Despite my love of and obsession with Twitter, I’m a big believer in the directive “Never tweet.”

I don’t mean this literally, of course, because I tweet all the time. But it’s an incredibly powerful mantra in those moments when you’re overcome with rage, or vindictiveness, or both, and you know deep down you’ll regret having said anything. It’s also handy when you feel a vague need to join the masses who are talking about something about which you can’t offer any special insight. Journalists in particular tend to feel an urge — maybe even an obligation — to say something about every latest outrage.

That’s why a line in this Jezebel column this week about some of the worst responses to the Charlottesville rally really struck a chord: “Do not be a white woman who talks when you have nothing to say.”

Yes, I feel the same outrage and repulsion and helplessness as everyone who watched the news from Charlottesville and its aftermath unfold. But I don’t have any particularly novel insight or connection to what happened. And I’ve been trying to be mindful of that. As a journalist, I want to put my thoughts out there. As an editor, I know when less — or nothing at all — is more.

This is a little problematic, though, when you’re supposed to write a newsletter each week in which you impart your very special and unique insights.

So instead I’d like to just share some of the best things I’ve read, listened to and watched this week related to the rally and the response from the White House and beyond.

 Vice’s report on the ground in Charlottesville is unflinching.

• My friend Jamelle Bouie writes about race and politics, and happens to live in Charlottesville, and his pieces all week have been outstanding.

 It’ll take more than pretty words to save us from Nazis.

 The NPR Code Switch podcast tackled white nationalism and put it in a historical context.

• This was written in June, but it’s comprehensive, excellent and more relevant than ever: The Myth of the Kindly General Lee.

What VOSD Learned This Week

Mario Koran already had a good story when he obtained data showing that the students in the class of 2016 who left San Diego Unified had a cumulative GPA of 1.75 – bolstering the case that the district pushes low-performers toward charters, where they no longer count toward the district’s grad rate. But then the school board president went and admitted that’s what’s happening – a stunning reversal after the district strongly denied it did this. (Mario also stopped by the VOSD Podcast, which I co-hosted with Andy Keatts this week, to talk about the district’s admission.)

Classes at San Diego Unified will be back in session soon, and that’s a problem for many parents who are adamant school should start after Labor Day.

And Ashly McGlone has a great in-depth look at how it all fell apart for former Poway superintendent John Collins.


There are some big decisions looming for city government in the next few months.

One is the future of pot in the city. Right now, only eight dispensaries are allowed to legally deliver – we listed and mapped em out.

Then there’s energy, and the question of whether the city should get on the community choice aggregation train. A big part of that decision will come down to which entity people hate less, government or SDG&E.

As the city continues to grapple with homelessness and as a Hepatitis A outbreak rages, a public restroom in a park where homeless people congregate remains inaccessible.

At the state level, there are a number of big bills from local lawmakers that will get a decision in the next few months.

What I’m Reading

• It is absolutely insane that Colin Kaepernick isn’t allowed to speak his mind and play football at the same time. (SB Nation)

• Rep. Maxine Waters is more than the sum of her memes. (Wired)

• There’s another way to describe your obsession with “clean eating”: an eating disorder. (The Guardian)

• Across the country, conversations about the future of neighborhoods are led by and focused on men. (Curbed)

Line of the Week

“And he disrespected the Wu Tang Clan.” – It took me more than five reads through this transcript of jury selection in the trial of pharma-bro Martin Shkreli to realize this was real, not satire. The whole thing is hilarious, and a good escape from a really rough, dark week.

Sara Libby was VOSD’s managing editor until 2021. She oversaw VOSD’s newsroom and content.

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