“I know you’re asking today, how long will it take?”
Thus spake Martin Luther King Jr. at the end of the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march. He went on to assure his soul-weary people that the moment of their deliverance was just a little ways down the road.
“However difficult the moment,” he said, “however frustrating the ...Read more
Always before, there have been words. Always before, someone crafted them with writerly skill and gave them to the president to give to us. Always, before.
When seven people died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, President Ronald Reagan spoke of how, just that morning, they “waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of Earth’ to ‘...Read more
Dear Mitch McConnell:
Why don't you just go ahead and call Barack Obama the n-word?
You know you want to. It'd probably do wonders for your blood pressure. And it would free you from the tiresome charade of using coded language to say the same thing. It would also free the rest of us from having to listen.
Your latest vomitous spew came last ...Read more
Eighteen-year-old Dameon Shepard was playing video games when the mob came to his door. Some were carrying guns.
It must've felt like one of those old westerns where the sheriff faces down angry townsfolk demanding the blood of the desperado inside his jail. Or, given that Shepard is black and the more than 15 people at his door were white, it ...Read more
That video broke my heart. If you've seen it, you need no further explanation. You know exactly what video I'm talking about and why it shattered me. If you haven't, be advised that the clip in question depicts the last seconds in the life of Ahmaud Arbery. He was just 25, a young man out jogging on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Glynn County, ...Read more
We're all in this thing together.
Or so we are told by celebrities, politicians and every third TV commercial. It's the lullaby with which America soothes itself every time these shores are attacked. That's why Monday, Dec. 8, 1941, saw long lines at military recruiting offices and millions of dollars pouring in to the ...Read more
"Tomorrow, robins will sing."
"Tomorrow there'll be sunshine, and all this darkness past."
"Hurry, tomorrow. Tomorrow, I need you now."
In other words, tomorrow is the place where things will get better. Tomorrow is where everything turns out all right. It is in America's national character ...Read more
Dear Donald Trump:
Man, I have to admit it. You really got me good.
When you looked straight at Dr. Deborah Birx last week and started musing how people might be able to cure COVID-19 by exposure to ultraviolet light or injecting household disinfectants, I thought you were serious. I said to myself: "Wow, Donald Trump just seriously suggested ...Read more
Someday, I'm going to die.
This, I grudgingly accept. I have no idea how it's going to happen. Maybe I will die of having a tree fall on me, of eating tainted shellfish, or of being struck by lightning. But this much I guarantee. I will not die of having wagered my life that TV carnival barkers, political halfwits and goobers in MAGA hats know ...Read more
On a cold day in April 155 years ago, a Union Army general sought to cheer his defeated Confederate counterpart. With the war over, he said, "Brave men may become good friends."
"You are mistaken, sir," the other man said. "There is a rancor in our hearts which you little dream of. We hate you, sir."
Maybe it began then, in the resentment of ...Read more
"Say it ain't so, Joe!"
Surely, some variation of that plea rose from a million lips last week. And Joe Biden complied. His presidential campaign forcefully denied the account of a California woman who says Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked in his Senate office. As reported by The Washington Post and The New York Times, Tara ...Read more
Consider this, with apologies to Jonathan Swift, a modest proposal. Or call it -- apologies to Charles Dickens -- a tale of two cities.
We begin in 2000 as Napster, a service that allowed music lovers to receive music without paying -- i.e., to steal it -- is meeting its Waterloo. Sued into submission by the music industry, it has agreed to ...Read more
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" -- John 3:16
So one day, the skies crack open and a deluge falls upon this small town. Soon, the waters rise, and the streets become impassable. And this preacher kneels on the front steps of his church and prays ...Read more
This is for every American of Asian heritage, but one in particular.
That would be Andrew Yang, the former Democratic candidate for president. Last week, with surely the best intentions, he gave Asian Americans the absolute worst advice imaginable. Indeed, advice so bad as to be painful.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Yang recounted how ...Read more
Al Green was famously "tired of being alone." Me, I'm great at it.
As an introvert, I can happily spend hours in my own company, behind my own walls. So I figured this period of quarantine would be much easier for me than for many of you. And I was mostly right.
Wednesday, as all us nerds know, is the day new comic books come...Read more
My editor groaned when I told her the subject of this column. In a moment, you'll be groaning, too.
Last week in this space, I opined upon "the quiet death of an Italian priest." Giuseppe Berardelli was 72 and died of the novel coronavirus. This happened, I reported, after he gave away his respirator, which had been bought for him by his ...Read more
"We have it totally under control. It's going to be just fine."
Donald Trump, Jan. 22, 2020
"One day -- it's like a miracle -- it will disappear."
Donald Trump, Feb. 27, 2020
"Anybody that wants a test can get a test."
Donald Trump, March 6, 2020
"No, I don't take responsibility at all."
A few words on the quiet death of an Italian priest.
His name was Father Giuseppe Berardelli, and he served in Casnigo, a small village not far from Milan. He was 72 and died in a hospital of the novel coronavirus.
This was on March 15, though reports are just now filtering out. Again, it was a quiet death. As such, it was ...Read more
Viruses do not carry passports.
Nor do they have birth certificates or other markers of citizenship. So the insistence of Donald Trump and other Republicans upon identifying the coronavirus that has sickened and killed people all over the world as a "Chinese virus" (as Trump has done on multiple occasions) or a "foreign virus," (as he did in ...Read more
Saturday night, I ordered takeout from my favorite Chinese place. I did this as a gesture of solidarity after hearing that people have been avoiding Chinese restaurants because of the coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China.
I also did it because I had a taste for egg foo young.
If my intended message was muddled by those mixed ...Read more