Does a bigot ever consider himself a bigot? I very much doubt it.

He might be ignorant, but in his core a bigot just wants his community to be safe. And being ignorant is quite different from being stupid.

The bigot senses that those “other” people present a threat. Accepting the dangerous practices of “those” people, our society will become perilous.

It’s why throughout history, we don’t want Catholics, Blacks, queers, Chinese, people choosing hijabs (fill in the blank) in our neighborhood.

That makes it acceptable, even fashionable, to legally discriminate against them.

It wasn’t long ago that gay people had to live in secret for fear of imprisonment or chemical castration for practicing their lifestyle. That’s hard to imagine today.

Alan Turing, the English hero mathematician who helped break the Nazi enigma codes, had to stay closeted, even faking a hetero engagement. When arrested for “indecent” acts he choose chemical “treatments” rather than prison. He later killed himself.

The man who found and managed The Beatles, Brian Epstein, had to hide his illegal activities. After close calls with the law, he died depressed of a drug overdose that some question whether it was suicide or accidental.

The gay lifestyle, kept in darkness back then, is celebrated openly today.

But I remember the “we love the sinner but hate the sin” arguments from the religious right when they battled to keep anti-sodomy and anti-gay marriage laws on the books.

I’m hearing the same song being sung with today’s bigotry. The targets of hate have just changed over time.

What was perversion and sickness in the past is now chic.

What was in the past culturally acceptable, even fashionable, is now vile perversion.

Just as in the past, today’s bigotry is encouraged by the dominant cultural institutions like media and entertainment. Certain groups are just less than we are and dangerous.

Like who? Like smokers.

Once commonplace and Hollywood-sexy, smokers are today’s perverts.

They are openly hated, mocked, restricted, taxed stereotyped, and their degenerate activities are outlawed, even on their own property.

We’ve taken away their right to peaceably assemble. Nowhere in Colorado may a bar or restaurant permit smoking. Imagine the sign on the door, “smokers, gays and Irish not welcome.”

Our “libertarian” governor has removed protections for their ability to practice their lifestyle choices. Local governments around Colorado are now outlawing vaping products, flavored tobacco products and soon menthol cigarettes.

However, we love the sinner but hate the sin. We are outlawing the products smokers use because, well, those poor simpletons don’t know what’s good for them. We do.

And society is safer for our bigotry, you know, saving us health care dollars (even though smokers kick off early, saving society gobs of money).

Owning guns was accepted and part of culture. Gun safety was taught in schools. Kids would bring their .22 rifles on the school bus for the target shooting club.

People understood how guns work and how they protect our families as well as deter invasion and tyranny. Ukraine is desperately trying to get guns in civilian hands.

The first gun control laws were made to disarm freed slaves in the south. Disarming Americans is still all the rage. It is just that “those” people have changed.

Today’s gun owners are stupid, hazardous and their guns are obvious compensation for their small private parts.

Those deviants who own guns with polymer stocks instead of wood stocks are playing with weapons of war (even though the machinery is no different than any other semi-automatic gun). Obviously, they’re sick abominations.

Again, our libertarian governor stripped protections for these gun-toting perverts. Hate-filled localities can now act on their white-pride proclivities.

Greenwood Village found that some of those degenerates lived just down the street. Federally licensed gun dealers must not be allowed to work from home like acceptable white people.

We don’t want that type in our neighborhood. So, they’re banned.

Those who identify as gun owners are banned from moving into the oh-so-tolerant city of Boulder. If your lifestyle includes an 11-round magazine, we will arrest you for moving into town.

And if we can’t scare all those perverts out of our town, we’ll breed them out. When those with grandfathered guns or magazines finally die off, their guns must be destroyed rather than passed to the next generation.

Odd how those in power in Colorado revel in their social justice yet are blind to their hate.

Victims change. Bigotry stays.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute in Denver and hosts “The Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara” on Colorado Public Television Channel 12. His column appears Sundays in Colorado Politics.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute in Denver and hosts “The Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara” on Colorado Public Television Channel 12. His column appears Sundays in Colorado Politics.

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