Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Have you ever been made to feel like you're the enemy? Well, I recently experienced this firsthand after sharing my concerns with the Shelby County Human Rights Commission over a proposed LGBT ordinance. Another person responded and said that law enforcement was monitoring extremist groups that have moved into Shelby County. Then she looked at me and asked "Are you from Shelby County?" This is how you end a conversation: cast suspicions, ridicule beliefs and marginalize opponents. When you isolate and define the opposition they're no longer neighbors, co-workers or fellow Americans, but they're the enemy. Just because I have a different idea on an important issue doesn't make me a bad person. Nor does it mean that I cannot respect you as a person. It simply means we have different views. And too many people today have a difficult time accepting that.