Warning: language in this post may be (probably is) offensive to some. Do not read if you're easily offended.
This has been bugging me for a while.
How many times have you heard someone say (or seen in print) something like this:
"I'm not a racist, but..."
"I'm not sexist, but..."
"I don't hate gays, but..."
followed by something racist, sexist, anti-gay, or directly opposite whatever it was they opened with?
My classic example, on the Straight Dope message board a few years ago: a guy mentioned that he (a white guy) was dating a black girl, and they were getting pretty serious about it. His uncle felt the need to draw him to the side and say, "I'm not a racist, but you know people are going to have problems seeing the two of you together."
I posted that anyone who says, "I'm not a racist, but..." is a racist. I got a lot of flack over that, accusations of "using a wide brush" and the like. After a few weeks, I changed my stance on the matter, but after much thought on it, I feel now that I was wrong to make that change. I have never heard anyone ever start a statement with "I'm not a <insert bigot sub-type here>, but..." and not promptly follow it with something blatantly bigotted.
Let's finish those statements above.
"I'm not a racist, but those damn niggers don't know their place."
"I'm not sexist, but women have no business being out of the house."
"I don't hate gays, but we'd be better off if every one of the bastards were dead."
Maybe it's just me, but those three statements sound awfully racist, sexist and anti-gay. If you're going to be a bigot, you should at least have the balls to admit you're a bigot. But very few bigots have the balls to be honest. So, I guess cowardice is the companion to bigotry.
And have you ever read anything by racist/sexist/whateverist bigots? You can't tell who they're really more in awe of. For instance, white supremist racists. They'll go on and on about how the whites are God's Own True Chosen Master RaceTM, but then they'll go on about how the Jooz, the Blackz or the Mud People are running the world. Hey, Binky! If you're the master race, why aren't you running the show? If they're running everything, sounds like they're the master race.
Fastest way to piss off a white-supremist racist? Accuse them of being a black-supremist or a jewish-supremist. After all, if they're claiming the blacks/jews/whatevers are in charge, they must think the blacks/jews/whatevers are the master race.
Oh, and in regard to the title, I guess I am picky.