Hate Crimes Are More Important Than a Few Rich Kids Getting Into Harvard

David Leonhardt:

The president of the United States suggested last week that his political supporters might resort to violence if they didn’t get their way. The statement didn’t even get that much attention. I’m guessing you heard a lot more about the college-admissions scandal than about the president’s threat of extralegal violence.

Thanks, David! This allows me to complain about my two pet peeves from last week. First, the unbelievable amount of attention paid to a tiny little college admissions scandal. We still don’t know how many people were involved, but at appears to be something like 0.01 percent of the entering freshman class of America’s most elite universities. This is a rounding error, and it’s for a scandal that only affects about 5 or 6 percent of American families in the first place. What’s more, it’s just standard issue cheating, not even a symptom of some new or systemic problem. It deserved a few column inches on A7, not flood-the-zone coverage everywhere we looked.

And then there’s the president of the United States coyly suggesting that he has “tough” supporters who might—wink wink—get even tougher under the right circumstances. Sure, it’s just Donald Trump acting like his usual asshole self. But still. Doesn’t this deserve a few front-page stories? I mean, maybe it’s just a coincidence that hate crimes suddenly spiked as soon as Trump became president. But then again, maybe it’s not.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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