LOL It doesn't bother me much about a thread of mine being 'hijacked'. Conversations are usually plastic anyway
Thanks for your responses as I've enjoyed reading them all, and always learn something new.
One point about vunerability breeding insecurity, and the survival reflex that kicks in. I agree with the premise and I understand that's how all human beings CAN work. However, my point is more towards encouraging, exhorting, and educating people to defy intimidation. Is it easy? No, certainly not. And I don't think it's the same as antagonizing a group that may immediately outnumber and hurt you. I know, personally, many people near me geographically whose comments would or could be interpreted as EXTREMELY bigoted and vitriolic. While I have tried to be 'civil' and hear them out, there came a point where it was clear that what they are really involved in is a 'misery loves company' existence. I'm not interested in being in their support group. Pulling away means social isolation at times and exclusion. Some, if they could get away with it, probably would seriously harass me so I don't go about antagonizing them. These are not people interested in change, they fear it. My hope is that the reality is they are becoming a real minority vs just an angrier majority. I'm afraid that this year, they got their legal wishes and it has bolstered their convictions that they are 'right' and supported. Though they win by slim margins, too many states in America have been taken over by politicians turning the clock back on minority and workers rights.
I tend to get more vocal, not less, so long as there's an actual discussion. But I could never suggest to ANYONE of any 'flavor' that they risk actual immediate harm. I just have seen how far some of the serious bigots will go to get support. On sexism, for example, if a conservative, straight politician thinks he can swing black votes his way by sparking their own religious fears regarding homosexuals, he will absolutely do so. Only to redline their own neighborhoods later while ensuring his own 'stays white'.