Letter: Ashamed on PI’s behalf
Fremdschämen is a useful German word with no direct translation into English, but which can roughly be understood as “to be embarrassed or ashamed on behalf of someone else.”
This word came to mind as I experienced visceral, vicarious embarrassment for the publisher and editorial staff at the Post Independent while reading Alex Beinstein’s thinly veiled white supremacist opinion piece, “In Defense of Anglo Culture,” published by the newspaper on Dec. 4. How embarrassing for the editorial staff to have failed to undertake pre-publication validation of the dubious historical factoids and unsupported claims made by the author. How embarrassing for the editorial staff to have so easily undermined the legitimacy of the Post Independent by choosing to run a piece of racial-baiting propaganda. How embarrassing for the editorial staff, for whatever misguided reasons, to have given a platform to the alt-right white-supremacist movement that currently threatens our democracy, and in doing so, to have brought the validity of their own publication into question.
How embarrassing for you.