I don’t know, there are points I can consider in there, but…it seems like these two Americas things (likewise camps or cultures) always try to equivocate away any real points of conflict. In this one you see it start with invoking Eich, who lost his job for his beliefs, despite being a guy “who never hurt anyone”. We are asked to imagine him as like a religious minority, to treat his intolerance as a category like white, and then see how unfair that looks.
But that’s asking to rub off all the context of what had happened. I know people here debated the reaction, but you can at least look at that debate and recognize the actual stakes. Eich never himself hurt anyone, but he wasn’t just expressing an opinion, he was taking actions to deprive other people of rights. Believe it or not, there were actual people who could have been hurt by that, much worse than just stepping down from the privilege of running a company supposed to promote the common interest.
Those people are erased from consideration here, so intolerance becomes just another neutral trait. Taking away any reason why you might object to it, we turn “I can tolerate anything except intolerance” into “anything except the outgroup”, and now it sounds really horrible. Except, as it was put just today…
If we want to have a serious conversation about this, maybe we could start without the pretense that intolerance is just a thing like being white or Muslim, drinking coke or eating arugula, because it’s not. As I’ve been arguing, it only seems like that if you erase the people it affects. Because once you consider them, intolerance is not a neutral thing like race at all, it is something actively hurtful, like racism.
The two Americas dichotomy seems designed to do exactly this erasing. Tell me, between his gun-owning evangelicals who drive SUVs, and highly educated water bottle sippers who drive Priuses, where exactly are the poor black kids getting shot by police? The Native Americans who had dogs sicced on them during a protest? The many LGBT* youths who became homeless for it? Anywhere?
Without them, sure, we can pretend hating opposition to gay marriage becomes the real bigotry; having buried all other kinds, there’s no justification possible beyond just being blue meanies. But that’s disingenuous. America is a lot more diverse than these things pretend. Maybe not everyone sees the other groups – he sure makes it sound like his greys don’t care to – but they’re there. And I think to try and consider this without them is a non-starter.