This word seems to get tossed around a lot. I can say that I’ve pretty much only seen it used by folks that would appear to be on the left side of the political spectrum. They like to use it when describing opinions of those on the right side of the same spectrum. Actually, that’s not even fair. They like to use it when describing anyone that disagrees with their stated opinion on ANY issue. I can also say that it seems to be used primarily by minorities and by minorities I’m talking about any one group that believes in an issue to which the majority doesn’t subscribe. Of course, that last line will immediately mark me as a bigot, not that I haven’t already been given that label more than once.
After opening up the dictionary and looking up the word to make sure I had the best definition I found out that it has such a broad meaning that just about anyone I’ve ever met or talked to must be a bigot! One of the definitions I found was: a person who is intolerant of opinions which conflict with his own, as in politics or morals. This definition pretty much fits the usage with which I’m most familiar. And still another said: a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own. By the second definition, the opinion doesn’t even have to conflict with someone else’s, it just has to be different! And here’s another one: one obstinately and blindly devoted to his own church, party, belief, or opinion. Notice that in that last definition, the second to last word is ‘or’, not ‘and’. So, your belief that your particular anything is the right anything is a bigoted opinion.
The bigger question to ask is, that by using the word to describe someone you feel is intolerant of YOUR stated position, aren’t you at the same time, being intolerant of THEIRS? And as such, doesn’t that make you a bigot? By believing that you’re right and everyone else is wrong, doesn’t that make you a bigot?
This was my favorite line from the limited amount of research I did on this word. Take it for what it’s worth.
You can tell a bigot, but you can’t tell him much!