The Situation in Beirut + Why America Can't Ignore Its Past And Its Failings : 1A "What matters to me is to be honest and to be fair. I think it is absolutely clear that the president has numerous failings which has cost the country as a whole, dearly," Atlantic writer Ed Yong says. "Trump is central to this problem but not the only thing that matters."

Want to support 1A? Give to your local public radio station and subscribe to this podcast. Have questions? Find us on Twitter @1A.
NPR logo

The Situation in Beirut + Why America Can't Ignore Its Past And Its Failings

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/899840822/899854786" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The Situation in Beirut + Why America Can't Ignore Its Past And Its Failings

1A

The Situation in Beirut + Why America Can't Ignore Its Past And Its Failings

The Situation in Beirut + Why America Can't Ignore Its Past And Its Failings

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/899840822/899854786" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

An aerial view shows the massive damage done to Beirut port's grain silos (C) and the area around it after a mega-blast tore through the harbor in the heart of the Lebanese capital with the force of an earthquake, killing more than 100 people and injuring over 4,000. -/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
-/AFP via Getty Images

An aerial view shows the massive damage done to Beirut port's grain silos (C) and the area around it after a mega-blast tore through the harbor in the heart of the Lebanese capital with the force of an earthquake, killing more than 100 people and injuring over 4,000.

-/AFP via Getty Images

People in Beirut are angry.

On Tuesday, an explosion tore through Beirut's port, killing at least 135 people and injuring at least 5,000 others. Now, some are saying the government isn't doing enough to find survivors—and many blame it for the blast.

We spoke with Lina Khatib, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program for the Chatham House, about where the country can go from here.

And, the U.S. is facing two crises—COVID-19 and racial injustice. More and more people are saying that both have been exacerbated by the Trump administration. His handling of the pandemic has caused many to question his decision-making abilities and motivations. An AP poll from late July shows just 32 percent of Americans support his strategy. And his accusatory rhetoric about protests in response to the killing of George Floyd has fed into racial tensions that have always been just below the surface.

The Atlantic tackles both of these matters in its September issue called "How Did It Come to This?" We were joined by the authors of the issue's two cover stories: Ed Yong, science writer at The Atlantic, and Ibram Kendi, professor in the Humanities at Boston University and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research.

Like what you hear? Find more of our programs on our website.