Americans may be equal, but we are not all the same. It is the willingness of one American to defend the right of another to be different -- to think, to believe, to live in ways and to say things that one may vehemently dislike. But we will act to defend this differentness, this right to be free and unique -- even at risk of death.
We have seen the devastation that racism can perpetrate when the hate embedded within it festers in silence at the margins of our society. But where does this sort of racism come from? I don't know that I have the answer, but I do have a particular, firsthand experience that may give some insight into the question.