What Gave It Away?

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This is the comment I received this morning on an article we published some time ago now before I resolved to stop publishing anything about a certain politician.

“Notice Ruth, the writer of this, is a JEW and we know they are rarely honest. They are mad cause they can’t buy or control Trump.”

Aha! You found me out! What gave it away, my first name? My Semitic looks?

But, I am beset with a mix of emotions. When Rick Cohen was with us, he received these kinds of missives on a very regular basis—I am assuming because his last name was a more obvious marker. The last one he received, right before his death, was not only vile but threatened violence. I don’t get Jew-baited often, though, because I was silly enough to change my last name through marriage at some point in my misguided past. We have another staff member who has been called out not only for being Muslim, which her family indeed is, but for attending Brandeis University—a JEWISH school—which apparently makes matters worse.

Then, yesterday, I received a note from someone who thought that NPQ as a publication should stay out of partisan politics, which this year has included some pretty extreme statements about people based on their racial and ethnic identities. But how could we sit that out? Isn’t our public discourse part of the soil from which civil society blooms?

In any case. I do want to clarify that I have never sought to buy Mr. Trump—but though I do try to be honest, I may slip a little from time to time.