Pittsfielders*

We only see what we know how to look for. — Jason Sierra**

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Today’s Berkshire Eagle featured on page 1 the report of a fight at a local shopping center based on an 18-second video of part of it that as of yesterday had garnered 47,000 views, and interviews with a PIttsfield police lieutenant. HERE’s the video. Subscribers can find the news story by click by clicking on “Police probe Trump, BLM backer scuffle.” (Others can go out and buy a copy.)

The altercation grew out of side-by-side Black Lives Matter and pro-Trump demonstrations at an intersection surrounded by shopping centers. It followed incivility by one or more participants. A BLMer is said to have spit in the face of a Trumper. Online commentary accompanies the video linked above.

Black lives do matter. Police lives matter. Proper and professional policing matters. Generations of racial discrimination matters. Wholesale destruction of parts of cities matters. Americans are well aware of it thanks to plentiful media coverage that crowds out other important matters.

The elections matter. The coronavirus pandemic—and how it is and isn’t being covered—matters. Kids’ educations and their families’ and regional and national economies matter.

The environment matters, although it is being crowded out by these other things that matter and the Democrats seem to have temporarily relegated it to lodge at least temporarily among things that don’t matter. Of course the wildfires out West matter.

Some people think the snuffing out of nearly three thousand human lives in a single morning 19 years ago this Friday still matters, and how the federal government explained what happened and how and why matters. In connection with that, science matters. Ditto justice. Ditto the wars. How the media responds to to all this matters.

One reason the challenges to the official 9/11 line continue to be buried in the public consciousness is time. (“That was nineteen years go!”) Another is the attention drawn to other important matters of the day. (See above.)

Truth is all over the place. But we see and understand selectively according to our culture, our situations, our places, and dominant forces we don’t consider or even acknowledge.

People who have put together the free online Justice Rising*** conference beginning this Friday evening at 6 don’t deny the importance of racial injustice, the need for police reform, the destruction in cities, the economy, kids’ education, how best to respond to the coronavirus, the environment.

They just insist that 9/11 matters, too. If it is finally begun to be addressed honestly, some of these other matters will be easier to address.

— Mark Channing Miller

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* The Eagle report acknowledges that some demonstrators come from outside of the city.

** Quote borrowed from HERE.

*** Also see HERE and HERE.

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