Dear President Trump,
After reading Barr’s four-page distillation of the Mueller report another line from another Roots song has been playing in my head on continual loop: “the scales of justice ain’t equally weighed out.” The song, “Tip the Scale,” is from an African American man’s perspective and he’s basically talking himself through his various shitty options. It’s an incredibly bleak song. Here are another couple of lines from it: “Picture me living life as if I’m some animal / That consumes its own dreams like I’m a cannibal.”
No, Mueller didn’t completely exonerate you with regards to obstruction, but at least the way Barr is framing it, Mueller somehow couldn’t decide whether your behavior actually constituted obstruction. I’ve been toggling back and forth between the two most obvious “what ifs?” in this situation because doing so illustrates that the scales of justice ain’t equally weighed out. Basically, one can insert Obama and Hillary Clinton interchangeably and ask “What if it had been Obama (or Clinton) whose campaign was actively seeking out dirt on his opponent from Russians?” or “What if it had been Clinton (or Obama) who was exhorting Russia to find and release her opponent’s emails?” “What if Obama (or Clinton) fired the head of the FBI after he or she refused to go easy on someone in his cabinet who lied about contacts with a Russian regarding whether sanctions would be enforced?” Is there any f*cking question at all that either of them wouldn’t have been brought up on charges in a heartbeat, that Congress wouldn’t have started sanctioning either of them in a nanosecond, that impeachment proceedings wouldn’t be well underway by now? No. No there’s not.
And it’s this that prompted me to go ahead and include the two lines that lay out the cannibalistic, self-destructive cycle articulated in the song since it feels to me like America is behaving like a desperate animal that’s annihilating its own dreams. Obviously I don’t know what was going through Mueller’s head that led him to decide there wasn’t evidence that you (or Donald Jr. or Jared, etc.) engaged in criminal wrongdoing, but when this decision is held up next to what we all know would have happened to Obama and what did happen to Clinton over her use of a private email server, it signals that something is very, very wrong here.
May we be safe from ourselves.
May we be willing to grieve and then get back to work.
May we engage in a dispassionate diagnosis of how we got here.
May we not give up on peace.