Joe Bidens election presaged a respite from Republican madness, but the administrations back-to-the-work-of-government ethic, capped by a historic infrastructure victory, collided with the Democratic Partys tango with political incoherence. Delta and omicron mocked the Great Reopening and provided COVID-19 with more victims and a seamless link between 2020 and 2022, while this years displays of racism, xenophobia, and cultural incompetence harked back to the days that some people thought were gone for good.
After a truck accident destroyed a pedestrian bridge in Far Northeast Washington, D.C., African American residents reminded their African American city leaders that the neighborhood was once home to a thriving Black community that was split in two during the Eisenhower administrations interstate highway construction, by the very expressway where the accident happeneda split that needs to be remedied in a place where real Washingtonians live.
The southeastern Pennsylvania city of Chester is on the front lines of the next great battle facing municipalities across the globe: local control of water. Area residents continue to fight the company and the state officials trying to privatize the Chester Water Authority.
Turnout for an off-year gubernatorial race was extraordinary: 75 percent of registered voters cast ballots, surpassing turnout in the 2020 presidential election. Terry McAuliffe got more votes than his successor Ralph Northam did four years earlier. Trouble was the Energizer Bunny of Virginia politics could not get the votes he needed to beat Republican Glenn Youngkin.
The United States learned precious little from the war in Vietnam, so military and political leaders repeated many of the same errors in Afghanistan. There was no draft this time, but the mistakes, from cultural incompetence to the messy withdrawal, have disturbing parallels to the earlier debacle.
The insurrectionists put a noose up on the Capitol lawn and stormed into the building bearing Confederate battle flags to rampage through the legislature of the worlds greatest democracy, as if theyd won the victory they lost 136 years ago. White people are, as James Baldwin wrote, still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it.
Three white men in Georgia lynched a Black jogger and were convicted of murder by a predominantly white jury. Nevertheless, African Americans know there will be more lynching victims for a simple reason: Behind white anger is fear.