---- — To the editor:
As many of the readers of these columns are aware, I believe strongly that individual citizens should engage in debate in the marketplace of ideas that are critical to the state and nation. I do believe that in so doing, one should start based on solid facts. That in no way means we should not allow our emotions to surface, but it does mean that we should address each other with dignity and there is no room and no good comes from degrading personal attacks totally unrelated to the subject matter.
Last week, I was out of town for a few days and upon return, I discovered a message on the answering system. It was full of opinions, but no hard facts. If that were where it ended, there would be no problem; we all have a right to express our views as best we can. However, this message was laced with the grossest of expletives and attacked me personally for the letters I have written, and the caller dared to bring his toxic manner into the sanctity of my home. While this is tasteless and non-productive, I could have even tolerated that. What I, and I strongly suspect and hope the rest of the community, should not and will not tolerate is the closing message, which was uttered in an emotional, guttural voice in raised tone: “You sleazy Jew!”
I have been writing about and responding to ideas for over 50 years. Further, I taught in an MBA program and give lectures and counseling to small businesses. I have never condoned such actions, nor ever found the need to attack anyone’s religion, race or ethnicity. It is this type of pollution that is dividing our country and making the solution to very serious issues almost impossible to address.
I have put the tape and entire matter in the hands of the appropriate authorities, and I hope they will find and properly deal with this individual within the bounds of the law. While this may not rise to the level of a legal “hate crime”, it is certainly an emotional “hate crime” and none of us deserves to be the target of either.