My convictions are selfish in nature. Most issues of social justice and tolerance are of no importance to me. Where I am incongruent to progressive thoughts of egalitarianism, I lose no sleep. I am biased and bigoted in my own fashion, as is every other human being on this earth. I am susceptible to change and realignment, however – just not in the manner that most progressives undertake when changing their own held values and bigotries.
Categorically, I am egalitarian except for where I am not. That may seem like an absurd statement, but dig deep into yourself and examine your own thought processes. It is easy to be egalitarian for those in your in-group. By extension, it is not difficult to extend egalitarian thoughts to those in a not entirely dissimilar group. As the degrees of separation increase, so does the willingness to let bigotry enter the mind. Everyone is in my out-group. Therefore, I am already susceptible to apathy for those that I am not in alignment with. And, apathy can easily turn into disdain.
So what brings us around to adding others into those groups that we champion equality for? My processes and yours are probably not entirely dissimilar. As my desire for the benefits of proximity to a member of group X increase, my tolerance for group X may increase as well. Do we not hear stories all the time of ardent homophobes that become enlightened once their own blood comes out of the closet? The process is similar; I am merely more honest with this.
The only member of my in-group is myself. However, I recognize that there may be out-group members that can provide benefit. As the amount of perceived or potential benefits increases, the proximity decreases between myself and the out-group previously held in disdain. My mind and my bigotries are for sale … for the right price. And, I suspect yours are too.