Sunday, June 21, 2015

Most Ridiculous Moment - June 21, 2015

It was an unusual day on the Sunday talk shows, where, depending on your perspective, it was a day of heat-warming stories of forgiveness and reconciliation, 
or of the aftermath of a racist terror attack 
on the American homeland.

White people wanted to talk about forgiveness, and how the victims' families 
can be an example to us all, in this age 
of bickering politics.

Martha Raddatz began by saying “the family members' words riveted the entire nation when they expressed their forgiveness” and “It was such a stunning moment to hear people talk about forgiveness.”

Family members, however pointed out “Forgiveness, for me, will come in time.” and “it does not negate the fact that we are angry and that we are hurt and wounded and that we're seeking justice,” and “People are always excited to hear someone say I forgive” but that people must also acknowledge the hurt and the grievance brought against the marginalized and oppressed.

One guest pointed out that Senator Pinckney will lie in state thirty yards away from where the Confederate flag flies on state grounds, and argued that the flag “gave this shooter and others like him, a banner under which to justify their actions.”

The white mayor of Charleston said, “I saw was something very heartwarming, it was a mixed race audience, black and white, 
singing and praying together.”

Jelani Cobb saw an act of terror said the killer is “part of a lineage and part of a tradition that is deeply rooted in American history.”

Martha Raddatz asked “But what about young African Americans? What should they be doing?” Charlayne Hunter-Gault answered 
all people, including white people, need to 
look at our history.

Raddatz also talked to Rick Santorum, who called the murders terrorism, but really wanted to talk about something else. On how to stop such terror attacks, he wants to put the bond hearing on videotape and play it, “showing true forgiveness,”and 
“being able to forgive.”

On the confederate flag, he said the 
important thing is not politicizing it.

A GOP strategist said “it's important to remind folks this was somewhat settled in 2000 when this flag was moved to the grounds of the Capitol.”

We were further reminded “we need to learn from these families and we need to learn from these victims” and “we can all learn 
a lot from the way that this community has
handled itself in the way of aftermath of just horrific hate.”

It was the same on Meet The Press, with Chuck Todd opening the show saying “Ron, tell me about the scene out there on this what looks like a very nice, sunny Sunday morning,” and Ron Allen replying “It is, Chuck. But it's also a very emotional time, a very disturbing time, a very powerful moment.”
Todd interviewed the families, asking them leading questions such as:

"Hate won't win." Why was it important to you to send that message in court last week?” and “What do you think he would say to you if he were here to sort of bring the community together?” and “Alana, a lot of people want to use this incident to have a bigger conversation to try to do something,” and “your family is quite an example for all of us in this country. Reconciliation, forgiveness” and, saying, on their example of reconciliation “But perhaps if this is what comes out of it, maybe we're a better society for it.”

Congressman James Clyburn was not feeling so happy. Clyburn said he is worried about about “a rightward drift in the country that I think has gone too far. And people are getting emboldened by all of this.”

When Todd tried to blame him for the confederate flag flying on the Capitol grounds, Clyburn would not have it, 
responding, “No sir!”

Likewise, Eugene Robinson did not mince words, calling the flag, “a middle finger directed at the federal government. It was flown there as a symbol of massive resistance to racial desegregation. Period.” Helene Cooper observed “When I see that battle flag, for me it's a symbol of hatred.”

David Brooks felt the real news story of the week was “that forgiveness,” which is “an example to the rest of us,” especially 
“all of us who are in politics with these 
little petty feuds.”

Gerald Seib said “We could be talking about how wonderful Charleston has been. Or we could be talking about the flag. We're talking about the flag.”

When Todd tried to argue President Obama won't talk about race, Robinson corrected him, and Todd quickly admitted was right.

Mike Huckabee saw “people of all races, Democrats, Republicans from every perspective hugging, praying. Nobody was burning down their community. They weren't breaking windows. They weren't beating up on cops.” He too loves the forgiveness, saying “Americans stand back in awe and maybe would understand that it is precisely faith that would help this country have true racial reconciliation.”

But the most absurd moments came when Chuck Todd played a video of only African-Americans in prison for gun crimes, imploring viewers “We simply ask you to look at this as a colorblind issue, as about just simply gun violence.”

He then turned to David Brooks as an expert on character, who said they “don't have an education,” “don't have jobs,” and “don't have privilege.” Gene Robinson was visibly and vocally annoyed, pointing out “Right now, we're talking about a horrific crime committed by a white man.”

The whole incident was so embarrassing Todd was forced to address it later in a statement, and during the show, saying this was an instance “where everybody's only seeing things through black and white.”

So, like Stephen Colbert, Chuck Todd can't see color. People tell him he's white and he believes them because he has an orange goatee and a national talk show.

We need to be in an endless state of war and panic over international terrorists, but forgive and reconcile with domestic racial terrorists. And on a day of remembrance of a racist mass murder of African-Americans, Meet The Press shows a video of only black men in prison – but if you notice, you're the problem, seeing things through black and white.

And that's the most ridiculous thing that happened this Sunday.