Understanding the difference between bigotry and prejudice is the same as understanding the difference between stupidity and ignorance. One is common to everyone and can be overcome while the other is a terminal condition and are intertwined. The fact is that everyone without exception is prejudiced, just as everyone without exception is ignorant, but both can be overcome with a little learning.
Prejudice is pre-judging someone based on what you know about whatever demographic group to which you believe he/she belongs. Everyone does this, and anyone who says they are not prejudiced is lying. Likewise, everyone is ignorant since no one can know everything, and just as obviously anyone who claims they are not ignorant is lying.
Bigotry is making a judgment of someone regardless of the facts. It is believing someone to be what they have demonstrably proven they are not. The best example of this is Palin Derangement Syndrome, people who believe Gov. Sarah Palin is a moron who thinks she can see Russia from her house.
Likewise, a stupid person can be told the facts, but will either be unable to process them or will reject them in favor of incorrect facts. The best example of this is in people’s belief that climate change is man-made and that mankind has the power to alter the ecosystem of the planet. Similarly, because stupidity and bigotry are intertwined, this extends to Palin Derangement Syndrome in believing that what she actually said, that Russia can be seen from Alaska, is not true.
In understanding why people do this, I can draw from an event in college. There was a young man in my college who was mentally retarded but whose GPA was better than mine. Because of my high IQ I could read a book, remember most of it, and easily pass the exam.
But this slow learning young man couldn’t remember half of what he read, so he read the book again, and then he read it again, and when he was finished, he read it again. Where I spent a few minutes studying for a test he would spend hours and hours and his grades were better than mine because I was lazy while he put forth maximum effort. Others who also had lower grades than him saw this, but it bothered them so much that they would come up with ways to belittle him, to bully him, and to put him down.
I wish I had said something to them about how wrong they were to treat him so, but I didn't understand myself why they would act like this. Now I do. They wanted to bring him down because they recognized that he was a better man than they and they were jealous.
I understand today that is the reason Leftists want to destroy the righteous. This is the reason today's liberals hate conservatives. Like young boys who resent their successful fathers whom they want to be like but don't know how, so they turn instead from trying to build themselves up to trying to tear him down. Rather than respecting him and themselves, they despise themselves and therefore him because his higher station diminishes their own self-esteem.
This all falls into the choice in life between choosing God or choosing oneself. A person either cares about others and is considerate of them or they care only about themselves and gives little or no consideration to others. They are either honest or they lie, and those who will deliberately lie to others will lie to themselves.
From making excuses to exaggerating to covering up to deceiving others, all are part of immorality and immaturity, and these are what people must overcome to be adults. The immature desire to control others comes from a desire to be better than them and can only be achieved either by force or by deceiving others so they will follow. This is the heart of the Leftist and why they resent those of the Right. It is bigotry born of jealousy fostered from ignorance of how to be a better person.
To make life worse, there are those who use propaganda to paint the righteous as bigots and bigots as righteous. Wading through the murk to find the truth is a never ending chore worthy of Sisyphus. As they say, Satan is the Father of Lies and does not come to you a horned beast, but as everything you ever desired.
“Liberalism is born of ignorance and bred on lies. Conservatism is born of morality and bred on education.” – Dustin Koellhoffer