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Walking Through Samaria

Dec 2, 2020

Meet Batya Ungar-Sargon. She is the opinion editor of The Forward, a newspaper published out of New York City that is one of the most influential Jewish media outlets in the nation. In a short time, she has transformed its opinion pages into a space of radical diversity, publishing conversation-driving articles on a range of topics.

Just don’t try telling this Class of 2021 Civil Society Fellowship fellow how divided the country is, because she’s not buying it. A cause near and dear to her heart is “dispelling the illusion that we’re polarized. Our politicians are polarized because they get power out of being polarized. The media [are] polarized because [they] get money out of being polarized, but Americans are not.”

It takes effort because we are conditioned to think the worst. “When you see something about people you disagree with, that really fits the worst thing you were ready to think about them, take a minute and do a little research before arriving at your conclusion or allowing it to add to your confirmation bias,” she says. “Take a minute to see if there’s a way to give them the benefit of the doubt.”