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Journalist Jelani Cobb on Donald Trump: “We’re Learning to Deal With an Unprecedented Level of Hostility”

With the current White House administration painting the media as the “opposition party,” it’s important now more than ever for journalist to speak out and continue to seek out the truth. Among them are people like Jelani Cobb who aren’t afraid to use their platform to educate and inspire. As a writer for The New Yorker, he’s penned a number of thought-provoking pieces such as this one on the future of the Black Lives Matter movement.

I had the opportunity to speak with him during the Writers Guild Awards about how the state of journalism has changed since Trump’s rise to power and what we can do to move toward a better America. “We’re learning to deal with an unprecedented level of hostility,” he said.

“There have been people who have reported in difficult circumstances before…The Nixon White House was hostile and had animosity toward the press but we have not seen anything of the level that we have seen in the past month. And also a kind of populist movement that simply disregards information that doesn’t compliment it. So that’s been very challenging for people in this era.”

The flip-side to that is that a new crop of marginalized voices are making their way to the mainstream. “It’s consistent with the history of this country…that when we’ve had these challenging moments, we’ve had people who are willing to step up and add their voices to a conversation that would be bereft without them,” he added. So, yes, it’s very much within American tradition to speak up when you see injustices occurring. Keep it up.

And while it’s easy to get burnt out and turn to apathy for self preservation, Cobbs has some advice for you: “Persevere. That’s the message that we all have to keep in mind.”

(image via screencap)

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