Donald Trump, the Ku Klux Klan, racism, partisan politics … the political pot has been boiling for weeks. But the private conversations, the talk in the street, the personal attitudes and prejudices … spilled over on national TV Tuesday in a way no one expected.
On CNN, a discussion between Jeffrey Lord, a former Reagan staffer, and Van Jones, a former Obama staffer, drifted from their discussion of Trump’s “malfunctioning earpiece” interview to a very personal exchange about the KKK and party politics. Two well mannered, educated adults, barely constrained by the live cameras, let fly.
I was both appalled and fascinated. No longer were race and bias confined to the streets, to be dispassionately discussed by TV’s talking heads. The talking heads were now just as emotional and embroiled as everyone else.
It was unnerving to see. The veneer had cracked. Education, status, experience, position. They didn’t matter. Bigotry, party politics, and bias came to the fore.
Not that I’m any less biased than anyone else. But I find it very disturbing — frightening, even — that the anger and animus in our country is so close to the surface.