Skip to content

America in Crisis

Oliver Darcy, writing in this morning’s Reliable Sources newsletter:

What do you write on a day like this? How can the day be neatly summed up in a string of sentences and paragraphs? How can the pain, agony, frustration, and fear felt by so many across the country be properly conveyed? Is it even possible?

I’m not sure.

I’m not sure how one conveys the emotions felt by a country that has watched, yet again, an unarmed black man die in police custody. How one conveys what it feels like to see major American cities set ablaze, or protesters clashing with Secret Service outside the White House. How one conveys a President of the United States who, instead of offering words aimed at consoling a nation, chooses to instead pour gasoline on the fire and turn the temperature up.

Imagine if you transported a recording of the news from Friday, May 29, 2020, back in time. Imagine showing people the state of America: With unrest spreading across the country, with a pandemic claiming the lives of more than 100,000 Americans, with 40 million out of work. Imagine explaining to people that a CNN crew was arrested live on-air for covering a protest, despite doing nothing wrong. Or that Twitter had to actually apply a warning label on the tweets from the President and White House for glorifying violence.

What would we think if we saw the events unfolding in America unfold in another country? “This country has been slowly unraveling for two decades; the acceleration in real time is terrifying to behold,” tweeted Tim Alberta. It’s hard to disagree.