Now did I deserve to win a Pulitzer? Oh no.
Did I even make it to the Finalist Round? No.
(They) weren't impressed at all. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
(They) weren't impressed at all.
Seriously though, the reason I entered is because I thought I had a punchers chance of making it to the Finalist Round with my 2018 article The Problem with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Part Dos). I had written kind of a long-winded missive criticizing Ocasio-Cortez's math skills and felt kind of bad. So I wrote Part Dos as a reconciliatory article trying to find some common ground between a socialist and a (kinda) libertarian. Using the concept of The Maximum Wage as an example, I attempted to find some similarities in our positions instead of focusing on our differences.
In my head, the Pulitzer Committee was looking for unique perspectives.
They were not.
Using rationalization, I wasn't really angry. Why? Because I am not a journalist. I am a free speech advocate. What's the difference? I am self-admittedly sloppy and there's a certain gravitas to journalism that I do not possess.
Then why am I so aggravated that Brent Staples of the New York Times won for Editorial Writing (the same category I entered)? Because Brent Staples is not Nelson Mandela....
In 1962, a young Nelson Mandela was arrested for his activism and was jailed for the next 27 years. From jail, he studied and wrote letters. Both the in-flow and the out-flow of his output was controlled by his captors. When I think of important writings concerning race relations, I think of Mandela.
In 1990, the same year as Mandela's release from prison, Brent Staples joined the New York Times Editorial Board. If you review his winning Pulitzer entries, they all concern Racism in America. If you want to write an article about the racial division in the time of Jefferson's Monticello, that is fine, that's history.
If you want to write about racism today, from Staples' perspective, you are moving an agenda.
How so, you ask? Brent Staples' Pulitzer is arguably the pinnacle to a well-respected career. But Staples isn't writing from prison. Staples is 68 years old and pulling in a nice salary while 68 year old Nelson Mandela was still 2 years away from freedom in South Africa.
Somehow Staples was able to reach the mountaintop of his profession in the racist United States of America. I wanted a quote from one of Staples' articles and ran into a pay wall.
I'm going to say this again. There is racism in America, but did it effect Staples' ascension to his Pulitzer? Is there so much racism in America that all of Staples' New York Times articles were based on the same theme? Listen, I'm sure Brent Staples is a nice, hard working guy, I just think there's something else going on in America today that people are missing.
If you review the list of this year's Pulitzer winners, you will notice 3 themes.
Trump is Bad
Maybe I'll try a Race Relations Article..... (Coming Soon: White Privilege Debunked.)