From Neil Steinberg's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times:
You know what I admire about bigots? And I’m not referring to the merely prejudiced, mutter-out-of-the-corner-of-their-mouth bigots, but the real wackos, the warped, scary, neo-Nazi, open Klansman, proudly sign-their-name haters.
You know what’s kinda great about them?
At least they’re candid. No pussyfooting around for them. They state their hate boldly, cast their slurs loudly and only then try to back it up with whatever false theories they believe support their irrational hatreds. For everyone else, it’s the other way around. They timidly roll out their specious argument first, as if that were the important part, the crucial logic that made up their impartial minds, and led to their subsequent negative opinion, an unfortunate by-product.
“Gosh, I’d love to end the permanent legal limbo and semi-serfdom that millions of Hispanics living in the United States endure, but gosh-darn it, their entry was ILLEGAL, so I find myself forced to insist they all be loaded onto cattle cars and sent back to what will always be their true home.”
And when you try to call them out, and ask, for instance, what other misdemeanors this laudable passion for the law forces them to view as eternally unforgiveable—Speeding? Tax evasion?—they just stare at you blankly. Because they are unable to look up at the puppeteer pulling their strings. It’s easy to view hatred as evil, but it’s really a kind of willed ignorance. Since a measure of cowardice is also involved, being bigoted requires you to advocate dumb arguments in an attempt to hide your loathsome beliefs.
Steinberg pivots from bigots who hate immigrants to bigots who hate gays to bigots who hates Jews—go read the whole thing.