Tuesday, October 17, 2006

On tolerance...

In honor of this blog reaching 300,000 visits…and thank you, Homer, for dropping in so often (wink)…a bitch is gonna indulge in a rant.

Why A Bitch Rejects the School of Tolerance.

I am...this bitch is…not by mistake or misfortune, but by grace.

I don’t want tolerance.



Give it to me, baby!

But tolerance?

You…out of the kindness of your whatever…overlooking my public displays of culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, strong language (wink), “ethnic” hair/complexion/clothing/phrases/ways or any other damned thing that is a part of me?

That this bitch can do without.

Thanks, but no thanks…I’d hate to have you fake it.

And let’s keep it real…tolerance, as it is practiced in American society today, is faking acceptance, masking disdain, pretending not to be put out even though you are.

People tolerate a stench...a stink…something offensive, but not so much so that one is unable to suffer through and dish about later.

They withstand...with grit and determination...they extend charity and lenience.

Tolerance assumes intolerance…that the person tolerating has the ability to reject and is making the choice to “put up with” something.

Tolerance whispers of the ethnocentric hope that the other will see the error of their ways and conform…one only has to wait long enough…one only has to practice tolerance for the shit others do.

No, I don’t need your tolerance.

I prefer that you set it aside...

…shove it out of the way…and reveal the path to respect.

Because I am.

This bitch is.

Not by mistake or misfortune, but by grace.


Maven said...


Homer said...

A day without ABB is a day without sunshine.

The best thing my mother taught me was to be tolerant of all people, no matter how they were different from me.

Anonymous said...

Sista Bitch,
I think that you are divine....
When are we going to deliver the talk on The Material Girls, Maternal/Paternal Colonial Attitude and 'Dopting Africans (boys) for Showing the world how great she is?
This Modern Middle Passage Trip made this Bitch mad and I wonder if my fellow sista Bitch can rant on this....
check me out...

Anonymous said...

God, I have always hated that concept of "tolerence". I hated it to the core when white folks decided it was the in thing and way we all should act. You are correct on every point. It is offensive always has been always will be. I have been ranting myself for years about the fake ass "tolerance" that is thrown out there. How long must this society establish myths to live by which do none of us any good! Down with (tolerence, ignorance, fear, stupidity) up with respect!

Maureen O'Danu said...

I agree with you about "tolerance". It's such a condescending word. That's why I like "acceptance" so much better. "You are who you are and you don't need my approval, but who you are is okay with me anyway" is much better than "You are who you are, and I don't much approve, but I've been told I should tolerate difference, so I guess I'll grudgingly put up with your differences"

And even acceptance isn't quite the right word.

~Macarena~ said...

Hear, hear!

christine mtm said...

i have often said that jesus never said we are supposed to tolerate one another; what jesus said was that we were to love one another.

completely different... and you are absolutely right! it's all about grace.

thanks abb, for spreading the word!

Anonymous said...

When it comes to my fellow human beings, I am colour blind, asexual, and multi-religious. Those with money have not earned my favour, and while intelligence may titillate me, I have no more respect for intellectuals than I do the mentally handicapped. A person that can build a beautiful table or throw a gorgeous vase is as valued by me as one that can build a huge conglomerate. The one thing I am not, with my fellow man, is “tolerant”. If you’re an asshole, you’re an asshole, and there is not a reason in the world that will force me to suffer you.

Anonymous said...


Maya's Granny said...

Yes! I really do not want anyone to tolerate me. Love me. Hate me. Ask me to move my ass out of your way, but don't you dare tolerate me. I won't tolerate that.

Anonymous said...

I'll add an "Amen" to all of the above.

But did anyone note that ABB's 300,000 visits seem to be somewhat in synch with the population figure we've been tossing around of late? One for each US resident (legal or otherwise?) Congrats to a great Crusader for Justice and Bitchitude! How would it be if eveyone of them "300,000" could/would hear your message?

Anonymous said...

So often the true meaning of words in our language get blurred. I love seeing someone clarify something!

Anonymous said...

irl, you are preachin' to the choir!
Let the people say, Amen!

storm indigo

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Think blogger ate my comment.... So if it doubles, you'll know why.

God, yes. I "tolerate" mosquitoes. I don't tolerate rainbows.

Jeffrey Ricker said...

Indeed. Tolerance is best reserved for in-laws and recalcitrant children (and even then only up to a point).

Anonymous said...

First, please know that I mean no disrespect and the questions I ask below are literally meant as questions, re:discussion, not accusation, or hostile attacks etc. I don't think they come across like that, but, with email, one never knows. *grimace* My intent is honest discussion, not to incite upset. *friendly smile*


Hmmmmm, I find your comments interesting, I'm from Canada, so, I'm not sure if that's why, but I have a different concept of "Tolerance."

My understanding of Tolerance is basically, "Can we all Live Together." Or "Can we all get along."

Versus, "we must all like each other," or "we must all accept each other," etc.

I don't give a hoot if someone accepts me being gay or not, as long as their right to dislike, to not accept, to disagree with me, their right to religious beliefs that view homosexuality as a sin, for example, does not affect My or Mines (family,peoples)human rights or our ability to live our lives openly, safely, with freedom of ease, movement, speech, etc. "Live and Let Live," I say.

For me, the concept of "acceptance," seems unrealistic, and the antithesis of Diversity, Inclusion, etc. But, we might, have different concepts of that word/meaning, due to different countries, etc.

If you and yours were able to live your lives free from others' believes inflicting harm on you and yours...why would you care if they like and accept you or just "put up with you?"

(And I don't consider "offense," to be harm. GLBT folks just breathing offends people, doesn't mean our breathing is causing them harm, or that its reason to deny us our rights, safety, etc.)

My definition of Tolerance is yes, you are correct, "putting up with," ideas, beliefs, etc. that might personally "offend me," in name of the greater ideals such as Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, Freedom of Debate, Sexual Freedom, Freedom of Choice, etc.

I will "Tolerate," a right wing bigots "right," to sit in a restaurant with friends and say ableist and homophobic comments, (although I might exercise my right to go over and say something as well or, to file a complaint against him) but I will tolerate his right to do that in his home, or in his personal space within bars, etc.

I would not tolerate it in a school, work, government institution however, as, they are supposedly, in a democracy for all peoples, etc.

Also want to say that I love your blog and read it alot, although I haven't the last couple of weeks, personal reasons, and that it inspired me to start my own blog. Which is basically from the perspective of, as my name suggests, white, poor, as in disability benefits "on the system," Femme with Disabilities in Canada.

It's personally political rantings then yours and most likely, less, well, *blush* diplomatic, I guess people might say, and not always, as "knowledgeable," as some folk would like. Thus, most likely will offend all people at some point in time, and some people all of the time. *sigh* But I"m a firm believer that every voice should be heard, even if it's not always "correct," in it's format, delivery, etc.

I'm hoping to talk about, among other things, White Privledge, White Power Structures, White on White Oppression, Racism and Poverty from a poor, white, distrusts both the left/right perspective. Although I"m more critical of my local left, as, well...they are who I care about! LOL

Anyways, I wanted to thank you for your excellent blog, using your voice and being the main Inspiration for me to start using mine on the Internet, that is. mine. *nod of thanks*

Shark-Fu said...

Hmmm...well, TWTF...

You have to believe to achieve (wink).

I don't have much experience with people living and let live.

I consider Live and Let Live the social policy version of Trickle Down Economics.

Nice theory, but...

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

As a queer woman of color I know about that tolerance crap. It's painful & I thank you for standing up and speaking your truth & mine.

Anonymous said...

I found this post through
this post, which in turn I found through feministblogs.org/, so I haven't ever had a look around your blog before. Anyway, I have no insight to offer or anything like that; I just wanted to say thanks for writing this... I've always had an issue with the idea of 'tolerance'. (And, in turn, thanks for... you know, just being, and for writing all this time, because I know it sounds ridiculous, but every time I come across someone who stands against the stupidity and hatred inherent in basically every society, I actually get a personal joy from that as well. It makes me feel less hopeless. So thankyou for that too.)

Oscar Vibenius said...

Well put! I took a class last semester (Sp. 2006) and in it we discussed a book called "Love the Sin" in which the author(s) make a very similar point...

You are most abosluetly right...tolerance is not the same as respect. The word tolerance alone--like acceptance--implies a necessary person(s) to tolerate another...

Thank you!

Conseula said...

Can I add my amen to the congregation's? And as long as you're counseling people on the rhetorical and political and emotional emptiness of tolerance, can we school people on color-blindness? Because every time somebody tells me they don't see color, both of us know they're lying and I have to wonder what they're trying to cover up. And trying to figure that out sorta distracts from my tolerance of their ignorance.

Aki Koh said...

Well said! And Amen to it!

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