“The last bigotry”

People often say things like this:

  • x is the last socially acceptable form of bigotry
  • y is the only form of prejudice that people who like to think of themselves as liberal are still proud of
  • No one would think that was ok if it happened to group z!

Here is a short list of things people often claim are the last socially accepted forms of bigotry:

  • fat hate
  • cissexism
  • ableism
  • mental illness stigma
  • bias against members of minority faiths
  • bias against atheists
  • ageism
  • homopobia

Given that these are all common, none of them can possibly be the last socially accepted form of bigotry. Saying that one of them in particular is the last suggests that the others don’t really count. Saying that only one form of bigotry suggests to people who experience other forms that you either don’t think they exist, or you don’t think that what happens to them matters.

(And also, it suggests that things such as racism and sexism have disappeared even though they are in fact alive and well).

The fact is, there are a lot of forms of bigotry. You probably don’t know about all of them, because they can be invisible when you aren’t personally harmed by them or close to someone who is personally harmed by them.

It pays to be aware of the fact that there are a lot of forms of bigotry and hate. Remember this when you write – don’t claim things that are particularly important to you are the last kind of issue that exists.