Capitol Fence by the Forward

Letter | Not all D.C. Jews are ‘terrified’

Dear Editor,

As a longtime resident of Washington, D.C., I was offended by the headline of Carly Pildis’s recent Forward opinion piece. By no means all Jews in D.C. are “terrified” as we await President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Letter | Not all D.C. Jews are ‘terrified’

For my part, I am not at all terrified by recent events, not even by the sinister and portentous messages we keep hearing. Of course there is no doubt that the Jan. 6 riot was of historic significance and a dark day for democracy, but the 25,000 troops in the city are an overreaction.

A colleague of mine went downtown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and described the scene at “one-third Baghdad, one-third Berkeley and one-third Jerusalem on Yom Kippur.” Baghdad obviously, because of the green and red zones; Berkeley, because of all the people he saw smoking marijuana; Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement because the streets, normally busy, were deserted except for walkers and bicycle riders.

I have not an ounce of sympathy for the rioters, and believe they deserve all the punishment they may get. But I think it is insulting to Jews to imply we are all “terrified.” Individuals may indeed be; my wife and daughter, for instance, are not unhappy with the security response. But to imply we all are is false.

Letter | Not all D.C. Jews are ‘terrified’

President Trump and the events of Jan. 6 and their aftermath are indeed traumatic for our country, but it doesn’t follow that we are individually traumatized, much less terrified as Jews. I have been counting off the hours left until Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s departure, and we’re almost there. With or without fanfare, protests, or the National Guard, Wednesday’s most important event will still proceed: Trump’s exit from the White House.

Paul Scham
Washington, D.C.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.


Letter | Not all D.C. Jews are ‘terrified’

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Letter | Not all D.C. Jews are ‘terrified’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!