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Morning Video: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Watch The Central Park Five on PBS. See more from Central Park Five.

PBS broadcast the Ken Burns documentary about the Central Park jogger and the desperate but tragically flawed attempts by the authorities and the mainstream media to find her assailants.

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The 1980s were desperate times. Reaganism and corporate financial engineering accelerated the overnight de-industrialization of America, further damaging the family, and ending twenty years of great educational progress for people of color. Numbers-driven policing filled the prisons with nonviolent persons, also damaging schools as well as other institutions. The War on Drugs contributed to violence that was far worse than today. And the news was full of reports that the economy would never make room for black men.

And, then Clinton went eight years without making any mega-mistakes, and all of the problems shrunk to something manageable. Obama and this generation may face problems that are more complicated (and the time clock keeps ticking regarding global warning.) But, in the 80s and in earlier years, we survived worse.

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