September 3, 2017

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Ordinary Americans lead the way on racial healing.

After the Charleston shooting, citizens of South Carolina, both black and white, joined hands, and more than 15,000 of them marched in a show of love and friendship. As columnist Salena Zito wrote, “They met in the middle; they wept, smiled, laughed, hugged, turned strangers into friends. Homemade signs with messages of outreach, love and solidarity flapped in the wind, as prayers and hymns filled the air. There wasn’t a major network or cable news channel, only local TV crews, rolling cameras to record America doing what it does best — opening its heart; the networks always seem to be on hand for looting or rioting.“

They do, indeed. But many people still noticed, even if the national agenda-setters were, as usual, more interested in spotlighting hate than love.

Today: In devastated Houston, ‘nobody hates anybody’ as people come together. “You hear nothing but bad press, you hear nothing but, you know, this group hates this group, and then you find out: nobody hates anybody. Everybody comes together.”

Why is the press so eager to convince us of the opposite?

UPDATE: A friend comments on Facebook: “It doesn’t take a disaster like Harvey to bring out the best in us; it takes a disaster like Harvey for the press to notice the everyday decency of most people.”