Friday, April 5, 2019
Era of Contempt IV
Why didn't I sweep Alan Leonard's letter into the garbage, where it belongs? A kind of amazement, I suppose, a residual non-belief, despite years of evidence to the contrary, that such people really exist.
A hope that does not die, if you want to get all flowery about it.
I wasn't running to post it either. But I went on vacation, and it was sitting there, and I figured, share it. Why not? We've grown sadly familiar with his oeuvre. There is, I suppose, an entertainment value, the way gross horror movies entertain.
Though not much. When I read Michelle Obama's "Becoming," I sincerely thought, "This is the sort of book that should be required reading." Because it might create empathy where none exists, in the Alan Leonards of the world. I wrote a column ballyhooing the book, not that Obama's memoir needed it—it's the best-selling memoir of all time. Maybe there are some people who will encounter it and have their perceptions expanded. This letter is a reminder how naive that hope was.
I'd like to suggest that Mr. Leonard is an exception. I don't know. Maybe he's the rule. That seems something worth discussing.