engage in XYZ, anything less than full-throated praise is denounced as intolerance. They want full acceptance and even glorification of their lifestyle choices, and they want to force others who disagree with them to agree with them or face the consequences.


Actual definition:

the state of being diverse.

Common usage: the state of having as few white people as possible.

When most people think of diversity they think of people of all different colors working together harmoniously. White, black, brown, red, yellow… color doesn’t matter. People are people, with the same dreams and desires no matter their race or religion.

Yet to many leftists real diversity means exclusion of white people. A dormitory that’s set aside only for racial minorities? That’s diverse to them. A blacks-only social group that specifically denies entrance to whites? Also diverse. A group with equal numbers of white, black, Hispanic, East Asian, South Asian, and Arab members? Maybe diverse to some aging white liberals, but not to today’s hardcore social justice warriors, for whom the existence of white people is an affront to diversity.

Diversity today also means accepting the validity of all viewpoints except those that come from whites or Christians. Hence the widespread denigration and demonization not only of individual historical figures but also of all of their views. Because the Founding Fathers were white males, and because some of them were slaveholders, all of their views on freedom, liberty, and individual rights are therefore deemed to be worthy only of contempt.

The purge of white males from history may start with tearing down statutes of Confederate leaders, but it won’t end before Patrick Henry, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington are similarly written out of American public remembrance. Then it will be Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, etc., then on to purging the memory of Einstein and prominent Jews, and so on until the revolution finally eats its own.


Actual definition:

intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.

Or alternatively:

the fact of having and expressing strong, unreasonable beliefs and disliking other people who have different beliefs or a different way of life.

Common usage: any belief with which I disagree.

It’s important to understand that a key component of bigotry is unreasonableness, i.e. a non-reasoned belief. So if someone says that he doesn’t like black people just because, that is bigotry. Or if someone says that he doesn’t like Arabs because they’re a bunch of filthy savages, that would be bigotry. But if a Catholic says that he doesn’t support gay marriage because the fundamental purpose of marriage is the procreation and raising of children, which is impossible in a sodomitic sexual relationship, that would not be bigotry.

It is in fact the most frequent users of the words “bigotry” and “bigot” who are the real bigots. Especially as regards gay marriage, they do not understand the reasoning behind the arguments against gay marriage, nor do they care to learn. Anyone who disagrees with them, no matter how sound and cogent their arguments, is in their minds a bigot. It is that inflexible and unreasoning attitude that is itself bigotry, the dismissal of opposing points of view without a reason or argument but rather with emotion and feeling.

Bigotry is a common epithet used in the debate over immigration too. There are many who look at the decline of the Roman Empire, the movement of peoples across Europe during the Dark Ages, and the spread of Islam up to the city gates of Vienna, and legitimately question the ability of migrants from a multiplicity of diverse backgrounds to immigrate to the West and remain in peaceful coexistence with the current inhabitants.

It is a concern brought about by knowledge of history, knowledge of culture, and knowledge of the differences between Western and non-Western cultural attitudes and mores. While one may argue about the relative merits and demerits of that point of view, denouncing those who take a critical view towards immigration as bigots is, once again, bigotry, as it casts aside differing points of view without attempting to understand them.

Because of the normal understanding of these three words, they are often employed to dismiss opponents and shut down debate without having to actually grapple with the issues. Calling someone intolerant, or a bigot, or an opponent of diversity is an attempt at intellectual bullying. Those who engage in that bullying eschew the use of reason and engage in Orwellian doublethink. “War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” is the way that all too many people think today.

It isn’t just limited to these three words either. Anytime a leftist tries to advance an argument it is almost assuredly through the means of doublethink or the perversion of language. The right to bear arms in defense of one’s life is twisted into a strawman and viewed as being in conflict with the right to life, when in fact it is a corollary of that right to life. Abortion, the calculated murder of an innocent human life, is viewed as being a legitimate choice, the elimination of a “clump of cells,” and a humanitarian action worthy of praise. And “reform” is the preferred euphemism for changes that are nothing less than revolution and overthrow of the existing order.

Language has been perverted throughout history to condone the destruction of one’s political enemies, most prominently in the 20th century through the dehumanization of Jews in Nazi Germany and of opponents of Communism in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba, etc. Those who remain ignorant of the use of language to foment these atrocities will inevitably go along with them when the time comes in this country. It’s up to us to fight the abuse of language, make a stand now, and begin fighting for truth and reason so that those sorts of atrocities won’t have a chance of ever occurring here.

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