What is it about ‘the other’ that inspires so much fear in our society? Why do we so often see violence, discrimination and hatred manifested against those seen as different?

Just look at the case of Marleen Pinnock, an unarmed African American woman who was beaten by a California policeman. How could a routine police stop lead to such abuse? Mark Thompson of Make It Plain postulated that incidents such as this stem from a culture of fear.

And it’s not just law enforcement. Our judicial system has now embraced a philosophy that condones religious based bigotry. On Make It Plain, Terry O’Neill the President of the National Organization for Women explained the same arguments that have justified slavery and Apartheid are now being used by the Supreme Court to justify religious discrimination.

While for some it’s easy to blame the system; it’s time many Americans look into their own hearts. This week we heard a caller on the Michelangelo Signorile Show express his deep hatred of President Barack Obama. Where does his intense disdain come from? Disagreements on tax policy or are those opinions based on something deeper? Judge for yourself.

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