In the aftermath of the killings in San Bernardino, Calif., the nation has retreated to the corners we regularly inhabit. The political fighting that’s underway is exactly the same as what we’d expect. The stories in the media are exactly the stories we’ve come to expect. We choose sides reflexively.
I was struck today by the picture on the front page of the local newspaper. It was the boyfriend of one of the people killed, sobbing after learning his boyfriend was dead. Not long ago, the last thing that would appear on the front page of a newspaper to define a story like this is a gay man mourning a lost love.
We’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Our individual journeys are the threads that define us collectively.
The usual debates aren’t without merit. Nonetheless, there’s a message for us somewhere in the pictures of the people who died, if we can just stop long enough to notice it.
They were gay. They were straight. They were white. They were black. They were Asian. They were old. They were young. They were immigrants escaping persecution. They were born here.
Their images mirrored the faces at vigils last night where strangers left the comfort of their corners to mourn them.
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started several blogs, and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.
NewsCut is a blog featuring observations about the news. It provides a forum for an online discussion and debate about events that might not typically make the front page. NewsCut posts are not news stories.