Over the past several years there has been a number of American history books that have taken up the task of providing the reading public with a grand narrative of who and what we are as Americans.
In 1997, I joined the production team of Charlie Rose’s popular interview show. I was the only black journalist on staff. At the time, there was little to no recognition of what it meant to be black and female in a workplace dominated by white men. Twenty years later, in this watershed moment of examination and reckoning as one powerful white man after another is disgraced following allegations of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault, we’re still not talking about the ramifications for black women—or the broader connection to structural racism in America.
Donald Trump’s unceasing media travesty brings to mind studies of societal collapse from Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History [he looked at 26 civilizations] through to Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and Ronald Wright’s book A Short History of Progress, which Quebec filmmaker Mathieu Roy and I adapted into the theatrical documentary Surviving Progress. Each of them identify as a primary cause of collapse – Wright calls them “progress traps” - the disastrous leadership of elites. They are shown to misgovern through ignorance, self–serving belief systems, and their growing insulation from the interests of the larger society.
Every day in America, approximately 91 people die of an opioid overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2000 to 2015, more than half a million Americans died of drug overdoses, and opioids account for most of those deaths. This epidemic is so serious that President Trump declared it a national emergency on August 10, 2017. This epidemic could be impacting your family members or friends.
Having guided America through the assassination of an American President, Roosevelt was a belligerent presence and a powerful leader on the world stage fighting for the American Way of Life. Not everybody liked the first Roosevelt though. Unusual in appearance, there are still unflattering cartoons of him, like the one on the cover, that remain to this day.
Say, U are into modes – in your solitude – the A train – Coltrane – The F train – The D – straight to Queens – traveling undersound of Jazz – Like, Jazz me, Jazz me baby, all night long!
The Trump campaign is a current example of emoting power. The strategy was practiced by many before, the most recent example being Berlusconi.