Dr. Robin Smith says the Imus controversy exposes a "hole in the soul of this country." "Don Imus—he's a symbol. He's a symbol of how sick we are. He's a symbol of the self-hatred, not just in African-Americans, but in white America," she says.
According to Dr. Robin, the acceptance of racism and sexism is kind of like having garbage for dinner every day. "At first it tastes awful, it stinks, it makes you sick," she says. "But when you have it long enough, and I serve it to you well enough and sometimes even dress it up with pretty plates and fine linen, it begins to trick your mind and your spirit and make you think that, that which is toxic and poison actually starts to taste okay."
Dr. Robin says we should all examine the nature of freedom. "As we look at what it is to be emancipated, it is not emancipation to tear down another human being," Dr. Robin says. "If I eat away at [another person's] soul, what I don't know is that my own soul is being poisoned at the same time."
Rev. Sharpton agrees that the issue has spiritual implications. "I think that at the end of the day, this is about how people affirm themselves," he says. "You can't let anyone define you and limit you. Those that define you can confine you."