Almost no one is intentionally fanatic, but basically everyone has said or done something fanatic in their life, often without knowing it. This is not a bad thing, as long as you are prepared to correct this behavior; making mistakes is the most effective way to learn.
In special cases, accidental prejudices often emerge implicit bias, which is the unintentional application of social stereotypes by individuals. Even if you don’t try to be fanatic, what you say can be clouded by perceptions in society. After all, humans are hardwired to pick up signals from their society, and sadly, discrimination is no exception.
Examples of this include seeing African American vernacular English as an inherently “inferior” or unintelligent form of English. Due to the anti-black racism inherent in society, almost everyone, regardless of our race, has been socialized in some way or another to view this as less intelligent despite the fact that it is only another dialect of the many dialects of the English language.
Another example is gender abuse. Many people learn to assume what people are based on how they look, using gendered terms like madam or sir and gendered pronouns like he or she. Almost everyone is guilty of this at one point or another, but it’s not fair to trans people, especially those who don’t come across as a binary gender or don’t even want to join the binary genre.
Unfortunately, sometimes society ingests discrimination so deeply that an act of ignorance can be completely removed from its discriminatory context in the mind of the average person. A good example is the word G * psy, a centuries-old ethnic insult to the Roma people, a famous term used in Victor Hugo’s novel and later in the Disney film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. It has become so common to refer to a free-spirited wanderer that it has even become a name, which is one way ethnic discrimination manifests itself in society every day. A similar example of the unintentional use of an insult occurred when Cardi B referred to her daughter’s eyes with an insult against asians, completely oblivious to the connotation he had.
Just because someone is doing something fanatical doesn’t mean they’re bad people, or even personally fanatics. It also doesn’t mean that if someone was fanatic in the past they didn’t have the potential to change. We’ve all seen cases of celebrities being kicked off the internet and even real plans for saying offensive things in their past. While they should always apologize for acting this way in the past, it is bad faith to think that someone is going to have the same beliefs as years ago, especially if their current behavior indicates opposite. The key is that, as stated before, they should apologize and make an effort to unlearn and actively oppose that same fanatic behavior in the future.
No one has gone too far, from the accidental sectarian to the nonchalant sectarian; even openly hateful people can unlearn their hatred. Programs like Life after hate enable former members of hate groups to unlearn their bigotry and thus become more compassionate and understanding.
Chances are, you’re less sectarian than a neo-Nazi. Therefore, there are other things you can do to stop yourself from perpetuating harmful behavior. In cases like gender abuse, it is important to apologize and, moreover, not to center your own feelings on the apology. Likewise, many whites freeze or center when told their behavior is racist. Doing something racist doesn’t mean you’re bad, as long as you work against that behavior from that point on. This extends to all discrimination; Being told that you have done something fanatic will never be worse than being faced with fanaticism throughout your life as a marginalized person.
It can also help analyze your privilege and make sure you are able to empathize with those outside of it. If you are in the middle class or above and believe that people can get out of poverty by working hard, consider how much work it takes to get into a stable financial situation when you work from scratch rather than working. with a stable income and a safety net. If you’re not a black person who hears someone speaking in African American Vernacular English and sees them as an indicator of inferior intelligence, ask yourself why you jumped at this assumption. Most of us have privileges and marginalized identities, so it’s important to center empathy and learn to grow from your mistakes to become a more compassionate person towards those around you.