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Bigotry Exception

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Bigot make exceptions for that one guy

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Peteman on Oct 15th 2014 at 11:58:06 AM
Last Edited By:
AHI-3000 on Oct 1st 2017 at 2:57:42 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

A character who is well-liked or respected by bigoted individuals or institutions despite belonging to whatever group that's being discriminated against. Perhaps they had a friendship that predated whatever turned the bigots into bigots, perhaps there was a Fire Forged Friendship, perhaps they make the top guy laugh and no one crosses the top guy, perhaps they are so good they are worth making an exception for. Whatever the case, it's obvious they are an exception.

Compare and contrast You Are a Credit to Your Race and Some of My Best Friends Are X, the former generally being an attempt at a well-meaning statement just layered with plenty of unfortunate subtext, while the latter involves the trope invoker being in denial about their bigotry.


Examples

Film

Literature

  • In the Imperial era, Star Wars Expanded Universe Grand Admiral Thrawn, first appearing in The Thrawn Trilogy, is a Chiss in a military that disdains anybody who isn't a human male. Emperor Palpatine was so impressed with Thrawn's sheer skill as a soldier and strategist that he made an exception to the Empire's High Human Culture ideal for him.
  • In their schooldays, the Muggle-born Lily Evans was this to Snape in Harry Potter, until he finally crossed a line and she ended their friendship.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's elves and dwarves have a mutual distrust, but in The Lord of the Rings, and especially played up in the movie, Legolas and Gimli make exceptions for each other.

Theatre

  • Implied in Margin for Error, where the fanatical Nazi Otto Horst has a trusted lawyer named Benjamin Rosenblatt.
    Moe: If he gets you off on this, you oughta make him an honorary Aryan.
  • In Fiddler on the Roof, the local policeman is often easier on Tevye (until he's given orders to stage a pogrom in the village) and Tevye seems to like him better than most Gentiles.
    Tevye: It's almost a pity you're not a Jew.
    Policeman (laughs): That's what I like about you, Tevye. Always joking. (Goes on for a bit, then stops laughing as he realizes Tevye meant it)

Western Animation

  • In The Boondocks episode "The Story of Jimmy Rebel", a racist white country singer named Jimmy Rebel befriends a black guy named Uncle Ruckus, though this is because Ruckus hates black people as well. Jimmy decides that Ruckus is one exception for his hatred of black people, and even performs a song for Ruckus entitled "One Good Nigger". In the ending, Jimmy admits that he doesn't really hate black people that much anymore... though he's still very racist against Hispanics.
  • Bender from Futurama is a robot who despises humans, yet ironically his best friend is a human named Fry. In the episode "The Sting", Bender at Fry's funeral (in what turns out to be Leela's coma dream) claims that whenever he said "Kill all humans!"...
    Bender: "...I'd always say 'except one'. Fry was that one!"

Feedback: 32 replies

Oct 15th 2014 at 1:03:05 PM

Compare You Are A Credit To Your Race.

Thrawn is a Zero Context Example. Please expand it, such as:

  • In the Imperial era, Grand Admiral Thrawn, first appearing in The Thrawn Trilogy, is a Chiss in a military that disdains anybody who isn't a human male. Emperor Palpatine was so impressed with Thrawn's sheer skill as a soldier and strategist that he made an exception to the Empire's High Human Culture ideal for him.

Oct 15th 2014 at 4:38:47 PM

Real Life

  • During Apartheid, visiting black dignitaries to South Africa would be legally declared Honorary Whites.

Oct 15th 2014 at 6:33:02 PM

Compare and contrast The Lone Unprejudiced ykttw. There, it's about the one guy who isn't a bigot; here, it's the one guy of a minority that isn't being bigoted.

Oct 16th 2014 at 5:50:42 AM

  • American white supremacist Tom Metzger has one Native American Peruvian immigrant friend.

Oct 16th 2014 at 6:35:13 AM

  • In their schooldays, the Muggle-born Lily Evans was this to Snape in Harry Potter, until he finally crossed a line and she ended their friendship.

Oct 16th 2014 at 7:04:12 AM

Until this launches, I'm probably avoiding adding real life examples.

Oct 16th 2014 at 7:51:39 AM

Oct 16th 2014 at 3:19:29 PM

Theatre

  • Implied in Margin For Error, where the fanatical Nazi Otto Horst has a trusted lawyer named Benjamin Rosenblatt.
    Moe: If he gets you off on this, you oughta make him an honorary Aryan.

Oct 16th 2014 at 3:32:02 PM

In Fiddler On The Roof, the local policeman is often easier on Tevye (until he's given orders to stage a pogrom in the village) and Tevye seems to like him better than most Gentiles.

Tevye: It's almost a pity you're not a Jew.
Policeman (laughs): That's what I like about you, Tevye. Always joking. (Goes on for a bit, then stops laughing as he realizes Tevye meant it)

Oct 17th 2014 at 4:53:55 AM

Dec 26th 2014 at 5:44:18 AM

Dec 26th 2014 at 6:23:20 AM

Could someone who's more of a Babylon Five fan than me say if Londo and G'Kar are an example?

Dec 26th 2014 at 7:24:17 AM

Dec 26th 2014 at 1:23:23 PM

We may need to make some provision for someone who makes an exception in their bigotry for one person as a sort of transitional stage toward abandoning their bigotry altogether. Legolas and Gimli, for example, may start out as this, but by the time Gimli starts offering to fight anyone who denies that Galadriel (an elf) is the Worlds Most Beautiful Woman, one can safely assume that he's dropped the majority of his anti-elf sentiment.

Dec 26th 2014 at 3:09:50 PM

The white woman, Miss Millie, in The Color Purple is afraid of every black person that approaches her...except her nanny Sofia. Unfortunately, this means she felt the need to pull Sofia from family she hasn't seen in about nine years.

Dec 26th 2014 at 10:57:37 PM

^^ in other words, an event that makes them renounce their bigotry? A trigger?

Dec 27th 2014 at 8:20:17 PM

^Londo and G'Kar would be an example. Both races hated each other to the point of attempting genocide, and Londo and G'Kar didn't much like each other at first either, until they gained a mutual respect having to work with each other. Londo even asked G'Kar to be his bodyguard at one point, trusting no one else, and asked him to take his life in the end, as he had become controlled by the Drakh.

Dec 29th 2014 at 1:11:38 PM

All In The Family: While Archie's bigotry may be something of an act, he turns it (almost) all off for Special Guest Sammy Davis Jr.

Dec 29th 2014 at 2:53:21 PM

^^^ Less an event than a person. Almost like a Closet Key but for bigotry instead of sex.

Dec 29th 2014 at 4:26:20 PM

  • Dr. Briefs in Dragon Ball Z Abridged frequently makes racist remarks but has nothing but love and affection for his grandson Trunks, an illegitimate, half-breed alien baby.

Dec 29th 2014 at 6:01:13 PM

^^ I see.

  • One Piece: Inverted when Nami listens to Jinbe's backstory and the story about fishmen's struggle for being treated equally; Nami, who once was very bigoted towards fishmen (because of her dark past) renounces her bigotry to all fishmen except for one: Arlong, the main fishman behind her dark past.

Dec 30th 2014 at 7:50:51 AM

Dec 30th 2014 at 11:36:21 AM

^^ I don't think it counts as bigotry when it's only against one person. After giving up her hatred of fishmen, she doesn't hate Arlong because of bigotry, she hates him because he's a bad person who did terrible things to the people she loves.

Dec 30th 2014 at 11:48:14 AM

^ I did say "inverted".

Feb 2nd 2015 at 1:01:15 PM

  • I've recently found it odd how in South Park minority-bashing Cartman doesn't mind the two disabled kids, Jimmy and Timmy.

Feb 2nd 2015 at 6:21:37 PM

  • In the Halo universe, Unggoy/"Grunts" and Kig-Yar/"Jackals" have a bitter centuries-long rivalry, since the two species compete for living space. But in Halo The Flood, after the lowly Grunt Yayap saved a bunch of Jackals by helping them contain a Flood outbreak, he was promoted in their eyes to "honorary Jackal".

Apr 23rd 2016 at 6:12:15 PM

TV:

Sep 26th 2017 at 1:32:08 PM

  • In The Boondocks episode "The Story of Jimmy Rebel", a racist white country singer named Jimmy Rebel befriends a black guy named Uncle Ruckus, though this is because Ruckus hates black people as well. Jimmy decides that Ruckus is one exception for his hatred of black people.

Apr 24th 2016 at 4:30:49 AM

Maybe there are some examples in You Are A Credit To Your Race that fits better here?

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