Years ago I wrote a little book about life on one particular day in 1914.

This half-baked history gave me the chance to read a lot of old newspapers. With one exception, they were hopelessly dated, mired in the conventional wisdom of the time. Only the black press sometimes ran articles with an undeceived perspective on society, one that made sense decades later.

So I read the latest commentary by Chicago Defender executive editor Roland Martin with interest. Money quote:

“The Summer Games in Athens, Greece, cost that government billions of dollars, and are you more interested in traveling to the city because of it? I recall the NBA superstars doing their thing in Barcelona, Spain, but I haven’t booked a trip to the country lately. Heck, how many of you are really that interested in traveling to Atlanta because they hosted the Summer Games in 1996? . . .

The happiest people in the world today should be those in Houston and Philadelphia. The U.S. Olympic Committee notified them that they are no longer in the running to be the city put into the world mix in 2016,” and thus no longer in danger of taking an expensive ego trip.

I don’t know if he’s right, but he is upholding a tradition that’s at least 92 years old: asking questions that the white media rarely imagine.