On Tuesday, the coroner’s office officially determined Robin Williams’ cause of death to be suicide. If you happened to catch any of the media coverage in the aftermath of the report, it was an overload of sensational speculation. Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson is writing op-eds for USA Today about how “there’s a ‘Ferguson’ near you,” and ISIS is threatening to divide America and take over the White House.
On radio this morning, Glenn was in a somber mood as he ran through the news of the day. The current state of the media and culture led Glenn to question whether “we’re in control of our country” anymore. Furthermore, are we, as Americans, working toward the same goals? Glenn played the Millennial Choir and Orchestra’s rendition of “America the Beautiful” from their album To Be American as he prayed for unity.
Below is an edited transcript of the monologue:
I want to talk to you about who we are today and if we feel like we’re in control of our own lives. Do we feel like we’re in control of our own families? Do we feel like we’re in control of our own country even? And when I say ‘in control’ – are we working toward the same goals anymore? Are we working toward a country we understand anymore?
I see Jesse Jackson saying, ‘There’s a Ferguson, Missouri near you,’ and nobody is really speaking out and saying, ‘What is this insanity?’ We all want justice. We all want to make sure that our cops aren’t shooting people, but what is this where we’re burning down our own towns? Where is justice when you’re looting somebody who’s just fighting for their life in the same way you are. They’re trying to make ends meet.
We have a 12-year-old kid who’s now on tape as part of ISIS saying, ‘We’re coming over and we’re going to divide America in two.’ Well, a mission accomplished. Abraham Lincoln told us we don’t have to worry about the outside. We’re too great of a nation. We’re too strong of a people. If we’re going to destroy ourselves, if we’re ever going to be destroyed, it will come from within.
What unites us? What brings us together?
Thinking out loud here, I was proud of us for about three hours for the way we all came together on Robin Williams’ death. I thought, here’s the America I know. It didn’t matter what his political position was in life. It didn’t matter who our friends or our neighbors voted for or anything else. We all were hurting yesterday because a guy who made us feel good, a guy who we could kind of relate to because he just made us laugh at ourselves died.
But that spiraled out of control. I am disgusted by the media. They go and cover the coroner. What difference does it make how he did it? Why do I have to know what position he was in? Why? Why do I have to know that? How does that better my life? How does that change my life? How does that change the story? How does it do anything but assault the family and assault his memory? And then you self-righteous media people who are reporting on it: You’re carrying the damn thing live and then you come back and report on how many people are outraged that the coroner had the gall to say those things. You carried it live! Is there no decency?
I played a song in my office this morning at 6:00am. And it was a song that was recorded by a group we’ve told you about before, the Millennial Choir and Orchestra. I talked to this amazing choir about two years ago and I said, ‘Could you reset some of the songs that we all grew up with?’ And I put this CD on this morning and as I was reviewing all of the news, I just listened.
I listened to the words that we use used to all sing when we were kids but never really listened to.
We grew up in a different time, in a world that made sense. We would sing this in our school assemblies. I don’t even know if it made sense to us when we were kids. We were in the Cold War. We were burning cities down in the 1960s. But at least, in those days, man was trying to reach beyond the primordial slime and reach to the heavens, reach to the moon. There was something great to aspire to. Is there something to aspire to together today?
‘America, may God mend thine every flaw. May God confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.’ Think of that. Liberty in law is self-control. Where is that in St. Louis? Where is that in Washington D.C. or our newsrooms or in our own homes?
And in that line is the answer: ‘When all success is nobleness and every gain divine.’ When we become those heroes again ‘who more than self our country love and mercy more than life,’ we will make it. If we see beyond our years and reset to something far greater than we even see today and we see the brotherhood that unites us all.
We as people have such great potential. Historians years from now will look back and they will judge whether we lived up to our potential or we squandered this profound opportunity.
Let it be written of us that more than self our country love and mercy more than life.
From sea to shining sea, I greet you. Hello, brother. Hello, sister. Americans all.
Front page image courtesy of the AP