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Last week I was in Arizona for vacation and as soon as I entered the city of Scottsdale from Phoenix, I saw a school board candidate’s campaign yard sign that read, “Stop Critical Race Theory”.
Then as we drove to Sedona, I saw multiple cars on the road with Donald Trump decals, flags and even paint jobs. MAGA hats on people’s heads, flags in windows of trailers and billboards celebrated the disgraceful president.
Although I’ve read and written about anti-CRT campaigns and seen Trump paraphernalia here and there in northern Illinois, encountering the propaganda up close from so many people in that red state was surreal–like the hate and division are really real and you have to see it in person to truly grasp how deep it is.
Witnessing all of that plus watching the January 6th Committee Hearings on Thursday evening was chilling and triggering. Listening to the commentary, I was immediately flooded with traumatic flashbacks of images from that day while also being bombarded with footage newly released to the public. And the one thought that played on repeat in my mind was, “This ain’t the end of it. This feels like the culmination of a second Civil War.”
Trump’s Insurrection fans are dangerous
These zombies idolizing Trump reminds me of how when we were younger, we would hang pictures of our celebrity crushes on our bedroom walls and ogle over them in our free time. It’s the same effect with these legions of Trump devotees except they’re fan-crushing over the devil. And what’s disturbing is these people at every level of society will do anything to put this devil back into power. The January 6th Insurrection and events prior and subsequent to it are proof of that.
What we learned from the hearings was plans for the insurrection had been in the works for months despite the fact that multiple sources told Donald Trump that there was no evidence of election fraud. Nevertheless, Trump set the attempted coup in motion way before Joe Biden’s presidency confirmation.
Boots on the Ground
During the opening statements, Representative Liz Chaney said (R-Wyoming), said “Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.”
One of the rioters interviewed said Trump asked him for two things in which he complied: his vote and to come to Washington D.C. on January 6th. In another interview, a man said that he was prepared to “lay his life down” in believing Trump’s lies.
Leading up to the insurrection, founder of the far-right militia group, The Oath Keepers, prepared his followers for war. “We aren’t getting through this without a civil war…it will be a bloody and desperate fight.”
Enrique Tarrio, the leader of another extremist group, The Proud Boys, sent the signal to his followers to commit hate crimes against Black people ahead of the insurrection. He burned a Black Lives Matter flag he’d stolen from a historic Black church in Washington D.C. about three weeks before and was arrested before he could participate in the sedition games.
Since then there have been an egregious number of political, physical and educational hate crimes committed against Black Americans.
Trump has often accused the media of spreading fake news but the main outlets that do so are the ones protecting him.
Far-right station Fox News refused to air the hearings. Instead, they chose to stick with their primetime line-up with commentary from Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham–all anchors that have downplayed the mayhem.
Also, Fox News went ad-free during the entire broadcast which was a tactic to keep viewers tuned in and away from the hearings. The station’s executives would rather lose millions advertising dollars than allow people to hear the truth about what happened that day.
Insurrection illuminated Government Goons
And in addition to several Republicans refusing to comply with subpoenas around the insurrection investigation, organizers of the protest claimed that they’d had dozens of planning meetings with members of Congress and White House staff. This means that government officials were also complicit in the rebellion.
Democracy has been under attack for generations but now it’s under siege with people committed to bringing it to its knees and beheading it. Donald Trump isn’t revered for his presidential wins – if any – or because he’s a stand-up guy. They love him because he’s revived overt racism and division in this country, giving greater life to white supremacy. He’s been able to touch the spirits of and mobilize people convinced that they’re being replaced by minority groups. And finally, he’s given them the sense of power that they’ve felt like they’ve lost in movements for equality and freedom for all.
For the general public to believe they’re going to surrender all of that would be foolish and the evidence suggests that we should be prepared for them to continue fighting for anarchy.