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Symbolic Bigotry
Richard Stallman, 2023-08-02

Nowadays, many progressive authors write the word "black" with a capital "b" but carefully write "white" with a lower-case "w". The sad thing is, this is a symbolic endorsement of bigotry. The way to avoid symbolic bigotry is to capitalize both "black" and "white", or neither one.

I disapprove of bigotry in general, and when the group targeted includes me, I resent it as anyone would. I normally respond to articles that display that form of bigotry by not linking to them.

However, racism is also a form of bigotry, and it is important to explain the injustices of racism. Unfortunately, good articles about racism often engage in symbolic bigotry themselves. When they do, posting those articles is not good, and neither is posting no article.

I may come across another article that makes the same point about racism without the symbolic bigotry. Then I will post about the issue with that article. But what if I don't find a good article without the bigotry?

In such cases I post a link to an article despite its bigotry, for the sake of the issue, and explicitly criticize it for its bigotry, with a reference to this page.

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