“We need to stop playing to the crowd,” Bari Weiss says. “We need to stop the mindless loyalty to our tribe. And we need to stop being silent at the expense of being honest, because it’s coming at great cost. Not just to people like Majdi, but to the American project itself.”
Weiss is a former New York Times and Wall Street Journal journalist. Majdi Wadi is an immigrant and successful business owner. Both have stared the cancel mob in the face—and both are stronger, although certainly not unscathed. They recorded the first episode of Weiss’s new podcast, entitled “Honestly,” to discuss America’s cultural revolution and what we can do to fight it.
Weiss made headlines last summer when she resigned from The New York Times. Weiss published a scathing resignation letter, in which she lamented that “Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor.”
Weiss has not left the conversation with her prestigious job. “The most interesting conversations in American life now happen in private,” Weiss asserts. “[My new podcast] is bringing them out of the closet.”
The first story Weiss chooses to bring “out of the closet” is the story of her friend, Wadi. He and his family business, Weiss says, are “like a walking advertisement for the American dream.” Wadi is a Palestinian who was born and raised in Kuwait, where he and his family weren’t even treated as second-class citizens, but as “third or fourth-class citizens,” he said.
America was their shining city on the hill, the only place where they dreamed they could make a home and thrive. And that’s exactly what they did.
Starting in the early ’90s, Wadi’s family turned a Mediterranean business in Minneapolis, Minnesota into an enterprise of almost 200 employees, complete with a supermarket, restaurant, hummus factory, bakery, and catering business. They named it Holy Land, to signify that all are welcome, irrespective of their religion.
Holy Land employs Americans from all different backgrounds. Unlike ethnic restaurants that mainly provide for those already familiar with their cuisine and culture, Holy Land
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