Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Political partisans would readily mobilize this word to describe those on the opposing political side or those who do not agree with them.

“Kontra,” “taga-pihak,” are Hiligaynon words that can loosely translate this.

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“Kaaway,” is how the Communist Party would describe those who are against them.

At no other time has the nation been torn down the middle than now.

The pinks versus the reds.

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At no other time has Bacolod City been thrust into a divisive electoral exercise than now.

The reds versus the whites.

At no other time has religion been pitted against science and logic.

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Those who think COVID is “invented” and those who think it is real.

It was not too long ago when someone told the Filipinos they were his bosses.

Too, it was not too long ago when someone told them he was ready to die for flag and country.

In all instances, bigots were bred, millions were spawned like orcs in Lord of the Rings or wights in Game of Thrones – mindless, merciless – killers by command.

Much like political bigots.

A bigot, despite a vehement love for a particular color brooks no argument, rejects logic, facts, and science.

They think they see things with colored lenses.

They actually see it in monochrome.

To the bigot, he is a critical thinker.

To the bigot, he is a patriot.

To the bigot, he loves humanity.

To the bigot, the world would be a better place if his vision of it becomes reality.

And all his enemies are dead.

Graphics by Trizzia Hassim
Graphics by Trizzia Hassim

Hitler, Stalin and Mao thought like that.

They tried to bring about a new man.

Should we blame those who bring about bigotry?

Should we in all our wrath condemn those who slice and dice our nation? Our city?

Or should you in the silence of the night ask yourself what brought about this madness?

Is it this readiness to accept that neighbor should turn against neighbor, sister against sister, brother against brother if only to realize a dream that the chief bigots say is for all of us?

Is it?

Many years have passed since democracy was supposedly restored but have we seriously learned our responsibilities?

Or are we still a bunch of children who giggle and squabble for colors when crayons are thrown at us?

It is easy to blame those who turn us into bigots but it is hard to look inward and take ourselves to task.

After all, bigotry can only breed and persist if society does not have a shared sense of history or when the mind is feeble and the spirit is willing to be thrown to slavery.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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