There are bigots in America, but Americans are not bigots. The average American is souring on Islam not based on any intrinsic prejudice, but based on the violence he or she constantly reads in the newspapers.
Obama showed that the "Ground Zero mosque" argument is not a simple one, and in fact has two major segments. The first is whether or not the mosque "should be allowed" to be built. The second is whether it "should" be built.
There remains an unfortunate and irrefutable perception in the Muslim world that Americans only pay lip service to their own ideals of freedom. Fortunately, President Obama's defense of the Cordoba House helps to change that.
Wouldn't religious tolerance and acceptance be a far greater legacy for Ground Zero than one that perpetuates the kind of wholesale hatred and intolerance that was at the root of the very attacks themselves?