Roxane Gay has long been one of my favorite writers. Her essays and short stories are typically stark and clear about dark, awful things. Making the ugly so crystal clear is a gift.
She also has a gift of humor, of sensitivity, but her ability to make us really see life's underbelly is primary.
Wow. And are we ever in an ugly time... willfully ignorant, indignantly racist, angry and loud, violent and unforgiving.
So, leave it to Dr. Gay to so vividly describe "the ugly truth about America." She does so in her periodic column in the New York Times, this one published Jan. 7, a day after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol during the counting of the electoral college votes.
I hope you'll read it introspectively.
It has been a relatively terrifying week.
My political affiliation is no secret. How I feel about the former reality TV host masquerading as president is pretty obvious. And, without question, an attempted coup during the certification of the electoral college votes was something that did not surprise me.
Stand back and stand by.
No surprises here, but a deep, perilous hole remains where any hope of civility once was.
Why? Because so many Americans refuse to face facts that they don't like. Because they have been led to believe falsehoods. Because they are intellectually soft and have been manipulated.
What makes us like that? This New York Times column by Katherine Stewart on the origins of Sen. Josh Hawley's rage answers that in large part. And, the answer is even more frightening that what we witnessed this week.
The Marshall Project is a fantastic nonprofit journalism organization that focuses on criminal justice.
You may recall a year ago, or so, I posted another TMP- co-produced piece, "An Unbelievable Story Rape," that it did with ProPublica. Netflix turned that story into a series that is worth watching, as well.
TMP has another masterpiece that is the best thing I've read this week, this one written by staff writer Eli Hager.
In this feature, which is also deftly put together in the digital format, Hager is able to weave the story of an individual family whose matriarch is murder into the complicated fabric of the patchwork quilt that is justice in America.
It includes searing details and successfully attempts to put the audience in the minds of so many different people -- criminals, victims, politicians. This is the perfect example of using anecdotes from personal accounts to paint the bigger picture.
I hope my students read it.
Molly Yanity, Ph.D.