Before the weekend is through, I take a look back at the week that was, at least as seen through my Twitter feed. It has context, perspective, and yes, even a little “shade.”
For most, (your narrator included), Friday is a welcomed sight —a day met with exclamations of relief, “Thank God it’s Friday.” That is decidedly not the case for a certain U.S. Representative (think Florida’s First Congressional District). The scandal and ethical violations are of a nature that I wish not to repeat them in front of polite company. But suffice to say, if this is how the “party of family values” behaves, tell your family to run for the hills.
The definition of not a good day? When your old buddy strikes a plea deal with you as the target.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 15, 2021
With an arm’s length away from the latest development in Gaetz-Gate, Saturday brought a lift to the spirits. Some people are huggers, some are not. (Consider me part of the former). But something we all should be is vaccinated. It means hugging season in back in gear - all thanks to a hearty cheer, repeated often, loudly, and proudly: “Yay, Science!”
I hug, therefore I am. Thank you vaccines. Thank you science. Thank you humanity.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 16, 2021
One place I loved gathering with others in the pre-pandemic times was to cheer on my adopted home team, the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden with some combination of my son, grandson, and friends. The team then was usually hapless —our attendance was focused on a journey of camaraderie and not the destination of winning. So Sunday brought a rather unusual feeling at the end of an NBA season: delight and amazement. The Knickerbockers are in the postseason for the first time in 8 years. I’ll have to reacquaint myself with playoff basketball. Strictly as a spectator, though. The only dunking I do these days is reserved for certain individuals on Twitter :)
As a @nyknicks fan, I sort of had forgotten there was such a thing as the playoffs. Let alone the concept of a 4 seed.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 17, 2021
Good news continued into Monday. If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we are deeply connected and our actions have impact that can ripple out to affect lives globally. We have seen an amazing rollout of the vaccine in the United States. Excuse the sentiment if you must, but when it comes to life-saving medicine “sharing is caring.” If we want to conquer this disease we have to do it worldwide.
A hopeful development. The world needs to have vaccines, and the United States can and should lead. https://t.co/KckUI8Kcri— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 17, 2021
I like to use Twitter to share images that remind us of the beauty and awe of nature. But Tuesday brought us a story in picture of a very different sort. It comes from the Galapagos made famous by Charles Darwin. The British scientist had a natural arch of stone named after him that was a sight to behold. Sadly the forces of nature that created it also took it away. Like the song says, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”
What was once a spectacular sight of nature, now a moment in time... and memory https://t.co/uJkEKCJZg5— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 19, 2021
An overarching theme for Wednesday was the truth. More specifically our country’s relationship to the truth. Do we know what it is? Do we care to find out? Two news stories that day seemed to present opposite ends of a spectrum: concealing the truth and uncovering the truth.
The majority of the GOP, following the lead of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, had come out against a January 6 Commission. They effectively turned away from the truth of what happened that fateful day. (For those who need to check their notes: an insurrectionist mob stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow a fair election.)
Party over country.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 19, 2021
But Capitol Hill also saw a scene of courage on Wednesday. Three survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis and Lessie Benningfield Randle) shared their experience and eyewitness account. The Greenwood neighborhood was a thriving Black community in Tulsa until a white mob descended, killing hundreds of Black people, destroying businesses, churches, schools, and a hospital —even dropping bombs from airplanes. For far too long, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre has long been overlooked in history books —often a footnote if covered at all. However, the centennial anniversary of the horrific event has brought new awareness, shedding light on a dark moment of our past.
A must-read. https://t.co/CZvfBx2i7S— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 19, 2021
One of the joys of Twitter and social media is being introduced to new topics and material. Thursday’s gem was the the smooth stylings of Kings Return. I’ve shared their sweet harmonies before. Take a listen and give your ears a treat.
We couldn’t help but do our own version of this fun song by The Backyardagains called “Castaways” ☺️🎶 pic.twitter.com/VV6zIorUKS— Kings Return (@realkingsreturn) May 21, 2021
Another positive corner of Twitter is made possible because of all of you. When I sent out the word that I wanted to celebrate the Class of 2021, I thought there would be a fair number of responses but I couldn’t have predicted the overwhelming surge of stories, achievements, pride, and love. (If you haven’t already, join the conversation here). Tomorrow, for our Sunday Essay, I will share my own attempt at a commencement address. Look out for it in your inbox or on our Steady website and feel free to share with a graduate in your life.
Well that’s a walk through some of the week as I saw it. Have a great weekend.