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Since the November election, talk of an impending Civil War has been a low rumble since President-elect Joe Biden secured the presidency as the Nation’s 46th Commander in Chief.
On January 6, 2021, embers of outrage smoldered, representative of the growing anger continuing to swell among Pro-Trump supporters; terrorists who confiscated and rioted the U.S. Capitol during Congress’s certification of Electoral College votes for the 2020 Presidential election.
Black people were considered deranged when they considered MAGA hats and Trump flags triggering, and frankly, scary; our generations twist on KKK garb and the Confederate flag. But last week’s treasonous insurrection solidified our fear.
Trump, indeed, made America great again by shining a high beam on the fact that America is, and always has been, rooted in white supremacy and racism. And it is past time for White America to wake-up and realize that their very existence is rooted in privilege. And when you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression.
White Americans feel it is their duty, their right, to destroy anything that does not conform to their world. And while we march, or kneel, to protect our lives, they riot when the systems they created works against their best interests.
Sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom says, “Whiteness defends itself. Against change, against progress, against hope, against Black dignity, against Black lives, against reason, against truth, against facts, against Native claims, and against its own laws and customs.”
This is what allowed flag-waving, “patriotic” Republicans to overwhelmingly prefer Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to U.S. President Barack Obama. This is what allowed Trump supporters to acknowledge how ill-suited the mogul was to the President even as they were drawn to his coarse, horrific language about Mexican rapists, Muslim terrorists, and black hellhole nations.
This is what allowed Trump supporters who are dependent upon the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to nevertheless elect politicians who had tried nearly sixty times to repeal the ACA, but who also espouse racially tinged lies about voter fraud and the need for voter suppression laws.
Trump’s pack of rebellious beasts, who played Russian roulette with their own economic and political viability, continues to roam wild–cementing themselves in history as tyrannical conspiracy theorists who wrecked federal property built by enslaved persons. And Trump’s handling, or lack thereof, of the terrorists who stormed the Capitol, is the final straw in labeling him as America’s worst president ever.
Trump’s mob of crazy, violent supporters are past the point where they can be reeled back in. His supporters are fascists, and “nothing is more important than stopping fascism because fascism will stop us all,” as Fred Hampton puts it.
This Republic is on a banana peel, and each person who cast their vote for Trump in 2016, and again in 2020, are accomplices. Also to blame for last Wednesday’s insurrection are politicians, like Sen. James Lankford and Sen. Ted Cruz. They coddled, entertained, and exacerbated his hate speech. We must also point the finger at the social media platforms that allowed his problematic rhetoric to have a stage.
Twitter, Facebook, and others have banned him now, but this man spent the entire duration of his Presidency spreading conspiracies to rile up his base violently. What we saw Wednesday was the climax of his actions, the final fight scene in a 4-year-long movie that foreshadowed a bloody end before the end credits.
It still baffles me how this mob of thugs were able to successfully intrude on a congressional hearing without so much as a water gun used to protect this “sacred” building. Yet, this summer, Black Lives Matter protests, a multiethnic, multigenerational, and multiracial group of people, were met by D.C. law enforcement in full military-grade riot gear.
However, if one knows the evolution of law enforcement in this country–which began as slave patrols meant to capture, and sometimes torture, runaway enslaved persons–then the contrast in their response to this angry White mob of terrorists at the U.S. Capitol makes sense.
What’s hard to imagine is, the same law enforcement officials who arrested Rev. Raphael Warnock in 2017 for leading a prayer in the Capitol Rotunda–protesting healthcare cuts in Trump’s proposed budget–are the same officials who were so kind as to move the barricade so to allow a shouting mob onto the grounds and who posed for a selfie inside the Capitol with a red-hatted terrorist.
Trump’s insurgents were climbing the walls trying to take over the Capitol building. Others made themselves comfortable, kicking up their feet on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s desk. Some even wore sweatshirts that read “Camp Auschwitz” and “6MWE,” romanticizing Nazi Germany and the holocaust, which ended more than 10 million lives based on their Jewish religion.
White Americans were shocked and appalled at the White on White crime they were witnessing. But personally, and among many Black Americans, it was sort of a dark comedy to watch a mob of angry White men and women rebel against the very system they’ve benefitted from for generations.
It was comedic watching this angry mob brutalize the blue lives that meant the world to them this past summer. And, it was refreshing to see the rest of America realize what all Black and Brown Americans knew already: America is far from the greatest Nation on Earth.
Even Turkey officials released an official statement saying, “we recommend our citizens in the U.S. stay away from crowded places.” This statement is precisely the kind of language we are used to reading in a U.S. press release to American citizens who might be in a city in the Middle East during a crisis or riot of this nature. It is astonishing to see this kind of language being used by a country like Turkey, warning their citizens of the dangers of walking around this Nation’s Capitol.
Last Wednesday’s act of treason by Trump and his supporters was a side effect of the pathological state of this Nation. America, a country diseased by a perceived psychosis of a supreme White race.