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.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

 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.

    This article relates to: News, What We Learned This Week

    Written by Sara Libby

    Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at or 619.325.0526.

    GK subscriber

    Not sure why "women" are singled out in that line.  Not like there's a shortage of vapid male commentary.

    philip piel
    philip piel subscriber

    Colin Kaepernick's problem is not his inability to do two things at once, "play football and speak his mind" the problem is the part about playing football. Like any other profession employees are accorded certain leeway based on production, putting up numbers will offset other less desirable traits. Colin is free to speak his mind just like his employer is free to use his services, or not.

    NFL ratings have gone down, one of the factors at least in my opinion is inserting political / cultural beliefs of statements in to their product. No one I know tunes into an NFL game to be educated regarding the plight of ______________. Without viewers the roughly 70+ percent of the NFL players (African Americans) wouldn't have employment paying multi-million dollar salaries. Colin and like minded players would accomplish more by taking a portion of their compensation and funding causes they believe in instead of forcing their beliefs on disinterested viewers. Of course kneeling on a sideline is is preferable to using your own money to make a statement....

    rhylton subscriber

    @philip piel Your fixation on or obsession with African Americans  makes you anything but disinterested. And fixation of focus causes one to miss the obvious. In that you have succeeded spectacularly.

    I was tempted to say no one tunes in to hear an anthem that celebrates or glorifies brutality, as here:

    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    But, events in Charlottesvile last week, and the uttering and twittering of the White House twit would have proven me wrong.

    And Kaepernick did use his own money to make a statement. Google it.

    philip piel
    philip piel subscriber

    @rhylton @philip piel

    I'm sorry if my facts got in the way of your opinion. My "fixation" with African Americans may stem from replying to an article / published opinion regarding African Americans, perhaps you missed the reference to Colin Kaepernick.

    Ah, our national anthem, you are aware independence was won through war and not via a card game correct?

    The "White House Twit" is your president, deal with it. Funny how you and yours get so bent when someone calls it as it is, feral humans attacking a marginalized throwback racist movement. The pasty gangsters would have been hardly noticed if it weren't for the left leaning terrorist acting up. Two sides each containing morons showed their azzes and you ignore one side to focus on the other. Yep, the peace and fairness movement sporting gear saying one race of people matter fighting and throwing things is fine by you and shouldn't be pointed out at risk of being labeled a twit.

    How much money does Colin have now to benefit his cause? Maybe keeping his yap shut would have extended his career / paycheck...

    rhylton subscriber

    @philip piel Most people know when they are checkmated. 

    And, your "facts" are fiction; much like those of the fellow in the White House.