Anatomy of a Bigot


Activists have cried out loudly about gay-bashing and homophobia after the bar check at the Rainbow Lounge. They allege that officers acted with excessive force and that any of the inappropriate behaviors noted in the police report are actually due to "gay panic defense." These claims and allegations are attempts to deflect attention from the fact that the inappropriate behaviors actually occurred and from the fact that arrests were made due to public intoxication.

An umbrella term used to describe any person who engages in discriminatory dialogue or action is bigot. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines bigot as follows:

Pronunciation: 'bi-got
Function: noun
Etymology: French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
An observation:
  • When a crime is committed by a bigot, the bigot in question tends to take credit for his actions, because he does not believe that they are inappropriate. Explanations are often given, based on misconceptions or sources such as the Bible.
    Example: these are the folks who say "they had it coming."
  • When a cry of discrimination is made by activists seeking attention instead of in circumstances related to bigotry, there is a noticeable lack of reaction. When no discrimination has occurred, there is nothing to be answered...all smoke and no flame.
    Example: these are the folks who say "nothing happened."
Much ado has been made over one of Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead's initial remarks after the Rainbow Lounge bar check. Specifically, Halstead said:
"You're touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive. I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."
Let's parse this statement. First, Halstead references "certain ways by people", not by certain people. Therefore, he's speaking of actions, not actors. Second, he uses the word "offensive," which ties back to the touches/advances, not to the actors. Finally, he shows his approval of the necessary actions taken by peace officers in restraining the patrons who were acting inappropriately. Note that this doesn't refer to restraint in behavior, but restraint as a technique to subdue a lawbreaking individual.

So...where's the discrimination? To refer to that remark as biased is more than stretch; it's a fabrication.

To see where bias actually exists in this case, one needs look no further than the lawyer representing Fairness Fort Worth, a group that formed after the non-event at the Rainbow Lounge. According to a Dallas News article, Jonathan Nelson asks:
"Do you know any gays? Have you ever been to a gay bar? What is your feeling about gays?"
Only little kids count and label their friends. Reasonable adults realize that they are surrounded by a diverse group of family, friends and colleagues and instead of attaching labels, value them as unique human beings. Disturbingly, Nelson's questions are indicative of a deeper issue than fictionalizing a non-event at a bar. Instead, those questions indicate a desire for police officers act differently when working with individuals of different demographics.

What does that sound like? Separate but equal? Really? Didn't the Supreme Court overturn that concept with Brown v. Board and Bolling v. Sharpe in the 1950s? You don't have to have been to a gay bar in the past in order to lawfully provide enforcement in a gay bar in the future. You don't have to have been to a Tejano bar in the past in order to lawfully provide enforcement in a Tejano bar in the future. You don't have to have been to a Yuppie bar in the past in order to lawfully provide enforcement in a Yuppie bar in the future. Peace officers are called upon to enforce the same laws in any bar or club they visit.

Mr. Nelson, you need to answer some of your own questions. Do you know any police officers? What are your feelings about cops? You can't claim bias against your own group if you then act in a biased manner against another. Remember what the etymology of the word bigot indicated as an alternate definition, from the French? It was hypocrite.

Disclaimer: The information posted on this site has not been prepared or approved by any police agency, police association, or legal or law enforcement professional. It has been compiled through research of already available information and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as findings of an investigation.

Next Section < - > Previous Section

  • Editor July 27, 2009 at 11:32 AM

    Actually, several comments from several people have been removed from the site - but as the editor, I have not removed them.  I enabled public moderation, which allows for posts to be removed if they are complained about a certain number of times.  The original setting was 5 complaints - I've now changed it to a higher number.  You are welcome to re-post whatever your original comment was.  
    I'm sorry that you're disappointed by the anonymity of this site - it is explained on the disclosure page.  The site isn't meant to impress; only to inform.  Unlike the "other side" as people keep referencing, this site is based on cold, hard fact, not irrational or unfounded claims.  It was vetted by a group of lawyers and journalists prior to publication and deemed to be a fairhanded representation, although I can see where people who do not agree with the points as they are presented would not see it that way.  The editors never intended the site to change the mind of anyone who is already so emotionally invested in the hysteria of this non-event.  It was meant to appeal to those more open to a reasonable presentation of the occurence.
    The theory of a thoughtful bigot amuses me, to be honest.  I might argue, in response, that by their very actions, a bigot could never be considered thoughtful implies applying measured reasoning to make determinations.  Interesting thought, however!

Posts on Restoring Reason are now static; comments are still being accepted.