Residents of Washington, D.C., may be grimly familiar with the so-called Black Hebrew Israelites, or at least a radical subset of them who are avowedly “Black Supremacist.” They tend to hang out in the capital’s Chinatown neighborhood, near where the Washington Wizards and Capitals play, and shout racist, sexist and anti-gay epithets at passersby. They’re a menacing presence, intending to frighten and intimidate Washingtonians and tourists going about their business.
That beauty is in the eye of the beholder goes without saying. A reminder may be needed, though, that meaning is in the ear of the listener. That's because words filtered through an inner universe of preconceived notions can wind up appallingly distorted. Americans judging the words of presidential impeachment witnesses must focus on firsthand facts and discard prejudiced opinions fashioned from the biases of President Trump's detractors.