"Beware the big lie!” the 1951 American propaganda film of the same name warns us. “Beware the dove that goes BOOM!" We have seen a lot of big lies lately from people in high places who have looked into the collective face of America and told bald-faced lies so often and so insistently that you think they must be telling the truth.
- Calling himself the most “the most tested athlete on the planet,” Lance Armstrong denied for years that he took performance-enhancing drugs. Last month he answered “yes” to every single question Oprah Winfrey asked him about his drug use.
- For decades Cardinal Roger Mahoney repeatedly denied that priests in his Los Angeles archdiocese abused young people. Last week the court-ordered release of 12,000 pages of church records documented repeated abuse, often by serial violators and always denied by the church.
- Yesterday Essie Mae Washington-Williams died. She was 87 and the daughter of Strom Thurmond, who 65 years ago bolted the Democratic convention and ran for president on the “Dixiecrat” ticket, winning four states. Carrie Butler, Washington-Williams’ mother, died that year at 38. She had been a teenaged Black maid in Thurmond’s house when he impregnated her. “I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen,” Thurmond said in a campaign stump speech, “that there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the Nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches.”