I was young and stupid once; but I don’t ever remember being young and blindly naive.
Yes, we live in a time where we do everything we can to shield ourselves from pain and heartache, which ironically only leads to devastating and unmanageable levels of pain and heartache. I get it…we’ve lived through 3 decades (and counting) of political correctness and helicopter parenting and it’s produced exactly what was so easily predictable; multiple generations of people who are raised believing that the world will bend to your emotions and feelings so that you never hurt.
The problem with that theory is that no matter how many safe spaces we create, no matter how much speech we censor, and no matter how many careers we cancel over allegedly insensitive things said a decade ago, life happens. And when a person who has been raised to believe that he will be able to always avoid being offended or bothered for more than an instant suddenly can’t avoid the death of a loved one, or the horror of pure hate directed at them, they shatter.
Enter 19 year-old sage Trevor, who wrote our show last week to inform us that because he (and he claims his friends of the same age) have “no issues” with interracial couples, all people his age feel the same and as soon as all of us over 40 die, there won’t be any racism or bigotry.
No seriously…he almost literally wrote exactly that.
Thus, the blind naivety created by 3 generations of self-soothing. Trevor has to believe that he and everyone of his generation are so pure and accepting and wonderful that they welcome everyone because that’s exactly what he thinks the world owes him. In other words, Trevor demands that everyone accept him, and therefore, he just assumes that everyone accepts everyone because those are the rules and only “old” people don’t play by them.
Imagine Trevor’s horror when he goes out on a date with woman that appears to be of another race than he. Or, worse, imagine if he goes out on a date with a man.
Unless that date occurs in a hermetically sealed vacuum, Trevor will experience something he is completely unprepared for; at some point someone Trevor’s age will overtly or implicitly make it clear that they don’t approve of Trevor’s relationship.
How do I know this? Is it because I’ve been in an interracial relationship for 4 years? NO! It’s because I’m not an ignorant idiot.
Humans are bigots and they always will be. You, whoever you are, are a bigot. I am a bigot. We must own and admit these things before we can exist amongst ourselves.
According to the dictionary, a bigot is someone who “regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.” Ask a few devout Christians how they feel about a Mormon or Muslim and see how long it takes for the bigotry to show. Ask a Black Lives Matter member about cops. Ask a Hillary supporter about a Trumpster. Ask a Marine about a member of the Air Force. Ask an Alabamian about Californians. Ask a New Yorker about a Bostonian. Ask me about obese people (lazy pukes).
Some of those are silly, but they all illustrate the point. Having judgments about peoples’ choices, lifestyles, and/or looks is part of the human imperfection. It’s never going away and it’s not, in any way, generational. While tolerances can slowly grow, the hate never truly disappears. In fact, the more we pretend it has, the worse it gets, which is exactly why we’re seeing a resurgence of white nationalism, the KKK, Antifa, and militant African American groups.
The danger in the attitude of those like Trevor exists when the harsh reality of the world collides with his inability to handle, process or deal with it. The more we work towards insulating everyone from pain, the more painful we make life.