The Intolerable Nature of Teaching Tolerance

By John "Birdman" Bryant


The word tolerance was once used to mean that one could or would tolerate something, but wouldn't necessarily enjoy it. Liberals, however, have transformed this word -- just as they have transformed so many other words -- to mean not merely to tolerate, but to open one's arms, one's heart, and -- in the case of the liberals' favored groups (blacks, women, the handicapped, etc) -- most especially one's pocketbook. The liberal theory which ostensibly underlies their philosophy on tolerance -- at least for their favorite groups -- is that differences among people in race, gender, handicap, weight and similar categories are supposedly irrelevant to what a person "really" is; and many people have adopted this simplistic and appealing yet largely false theory, thereby accounting for the death- grip on the American mind which liberals have lately acquired. True liberals, however, go further than this ostensible theory in their belief about tolerance: Not only do they believe that characteristics of race, gender, etc are irrelevant; but they also believe that even if what a person "really" is is bad, this is still no reason for intolerance because this badness -- at least in the case of the members of their favorite groups -- is caused not by the person himself, but rather by a "bad environment" or "conditions outside the person's control", thereby meaning that -- since a "bad" person does not bring on his badness, he is not "really" bad.

Needless to say, such reasoning is both casuistic and preposterous. People are either bad or they are not (More properly, they either act unethically when given the chance and when it is to their advantage, or they do not), and it really does not matter whether this badness was caused by an Oedipus complex or a sore toe: Society must protect itself from the acts of bad people, irrespective of the origin of the badness, which means quite simply that it must not tolerate badness. Thus when we hear the liberal siren-song of "tolerance", we must ask whether it calls for the toleration of supposedly-irrelevant characteristics determined by race, gender, and the like, or whether it calls for tolerance of everything whatsoever, provided only that it is black, female, fat, faggoty or something similar.

But why is it true, as we alleged earlier, that "irrelevant" characteristics may form a reasonable basis for intolerance? The answer is simple: Supposedly "irrelevant" characteristics are often markers of relevant ones. Or to put it slightly differently, while a black skin does not make a man a good basketball player or a violent criminal, it does say that the possessor of that skin is more likely to be both than his iceperson counterpart, this being the unavoidable conclusion of statistics. Needless to say, if we know more about a person than just his skin color, then we may know that he is a black who is lousy at basketball and saintly in behavior; and it may be -- as I have suggested elsewhere -- that the original meaning of tolerance with respect to race, gender and similar categories was simply that one would tolerate and withhold judgment on people of such categories until more information could be obtained. But with the current crop of liberals in charge, the day when this constituted the liberal philosophy has long since passed into the dustbin of history.

Now in reading over the Fall 93 issue of Teaching Tolerance, a magazine directed at teachers and published by one of the boiler rooms of mailorder mogul cum crusading liberal lawyer, bisexual and would-be Jew Morris Seligman Dees, we find some revealing information about the liberal mindset on tolerance -- a mindset which can usually tolerate almost any sort of human detritus, but rarely if ever can tolerate anyone who dissents from the liberal view. One thing which we encounter is a racist joke -- something much frowned upon by dour-faced liberals -- which in this case was tolerated because it supposedly demonstrated that the liberals' favorite groups can themselves make racist jokes while basking in the approval of those who would surely condemn them if they were made by white males. (The joke (p 6) went, "Christopher Columbus came ashore in the New World and walked up to a pair of Indians [sic!] standing at the edge of the forest. 'Como esta?' said Columbus in a friendly greeting. 'Oh, God', exclaimed one of the Indians to the other. 'There goes the neighborhood.'") In reality, however, what this joke shows is what almost every "racist" joke shows, whether told by liberal favorites or not, namely, that each person wants to be with his own kind. For "tolerant" liberals, however, the thought of whites being with their own kind is -- what shall we say? -- intolerable, tho it is quite OK for blacks, women and other liberal favorites, should they desire it, and which -- much to the liberals' consternation -- they more and more often do. A second revealing feature of liberalism found in Teaching Tolerance involved the discussion of a film about a boy being taught to kill rabbits by his father (p 42-3), an act which the boy found painful because of his empathy with his victims, but which the father reassured him about by saying, "It gets easier after the first time, Stevie. You'll get used to it." As the discussion pointed out, in learning to shoot rabbits, part of what the boy was learning was to become desensitized to killing. It is ironic, therefore, that while the intended liberal lesson here was that society desensitizes us to all sorts of horrible things, the lesson that should have been gleaned is that teaching tolerance is teaching desensitization, ie, teaching tolerance of those one would normally be repelled by is to teach one to be desensitized to certain things which many people regard with disdain or dread. The point, of course, is that -- from the liberal standpoint, anyway -- desensitization to the horrors of liberalism is quite OK.

In concluding these remarks, there are two other features of Teaching Tolerance which in some ways seem to epitomize the liberal mindset, and thus stand as a stark condemnation of the liberal program. The first was a 4-page pictorial devoted to the drawings and related stories of -- hold onto your hats for this one, folks -- blind children (p 46-9). The intended lesson, of course, was that there is no difference whatsoever between the blind and the sighted, and thus -- quite naturally -- we must be tolerant of the blind and their "art" -- and presumably their becoming bus drivers and airline pilots, too. (Perhaps the lesson that the liberals were really trying to give is that the philosophically blind -- eg, liberals -- are really quite OK.) The second feature of Teaching Tolerance which I wish to mention is the cover of the magazine, which was devoted to a picture -- either drawn by a child or a retard -- of two girls, one colored white and one colored brown -- and evidently intended to show how wunnerful-o-wunnerful it is to meddle with children's minds by reprogramming them with the liberal value of black-and-white- together/never-mind-the-costs. The real message of the cover, however, was not merely the Orwellian one of the teacher's ability to shape the well- rounded human mind to fit into the square liberal sinkhole, but rather a much deeper and more revealing one: Liberals are those who are so tolerant that they will tolerate the ugliest possible drawing -- or person -- in the most prominent possible place.

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