On Jan. 4 I said I’d written a one-year-later piece on Trump and my decision to start wearing a kippah every day. It has been published. Here’s a bit of it:
In November of 2016, a few days after the election of Donald Trump, I found myself reading story after story about hate crimes, especially against visible religious minorities, perpetrated by bigots emboldened by the hateful rhetoric of the presidential campaign.
My response, after a lifelong aversion to wearing a kippah, was to start wearing a kippah.
Here’s how I explained the decision in a J. column at the time: “I’m going to wear this visible symbol of my Jewishness all day, every day, for the foreseeable future. I’m not wearing it to remind myself that God is above me, one of the explanations for the custom. This isn’t about God. It’s about this: Since the surprise of Election Day, members of the alt-right, white nationalist groups and racists, misogynists, Islamophobes, homophobes, ableists (against the disabled) and, of course, anti-Semites of every stripe have been emboldened. As a Jew, I want the bigots and their victims alike to know that I stand with the outsiders.”
I called on other white Jews to join me and the dozen other Jews who told me they had begun wearing a kippah for roughly the same reasons: “Be a Jew. Show the world you’re a Jew. Show our fellow minorities that we are with them, that we are in this together.”
One year in, this daily practice has been a wakeup call for me in how I move in the world as a white Jew, and has changed my capacity for empathy with more visible minorities — including Jews of color. (I can take off my kippah, but they can’t change their skin color.)
The reactions have been varied.
Read the full piece over here at J.