A Week From Hell, by Charles Blow – The New York Times

“This was yet another week that tore at the very fiber of our nation.After two videos emerged showing the gruesome killings of two black men by police officers, one in Baton Rouge, La., and the other in Falcon Heights, Minn., a black man shot and killed five officers in a cowardly ambush at an otherwise peaceful protest and wounded nine more people. The Dallas police chief, David O. Brown, said, “He was upset about Black Lives Matter” and “about the recent police shootings” and “was upset at white people” and “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”

We seem caught in a cycle of escalating atrocities without an easy way out, without enough clear voices of calm, without tools for reduction, without resolutions that will satisfy.There is so much loss and pain. There are so many families whose hearts hurt for a loved one needlessly taken, never to be embraced again.There is so much disintegrating trust, so much animosity stirring.So many — too many — Americans now seem to be living with an ambient terror that someone is somehow targeting them.Friday morning, after the Dallas shootings, my college student daughter entered my room before heading out to her summer job. She hugged me and said: “Dad, I’m scared. Are you scared?” We talked about what had happened in the preceding days, and I tried to allay her fears and soothe her anxiety.

How does a father answer such a question? I’m still not sure I got it precisely right.Truth is, I am afraid. Not so much for my own safety, which is what my daughter was fretting about, but more for the country I love.”

Source: A Week From Hell – The New York Times

Here is a comment from the NYT which I support:

Socrates

is a trusted commenter Downtown Verona, NJ 6 hours ago

“In a deeply perverted and ugly American way, a gun is a form of expression or speech.

As opposed to civilized forms of expression or speech – intellectual discourse, art, talking things through, music, sport, living a life in quiet peace – a gun is a way to express your self in a threatening, physical, menacing, bloody, violent and fatal way.

America is a country where one political party – the same party that pretends to be a ‘law and order’ party – promotes the near unrestricted access of guns as a form of holy American expression, thereby producing a nation drowning in over 300 million guns, a number so extreme and deranged that it has literally produced a nation’s police force afraid of its own streets and citizens…while arming almost every angry young male with weapons of mass destruction.

Racism aside, which still remains as America’s very real and unrecognized national hood ornament, America is not really a land of law and order anymore specifically because 300 million civilian guns in circulation has created a complete and terrifying daily gun anarchy and metastatic single-cell terrorism complex nationwide.

In 2008, the United States had over 12,000 gun-related homicides.

That same year, Japan had only 11 gun murders – less than half as many killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

America has chosen – by virtue of its right-wing – to create a national shooting gallery out of its country.

‘Guns Over People’ has issued a national death wish to all Americans.”

I posted this piece to Facebook, and wrote:  Here is a piece that is amazing, as are the comments. One commenter writes that she thinks this is Charles Blow’s finest column ever. I reprinted one on gun violence and gun control. I differ with Blow, that this series of tragedies is so emotional, than one can not discuss gun violence and control now, and mention the idiocy of having 300 million guns in the hands of our populace. Perhaps he is right, though. Now is a moment to discuss deeper issues of the human soul and condition, as relating to US society and its dark history of slavery and racism.

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Politics: All in My Family – by Charles Blow,The New York Times

I propose that Hillary Clinton was attacked repeatedly and unfairly in the past for her politics and her gender, much the way Barack Obama has been attacked repeatedly and unfairly because of his race and his politics. I was reading the newspapers and news magazines back when Hillary was first pilloried. The stories never came to anything. They always had the fingerprints of right wing ideologues behind the allegations. It is sad to hear Mr. Blow write that just the shear number of smear campaigns suggests that there must have been malpractice on her part. That suggests that the number of insults to President Obama suggest that there must be some truth to all the ridiculous and racists attempts to insult, diminish this great president, and to stop his success even at the cost of hurting the country.

“First, they are unimpressed by the Republican candidates for president, and are even afraid of some. That means that our discussions can be narrowly focused on the Democratic race.They like Bernie Sanders and don’t fully trust Hillary Clinton, though they don’t believe Sanders is electable and would therefore “settle for” Clinton in that case, as my youngest son put it.They view Sanders as the more “authentic” (that word kept coming up) and consistent of the two, and the one with whom they have the most ideological agreement, even though they generally believed that his positions would most likely be impossible to implement.”

Source: Politics: All in My Family – The New York Times

Stop Bernie- Splaining to Black Voters, by Charles Blow, – The New York Times

“I cannot tell you the number of people who have commented to me on social media that they don’t understand this support. “Don’t black folks understand that Bernie best represents their interests?” the argument generally goes. But from there, it can lead to a comparison between Sanders and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; to an assertion that Sanders is the Barack Obama that we really wanted and needed; to an exasperated “black people are voting against their interests” stance.If only black people knew more, understood better, where the candidates stood — now and over their lifetimes — they would make a better choice, the right choice. The level of condescension in these comments is staggering.”

Source: Stop Bernie-Splaining to Black Voters – The New York Times

White America’s ‘Broken Heart’ – By Charles Blow, The New York Times

“On Sunday, at the Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines, former President Bill Clinton, looking frail and sounding faint, stumped for his wife, working through her qualifications with a husband’s devotion and a Svengali’s facility.But one thing he said stood out to me for its clear rhetorical framing.He attributed much of the anger that’s present in the electorate to anxiety over a changing demographic profile of the country, but then said: We are going to share the future. The only question is: What will be the terms of the sharing?”

Source: White America’s ‘Broken Heart’ – The New York Times