Four Heroes From Inauguration Week

The new president misspelled “honored” in one of his first in-office Tweets and then directed his press secretary to attack the media for allegedly reporting incorrect numbers. But even if Trump’s actions weren’t particularly admirable, this week provided plenty of heroes to choose from. Four of my favorite include:

  1. Gregg Popovich. The San Antonio Spurs scored one of their biggest victories of the year with an overtime road win over the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers. But their coach spent most of his post-game press conference speaking out against the bully who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: “I hope he does a great job. But there’s a difference between respecting the office of the president and the person who occupies it. That respect has to be earned. It’s hard to be respectful of someone when we all have kids, and we’re watching him be misogynistic and xenophobic and racist and make fun of handicapped people.”
  2. Kara Swisher. On January 18, we announced Swisher (pictured above) as the SXSW Hall of Fame inductee for 2017. The co-founder of the tech-focused website Recode, she has been described as Silicon Valley’s most feared and well-liked journalist. This recognition is particularly fitting for the current year, when the need for tough, take-no-prisoners reporting has never been more important. Swisher joins other recent HOF inductees such as Baratunde Thurston (2016), Tamara Hudgins (2015), Joi Ito (2014) and danah boyd (2013).
  3. Nancy Vaughan. The Mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina traveled to Austin this week to speak out against SB 6, the so-called Bathroom Bill. Vaughan warned that similar legislation in her state has created what she called a “manmade recession.” She said that at least one Fortune 500 company decided not to set up shop in Greensboro because of this law: “I have not heard of one business that has said, ‘I’m coming to North Carolina because of HB 2.’ I would caution your legislature to be careful, because repealing it is much harder than passing it.” Voice your opposition to this moronic measure by calling Lieutenant Governor Patrick’s office at 512–463–0001.
  4. Women’s March Participants. Kudos to the more than 2.5 million women (and men) from around the United States and across the world who peacefully assembled on Saturday, January 21 to show their opposition to the misogynistic tendencies of the new administration. We are particularly proud of the large numbers that amassed in Austin as part of this impressive show of solidarity. But there’s no time here for anyone to rest on our laurels — we need to keep this momentum strong over the next few weeks, months and years.

Over the next four years, this nation will see countless unexpected heroes emerge from all corners and all walks of life. Watching this new crop of leadership arise should make for exciting times. The most thrilling development of all will be if the 45th President joins these ranks by embracing inclusiveness over division.

Hugh Forrest tries to write four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts generally cover technology-related trends. When not attempting to wordsmith or meditating, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.



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