It is always uncomfortable to use words like bigotry and racism to describe conversations happening within our own communities.
But as author and LGBT activist Dr. Joe Wenke writes, using these words when describing instances of actual discrimination is important.
"If somebody is a bigot, you have a right — in fact, you have a responsibility — to call them out," Wenke wrote in The Huffington Post, and his words are becoming more relevant every day.
Last week, Maine Governor Paul LePage reportedly called a Democratic lawmaker a homophobic slur during a phone message. The phone call followed a racially charged press conference on Wednesday when the governor said that "90-plus percent" of drug dealers were "black and Hispanic people."
On Friday, he seemed to double down on his controversial statement by equating "people of color" and "people of Hispanic origin" with "the enemy."
While these insensitive remarks inspired many people to comment on the governor, one of the more notable responses came from author Stephen King. The 68-year-old Maine native slammed LePage on Twitter by calling him "a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist."
King's powerful tweet soon went viral, prompting lawmakers to ask for the governor's resignation. People on Twitter thanked King for taking a brave stand against racism and bigotry.