The Mosque controversy near ground zero is the latest manifestation of a
pattern that goes back to the origins of our country.  We seem to need
to have an other to vilify, to blame for problems, and to feel superior
too.  To some extent this is basic human nature. But in the US, it seems
central to our experience. Maybe because of the complex question of
just who are we as a culture and people.  Whatever the reason, whether
it has been Catholics, Irish, Germans, Native Americans, Anarchists,
Socialists, Communists, Japanese, Chinese, Mexicans, African
Americans,Gays, Jews, Italians, Poles, etc., we have always had the
"other" to exclude, discriminate, against, scapegoat, and feel better
than.  The results of this have been horrific. The current target group
of choice seem to be Muslims, and the vitriol directed against Islam and
Muslims in many parts of the US is appalling,  scary, and dangerous.
Unfortunately it also seems to be effective....

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