Weirfan In the most basic sense we are all bigots if we are very strongly opined about something and are resistant to the ideas and ideologies of others on a subject.
where bigotry becomes problematic is when it escalates into meanness and discrimination involving strong opinions in areas such as racial superiority, cultural differences, gender, sexual orientation etc.
No, no, and no. And I like having the opportunity to have a discussion and disagreement with Weirfan (just for all of the close-minded racists to see.)
First the OP's question is not framed correctly.
We are not all bigots. That is avoidable.
Racism, different from bigotry (overt acts against different others - particularly based upon race or sexual orientation) is horribly wrong as it's more pernicious - systemic and institutionalized. Hence, it's implicitly 'acceptable'. Bigotry is a member of the KKK burning a cross on a Black families front lawn.
I find it to be far more coherent to address and evaluated self and others with the use of a continuum. Goes like this:
Generalization - Discrimination - Stereotyping - Prejudice - Racism - Bigotry
Generalization is natural for humans, i.e. golf balls are round
Discrimination is also human nature, as a means to distinguish lots and lots of information, i.e. apples and oranges are fruit, but they're different.
Stereotyping again, is natural as we group information on a group tendency, i.e., golfers are dumb asses because they spend money for inevitable frustration. There can be levels and elements of truth in stereotypes.
Racism is what we all are when we invoke the natural tendency to compare/contrast and allow stereotypes to affect our judgement of others who are more obviously different from ourselves and our own "group" or cohort.
Bigotry is not just about strong opinions (those sometimes held by racists - knowingly or not), Bigotry is outward and hurtful behavior based upon ignorant opinions.
I appreciate your reply Weirfan! Knowing and using the proper words is important.