Diversity and the Declaration of Independence

Michael Noble Jr. | AP

For reasons that vary, NPR’s annual tradition of reading aloud the Declaration of Independence seemed to carry more impact today than the rote recitation of recent years.

Each journalist takes a section in the annual production, which is enhanced, I think, if you quickly browse the accompanying website, which has pictures of all the radio folks doing the reading.

It’s rather breathtaking, not unlike the impact of downtown St. Paul’s skyway art installation, “Home.”

Our diversity is a national strength dressed up as a weakness these days.

“Sometimes this nation takes a step forward just when it seems to be stepping back,” Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep said.

Some Americans joined the fight for freedom to preserve their freedom to own other people, he said, citing recent scholarly research.

Sometimes this country gets things right by getting it wrong, which requires a frightening amount of luck.

“If only they knew where their words would lead,” host Rachel Martin said of the people who drafted the document.

Last year, NPR tweeted the Declaration of Independence, causing a tremendous pushback for its treasonous tweets.