We should not tolerate intolerance

Narcissism is what comes to mind when intolerant or narrow-minded people speak about others’ perspectives. Every perspective should be tolerated no matter the circumstance and regardless of the race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc.

If one replaces a “my way or the highway” attitude with a “agree to disagree” mindset, then people will stop accepting intolerance. According to exploringyourmind.com, having a know-it-all, unsympathetic or jealous attitude are mindsets of those who refuse to listen to someone else’s opinions.

“Intolerance is a form of egotism, and to condemn egotism intolerantly is to share it,” the Spanish philosopher George Santayana said.

It becomes egotism when a person cannot listen to an other’s viewpoint because it does not correlate with their own. A viewpoint does not have to be accepted in a person’s lifestyle. However, each viewpoint should be heard so that a person’s beliefs are acknowledged.

Though some may not agree that all viewpoints should be tolerated because of disrespect or ignorance, a person cannot determine if an opinion can be voiced or not because everyone is entitled to freedom of speech; it’s written in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Most people are simply afraid of accepting a perspective different from their own values or beliefs because that becomes a challenge to their lifestyle. People are fearful that others’ opinions will challenge their beliefs that they may have practiced for a lifetime, which produces intolerance.

Patrick Merle, an associate professor in Florida State’s School of Communications, said, “They do not seek contradicting points of views, they surround themselves with people who offer similar viewpoints. People may not accept other perspectives because they are afraid of the other reality and are disturbed about what it may reveal about their own behaviors and attitudes. Many people also remain silent when faced with the perception of disagreement.”

An example is how social distancing in America is being extended until April 30 due to the coronavirus. Because too many people do not listen to those who voiced their professional viewpoints on the pandemic, the date has been extended and America will see more deaths as a result of people not staying in their homes and going outside.

CNN reported on Twitter that “Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, says that based on models, the U.S. could eventually see 100,000 or more deaths from the novel coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 2,000 American lives as cases surge across the U.S.”

Another example is Florida A&M University’s resident assistants having to work during this pandemic without being allowed to voice their opinion without consequences for those wanting to return next academic school year. Resident Assistants are put at risk and FAMU students have to voice their opinions for them.

Maurice Gilbert, a FAMU student, tweets on @xlence_, “All ima say is… RA’s should not be required to assist or interact with other students during this crisis. Where’s the FAMUAN? Housing is disrespectful and endangering safety of student workers.”

A good point of view is subjective, of course. The world does not have to accept every person’s perspective, but it must be tolerated in order for fairness and equality to survive.