Oh, well. As Churchill didn’t quite say, “An occasional meal of one’s own words is part of a healthy, balanced diet.”
In my eyes Joy Ann Reid is still head and shoulders above her nasty, small-minded accusers. But it’s now hard to deny that she was wrong on the facts. Her graceful apology doesn’t leave much room for doubt.
So if – as I still believe, based on the testimony of those who know her well – Reid is fundamentally honest, how are we to make sense of her conduct?
As Richard Kim points out in a must-read essay, attitudes have shifted so far and so fast that it’s entirely possible for someone to have written something in 2007 and find it unthinkable today. If you write a lot, you forget about a lot of what you write. When I read my own blogging from back then – even stuff I still agree with entirely and that I’m proud to claim – I mostly don’t recall having written it.
Maybe that’s what happened to Reid. Memory isn’t a record of events, it’s a story we tell ourselves. And sometimes it turns out the story has an unreliable narrator.