It is almost unfathomable that, upon returning after more than three months of the Dig being out of print due to a deadly pandemic, I would greet you with anything but a jubilant column about the struggle of getting through the COVID-19 crisis.
But sadly that’s not possible. Because whether or not it is medically prudent to reopen Mass, and despite my being grateful for a chance to commence print ops, there is yet another epidemic raging that must be considered, and of course that is the problem of police violence, especially against people of color.
Longtime readers of the Dig know that we toil on this topic regularly, and not just when the nation is in protest. Over the past few years, among other reports on the plague of excessive force, we have published several features and investigations detailing the arsenals that law enforcement agencies have stockpiled in Mass, as well as the dreadful lack of accountability in those purchases.
As the protests rage on in the street and even after they subside and hopefully move into the halls of power and municipal buildings where reform can take place, we plan on continuing to provide further deep reporting on the larger picture, which in this case is that police up until now have rarely been told no—about spending taxpayer money on weapons of war, about deploying those toys, or about their daily oppression of black and brown people. And of course we will also continue providing dispatches and spot coverage from rallies and vigils, since it is critical to document a movement this size as it unfolds.
People often ask me why it’s still important to have local alternatives like the Dig in a time when there are countless online outlets offering unique perspectives. My response is that nobody else around here specializes in reporting on subtopics related to everything from arts and dining to injustice months or even years before they surface on the mainstream radar. Putting us in pole position to keep you informed when the diarrhea hits the air conditioner.
The odds were against independent publications like the Dig being able to make it out of the coronavirus crisis alive. But thanks to our readers, supporters, contributors, and advertisers who are slowly coming back, we’re still able to deliver, in print and at digboston.com, and are equipped to not only sustain but to cover the ongoing pandemics we face as a community, state, region, and nation.
CHRIS FARAONE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF