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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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