What the highlighting of those isms and phobias masks, however, is that nearly every human endeavor involves a sense of us and them - us and "other."
In politics, almost every decision weighs colliding interests. As a nation, as communities and as individuals, we contend over issues as substantial as war, abortion, taxation, healthcare, business regulation, criminal justice and the definition of family. Each one creates an "other" category of people.
Those interested in such issues tend to care deeply one way or another about them, with differences often reaching the point where each side sees the other not only as rivals but as enemies out to destroy the world as we know it.
We can crowd City Hall with just as much fervor to debate whether our walks are cobblestone or concrete and whose side of the street gets excavated for the new sewer system, with us and the "other."
The contentiousness of culture and the advent of "other" doesn't end with government, of course.
We divide over music and movies and the morals they foster in - or foist off on - society.
We disagree over religion - whether and which and when and how and Who and what and why - and often spend more time defending territory than acknowledging common ground. Nearly everybody becomes an "other."
Depending on our own inclinations, we readily brand families as elitists if their kids go to private school, as slack parents if their kids attend public schools or as weirdos if they educate their kids at home. More "otherness."
We pass judgment on people's income and how they use it, their education or lack thereof, and whether their worldview is more reflective of Madison, Marx or Merle. Any that differs with our own moves into the catch-all category "Other."
Despite massive progress in race relations, some wallow in guilt, some in victimhood, some in spite and others in despair over how we treat the "other" and the "other" treats us.
Sitcoms thrive on how little men and women understand one another, and the divorce rate proves the "otherness" is more than a laughing matter.
As if we don't have enough natural issues to divide us, we add to them by artifice. State lines, neighborhood boundaries, school (or gang) colors, vocal accents, health and attractiveness can readily breed contempt for the "other."
Believers, though, have a clear and compelling motive to accept not only those who merely irritate us or befuddle us or take advantage of us but even those who put themselves in active opposition to the Gospel.
Jesus' command to do so is enough, but we get a renewed perspective when we remember that every human, no matter how "other," has the same magnificent heritage: Made in the image of God.