This morning I watched Senate MAJORITY leader Chuck Schumer deny Senate MINORITY leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to affirm to spare the filibuster as part of a power-sharing deal, and trust me, it was hot. Like all all of the GOP, McConnell will continue to act like he’s running things until he’s not enabled anymore, and I’m so glad Schumer is such a tough New Yorker. The media–and all of us– need to metabolize the fact that these white supremacist cockocrats have been stripped of power instead of acting like PR people for them. AKA it’s time to stop explaining GOP outrageousness to ourselves or (worse) to them. I mean, if it helps you motivate, by all means. But my sense is deplatforming right-wing nonsense is healthier and more powerful. (The weak showing at the state capitol inauguration “protests” proved that.) We who are invested in a flourishing multiracial democracy and economy must keep our eyes on the prize and keep putting pressure on our elected officials to do the same. In the words of the hallowed sage Liz Lemon: “SHUT’EM DOWN.”
Martin Luther King Jr was a sooth-sayer above all else, and what drove him was love. But a clear-hearted love–empowering, not pandering. He embodied that Dr. Cornel West phrase: “Social justice is what love looks like in public,” and it says everything that he is the only 20th century leader whose birthday became a national holiday. Too, it says everything that even the most craven and evil members of the GOP pay lip service to his legacy (though they do not deserve to utter his name). In his work and in his words, Dr. King shone a light that has never been turned off–no, not even when he was brutally murdered by agents of the same American malignancy that’s boosted Donald Trump. It is the light of a different America–one that values the needs of all who value others’ humanity; one that values equality over entitlement. May we honor that light today and every day–not just in our words but in our daily labor for the first truly multiracial democracy in this country’s sordid history.
There’s a Patton Oswalt tweet making the rounds: This whole country is about to be Tom Hanks in the last scene of Captain Phillips.
For those who didn’t see it, Hanks plays a ship captain who ably protects his crew and passengers from Somalian pirates only to fall apart when they are finally safe. The movie is meh–even problematic in part–but Hanks’ breakdown is so thoroughly affecting that it validates the film’s overall existence. More than that, it haunts you. It isn’t just Hank’s extraordinary acting. It is the emotional accuracy. Continue Reading →