Where are we? | Editorial | Indy Week
Pin It

Where are we? 

Listening to the news this MLK weekend, it was hard not to wonder if you were in another time, another country.

There was the sentencing of Spc. Charles Graner Jr., convicted of assault, conspiracy, maltreatment of detainees, committing indecent acts and dereliction of duty at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison. It wasn't until after he was convicted that Graner was given the chance to say he was following orders.

There was the confirmation hearing for President Bush's choice for attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez. When he was White House counsel, Gonzalez used back channels to request a legal opinion that concluded President Bush could get around U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions against torture in the name of national security.

There was the revelation about conservative columnist and TV commentator Armstrong Williams, who received $240,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to promote the Bush administration's No Child Left Behind policy. Williams says he has "no doubt" there are other commentators being paid to pass along administration propaganda, and "this happens all the time."

And there was The New York Times' scoop Sunday about employees of the Social Security Administration questioning use of the agency's trust fund to promote Bush's plan to privatize part of the program. They say the administration's dire predictions about its future are exaggerated.

Torture approved at the top. Journalists passing surreptitious government propaganda. Bureaucrats forced to support statements they know aren't true. Where are we again?

It's lucky the King holiday comes so close to President Bush's second inauguration. It's a time to be reminded that, in other times and other places, we've faced evils before and defeated them. I started the weekend at a documentary and panel discussion on the Greensboro sit-ins of 1960. It began with four college students who decided they'd had enough and set off a chain of protests none of them could have imagined. I ended the weekend listening to Angela Davis tell us we are pursuing war and imperialism abroad in the name of freedom and democracy, and that they're inextricably linked to injustice and racism at home. But, she said, there is no time or place where resistance isn't possible.

I heard another newscast over the weekend about senior citizens in St. Petersburg protesting cuts in health care. I was heartened--until I realized they were in Russia, not Florida. So, as we ready for four more years of a Bush presidency, let's follow the lead of Davis, Dr. King, the Greensboro protesters and those old folks in Russia. It is incumbent on all of us to take whatever actions we can to feel at home once again in the United States of America.

More by Richard Hart

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Editorial



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Fresh ideas are essential to progressive journalism - Bravo to the new team - it feels like the old Indy …

by Bonnie Hauser on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

Good luck to Skillet and Grayson! I've enjoyed their work for years and will miss them in these pages. …

by john i on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

TERRIBLE thin grey print font;

Change from legible to practically illegible;
tried several times to read articles …

by Chris Tiffany on A Quick Note on Our New Print Redesign (Editorial)

"McCrory has taken our state out of millions of dollars in debt and brought us a 400 million dollar surplus …

by vocalocal on Why we're suing Pat McCrory (Editorial)

McCrory has taken our state out of millions of dollars in debt and brought us a 400 million dollar surplus …

by beaconoftruth on Why we're suing Pat McCrory (Editorial)

Comments

Fresh ideas are essential to progressive journalism - Bravo to the new team - it feels like the old Indy …

by Bonnie Hauser on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

Good luck to Skillet and Grayson! I've enjoyed their work for years and will miss them in these pages. …

by john i on A Brief Note on the Indy's Recent Personnel Changes (Editorial)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation