On Mr. B
It is, of course, purely a matter of taste, but there are people who tweet and then there are people who really tweet in an engaging way.
In this regard, Michael Benjamin is somebody we admire. He’s smart, sensitive and articulate, and he has a real contrarian streak, which we love.
There’s something else, too. We have to search for the right word to describe it. The word is … alacrity. Yeah, that’s it. What he writes really sparkles.
Who else does that today?
Our pols? Their tweets are an unending stream of self compliments. It’s like Jan Brady receiving flowers from her imaginary boyfriend. “Love always, signed, George Glass.”
The advocates? The world is always coming to an end for them, and their twitter feeds are megaphones for their shrieking.
The reporters? They tweet snarkiness, silliness, and snarky silliness. That, and exaggerated praise for each other’s work.
But with Mr. B – whether you like his politics or not – you have to respect the consistent thoughtfulness of his tweeting.
Today he tweeted something totally provocative for us. He wrote: “Man kills 9 black churchgoers, blame Confederate battle flag. Man kills SF woman, blame sanctuary law and gun culture. Myopic.”
The first part of this construct is something we’ve been thinking about for some time, but we didn’t have the gumption to write it. We were afraid we’d be perceived as insensitive and politically incorrect. But now that Mr. B has put it out there, let us opine.
It’s a cliché, but a crisis is, indeed, an opportunity. This is especially true of Charleston. Every decent human being who was sickened by the slaughter of people gathered for a prayer meeting would say: “We’ve got to do something.”
But what? Take down the Stars and Bars? Yes, we get the symbolism, but how will that help? Will Billy Bob and Bobby Ray and all those crackers in the South who are bigots be fazed? That’s doubtful.
Having said that, we really don’t have a workable alternative. Gun control in the South is a non-starter.
We aren’t off put by those behind the push to take down the flag. Not at all.
In fact, this was a situation that could have erupted into violence. People might have sought revenge and they would have been – again to be honest – justified in seeking it.
In fact, in every other country in the world when one religious site is attacked, another is hit in retribution. (One of our NT2 sons spent two tours in Iraq responding to such incidents.)
But the people leading this effort were better than that. They have sought “reconciliation” and it’s a beautiful thing indeed.
But we can’t help thinking about Mr. B’s construct. What, following a tragedy, is the long-sighted thing to do?