Bad year for acceptance

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2016 is the most tolerant, inclusive year in the history of the United States.

2016 has also seen craven attempts by several states to roll back the voting rights of minorities, a riot in Milwaukee — one of the most segregated cities in America — in response to yet another killing by police, the passing of a law in North Carolina restricting bathroom access to trans people and a presidential campaign built atop two racist pillars.

Los Medanos College has done an admirable job at accommodating students of various backgrounds, with its implemented equity plan and gender neutral restrooms, which have not led to a campus crime wave, as North Carolina lawmakers would have you believe.

But just as important as institutional change is interpersonal change. Too many Americans believe the Civil Rights Act of 1964 somehow ended racism, that with a stroke of a pen, President Johnson vanquished prejudice. Likewise, the relatively rapid advancement of gay marriage rights has seemed to give the false illusion of equality in the eyes of many. As outright racism was replaced by the more insidious Southern Strategy brand of bigotry, outright homophobia has slyly replaced by the “I don’t care, as long as I don’t see it” school of bigotry.

Which is to say: Why hate something that doesn’t personally affect you? Why let your bile boil over someone engaging in a lifestyle you wouldn’t personally live if it doesn’t negatively alter your own personal journey? Sure, cheese pizza is an affront to the pizza family, but your neighbor’s liking it will in no way change your own pizza consumption. A person wearing a dress whom you aren’t used to wearing dresses won’t likely change your life in any measurable way, unless they happen to take the dress you like off the rack.

The Experience editorial staff believe that people should adhere to the “Whatever floats your boat, as long as it doesn’t sink mine,” adage, and work to recognize that few actions or backgrounds fought over in the Culture Wars will do damage to your vessel.