Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Don’t Give Up Too Soon

by John Hodge
NWU Boston Steering Committee Member

It is so easy to get discouraged and give up too soon.

The last of several “letters to the editor” that I sent to The New York Times was in March of last year. None were published. I gave up and decided not to send them anymore.

Towards the end of this June I got an email from the NYT letters editor. She asked me to write something for NYT’s “Sunday Dialogue,” and requested that I propose some topics. I sent her three suggested topics; she picked one and we went from there.

On Wednesday, July 17, my letter appeared in print (and online the day before): “Invitation to a Dialogue: The Myth of ‘Race.'” Readers responded; the editor picked five of them to print and sent them to me for a reply. On Sunday, July 21, my letter, the five responses, and my reply appeared as “Sunday Dialogue: The Meaning of ‘Race.'”

Why had she contacted me? She said that she had set aside one of my letters after deciding not to publish it so she could consider inviting me to submit a letter for Sunday Dialogue. That means she set it aside well over a year ago. I had no idea.