Posts Tagged ‘Minority group’
In recent years the word “tolerance” has been used in a whole host of ways in American society by minority groups or about minority groups. The official definition of tolerance as defined by the dictionary is “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.” Too often, though, minority groups who are preaching about “tolerance” pertaining to their particular situation are expecting society as a whole to endure and embrace their agenda. They are going beyond tolerance and wanting the American society to bend to their beliefs and exclaim that those who do not agree with their agenda are not being tolerant, yet these same individuals or groups are not tolerant of the majority’s rights or differences.
Americans seem to be misunderstanding the true meaning of tolerance and what it entails. Tolerance does not mean forcing others to agree with your viewpoints, religious beliefs or practices, cultural differences, etc. Rather, tolerance is an acceptance of another person’s rights to their beliefs, cultures, and differences without harassment or denial of those rights. To be tolerant of someone does not mean changing our own beliefs, cultures, practices, or differences. It does mean, however, that although we many not agree we can accept and embrace the differences in others without criticism or condemnation.
The true meaning of tolerance, then, comes down to an acceptance of other’s cultures, beliefs, practices, religions, race, nationality, etc. Although, tolerance and acceptance can really only go so far. There is a point where tolerance has to have its limits, such as when it becomes an issue of personal or national safety. Should we be tolerant of criminal acts, acts against basic human rights, acts of terrorism even under the auspices of religious beliefs? Absolutely not!