Hardly spoiled for friends, I recently dropped contact with a colleague whom I liked and admired after he told me that he believed the US should invade Iran. I overheard another friend, this one Jewish, proudly announce that she would never share a taxi with an Arab. That was six years ago. I haven’t spoken to her since.
I don’t view these acts with any sense of pride. I know, logically, that there must be good arguments for these individuals’ strongly held points of view, but when I think about assessing them carefully and fairly, I feel incapable. I don’t fully understand this reaction. It is as if I am too angry, too weak to bear the challenge of it. And there is a fear there too, lying secretly among all the bluster: what if they’re right? What if the truth alters me; fractures something essential?