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January 19, 2021
Photo by Rich Vintage/Getty Images

The Cossacks came for me this week.

Well, they came because of something nice. That’s my Leo moon, trying to look on the bright side.

The nice thing being that our recording of the country-classic “Blue Kentucky Girl” got picked up by Bluegrass Today.

Because of this nice thing, the Cossacks came in a count-down of 3-2-1.

“Perhaps she should stick to Hava Nagilah.”

I blinked at my screen, and breathed. The commenter’s user name was Missouri Red.

“This will show her!” I imagined him thinking, “Get it? Hava Nagilah? THAT will put her in her place. Jews will not replace us!”

His comment was liked by another guy. Hailing from someplace in Missouri. The other America. (Never read the comments.)

I know trolls are a sign of visibility.

He wanted to make me feel I do not belong in that musical world.

But the thing is, this music belongs to me as much as him.

I will not lie.

I will not say it did not hurt.

But I breathed some more and thought of what Dolly Parton or Willie Nelson or Johnny Cash would say.

I tried to remember that 1.) trolls are the price of visibility and they’ll latch on to literally anything 2.) there is an 80 percent chance this is a sad guy in his mom’s basement, red-hot mad that the Good Lord made him two inches tall and who has literally never met a Jewish person in their lives.

And I remembered that this is likely something my black singer colleagues deal with in the opera world a lot. This whole you-don’t-belong-here vibe.

And it’s incredible that this needs saying and I’m going to say it anyway.

Everyone belongs everywhere they bring integrity, talent, and heart.

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