Forewarned: This is a satire intended to point out how bigotry and prejudice have become more subtle rather than disappeared in response to widespread political correctness. I am not a bigot, I do not support bigotry, and I advise against using any of the techniques illustrated below. Enjoy.
Remember the good old days? You know, back when everyone you knew looked like you, talked like you, and thought like you? Things were really swell back then, if someone came around who was different, you could just shun them, harass them, burn crosses on their lawn, or spread stereotype-laden rumors about them until they went back to wherever they belong. These days, shunning other groups of people is a little more challenging. With political correctness running rampant, it is hard to surround yourself with like-minded people. If you call one of “them” an offensive name to his face or even behind his back, you could be shunned, sued, or harassed. These days, you need to be sly, sleek, and subversive in order to act on your prejudices. For your benefit, we will present and explain how you can discriminate in modern society without losing the respect of those around you.
The first technique is simply to target loosely organized or subjectively defined groups. Suppose you are a manager of a large factory. If you systematically refused to give Hispanics and women promotions, it would eventually become obvious that you are a bigot, and your career would be over. On the other hand, you can discriminate on a more subjective basis. For example, you can only promote people you think are handsome. This is much harder to prove because perceptions of beauty vary from person to person. As another example, you could refuse promotions to people with dark hair or glasses. This is less obvious because people think of themselves in terms of race, religion, national origin, etc. rather than the color of their hair. Basically, if you want to discriminate, do it on the basis of some less publicized or more subjective factor such as appearance, personality, perceived intelligence, clothing, alma mater, golfing ability, etc rather than race, sex, creed, etc. This technique works well in a hierarchical environment, but in more general discourse, you need the next technique.
The next technique is called indirect bigotry. To perform indirect bigotry, you simply find some activity or trait associated with the inferior group and speak against it rather than the group. Suppose for example, you dislike black people. Well, it is a common stereotype that black people are lazy, so you can simply say that you dislike lazy people. Of course, you would perceive people like you as not being particularly lazy, or having some legitimate reason for their sloth. This technique has been used very successfully by governments throughout history. Because it was illegal to bar blacks from voting, many southern states imposed literacy tests as a qualification to vote. Thus, poorer, less educated people, most of whom were black, were unable to participate in the elections. Even today this technique is being used by the federal government. The war on drugs is merely an excuse to oppress poor inner-city minorities. The beauty of this particular type of discrimination is that not only can the police legally harass minorities, but it creates a violent, gang-driven, black market which further serves to terrify and oppress “them.” While this technique is good for disguising your hatred, to really alienate a group, you need our final technique.
The final, most subtle, and most effective way to act on your prejudices is to use a technique called extra-inclusion. Extra-inclusion works by including several groups to give a perception of acceptance and open-mindedness while deliberately excluding any reference to your target groups. This technique is particularly popular with the leaders of the religious right. Consider the following excerpt from a recent speech by President George W. Bush shortly after the World Trade Center attacks: “…We are all Americans, regardless of whether we are of Christian, Muslim, or Jewish faith…” Now on the surface, this appears to be a noble call for equality and unity in trying times, and would be perceived as such by most people of Christian, Muslim, or Jewish faith. But to agnostics, and members of other religions, this is clearly an insult. It implies that such people are un-American, are second-class citizens, or are perhaps even allied with the terrorists. This technique is powerful because you can still subtly let some groups know they are unwelcome while coming across to the rest as open-minded and compassionate.
Sadly, the good old days are gone and they are not coming back. Fortunately for you though, you can still surround yourself with like-minded people while oppressing others using these techniques. The key is to either pick less clearly defined groups to dislike, or be subtle and indirect in your prejudicial activities. The key in all of these is to present a facade of open-mindedness and acceptance. These techniques are important to maintain our way of life and to maintain the all-important status quo, after all, you certainly do not want one of “them” living next door to you, working in your office, or recreating at your golf course. Practice these techniques carefully and work the system and you could go far in life. Perhaps someday you could be the President calling for unity and equality amongst your favorite groups of people.