Everything is not going to be okay

It’s been a while since I dusted off this old blog, but the material seems appropriate. A friend sent me the following message about a Peggy Noonan op-ed titled “Two Miracles in Charleston”; my response is below.

your thoughts on the matter? Usually not Peggy Noonan’s biggest fan, but in this case, she gets at something.


I encountered this piece when it was published, and frankly, I think it’s Noonan at her most insidious.

This is Noonan telling her wealthy readership not to worry much about racial conflict, because everything is going to be okay.

The subtext of her vocal admiration of the families’ offers of forgiveness is: Shouldn’t all black people react to racial violence this way? Why do they have to go protest and riot and generally make trouble?

She’s pleased with the removal of the symbolic flag from the state capitol yet unconcerned, evidently, with the systemic discrimination the flag represents–even quoting [Gov. Nikki] Haley saying: “We do not need to declare a winner and a loser here. We respect freedom of expression, and that for those who wish to show their respect for the flag on their private property, no one will stand in your way.”

She fails to note the sick irony that, practically at the same moment that the victims’ families were offering forgiveness, Haley was on the steps of the capitol calling for the death penalty. How’s that for Christian?

No, Peggy, everything is not going to be okay, and giving the Nobel Peace Prize to these Christian families will not usher an era of calm and orderly reform. In fact, you are the very reason we need disorderly and aggressive protest–because you are incapable of opening your ears until you experience fear.

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