Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:43 PM
It’s a fine day. I just finished hearing Obama’s dedication address at the opening of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture on C-SPAN. Stirring, inspiring, as always—isn’t that strange? Our president’s default setting is ‘stirring, inspiring’—I don’t think he can give a speech without sending a thrill through his listeners. Very strange. The combination of ‘president’ and ‘cool’ is almost overwhelming.
And Stevie Wonder sang and Patti LaBell sang—it was an eye-tearing, joyous celebration. When President Obama finished speaking, he introduced a family of four generations—a 99-year-old woman, daughter of a slave, her son, his son, and that man’s little daughter—and they rang a bell from the first African-American church, in Virginia, which was echoed by bells all across the country—a further echo of the bells rung all across the nation to celebrate Emancipation, a century and a half ago.
I love it when I can spend a day being proud and loving this country, for what it has done, for what it is, and for what it will become. And the sun is shining. And a gentle breeze is blowing. Life is too good.
The New York Times came out with an endorsement of Hillary Clinton today. I was pleased to read it—it said much of what I’ve tried to say in my blog posts (but better, because, let’s face it, it’s the Times). And I started to think about how the conservatives rail against the media as a bunch of lying propagandists. It’s not true. I’ve never been lied to by the New York Times—they may not always be perfect, but they do not have an agenda, per se, beyond journalism itself. Neither do many of our media staples.
The social media, guerilla journalism, and cable news—those people are new to journalism as an idea—they have it confused with show business, with capitalism, or with political gamesmanship. You can indulge in that stuff, if you don’t mind having to fact-check everything they tell you. But the Gray Lady, the Washington Post, and other traditional sources are no more biased than they were in the days before Tweeting. Anyone dismissing their reporting as ‘spin’ is trying to hide from the truth, not reveal it.
In the same way, the authorities in Charlotte, NC have claimed that the video from body-cams and dash-cams is inconclusive, yet still feel the need to hide the video from the public, even after the family of the murdered man requested its release. This is not transparency—when you hide something, it says you have something to hide—it’s as simple as that. The Charlotte community marches night after night, demanding this evidence be made public—yet still the authoritarians hide the evidence. Release the videos.
It’s a fine day for me—but not for everyone. There is still work to be done.