"We contain the other, hopelessly and forever."
-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We live in a society scarred by hatred and misunderstanding. You look out at this world and figure that because you're not a church-burner, a gay-basher or an officer of the LAPD, you're not a bigot. But inside each of us is an inner bigot waiting for things to get personal. Maybe you get iced out of a promotion, maybe Johnny's new teacher is gay, maybe your neighborhood is changing. That's when the inner bigot slithers into your throat and you hear yourself saying, "Those bastards are taking our jobs. Do what you want, but not near my children. Why do they all have to talk so loud? Can't you find a girl of your own kind? We moved to the suburbs for the schools."
Your inner bigot is the part of yourself you blame on others. It's how you flush out into the world the fear and self-hatred you refuse to take responsibility for: It's that exiled splinter of yourself you call niggerhomobitchpussykikewetbackwhitetrashfatfuck. To set things right, you must track it down. As you follow its treacherous movements and gather up what you have loosed upon others, you may also salvage the pieces that can make you whole.
I have met the Other and it is me.
Reprinted with permission from "Daily Afflictions" by Andrew Boyd, published by W.W. Norton. To order a copy, click here