The Nightmare So Far
For the greater part of four years, a sitting President of the United States had emboldened and patronized a significant portion of Americans to show their true, racist and nationalist faces amid uproariously stupid policy decisions and Twitter posts that not only eroded confidence in American style Democracy on both sides of the aisle but undoubtedly was responsible for an increased spike in violence against marginalized groups.
Then, when America turned out to the polls in record numbers to refute his brand of fascism, Donald Trump turned his attention to branding his failure illegitimate and illegal. To the surprise of no one but mainstream America, he incited insurrection by continually stoking the fires of his far-right base.
One that seemingly cares less about politics for the betterment of all and more for politics that hurt and push POC color further to the margins of society.
On Christmas Day, the city of Knoxville, Tennessee was rocked by an explosion that laid waste to an entire city block, but not a single newspaper headline referred to the alleged culprit as a suicide bomber let alone a terrorist.
These aforementioned incidents, taken altogether, are enough to cause concern in and of themselves. But they’re but a sliver of the pages and pages of demagoguery that spewed from the White House since 2016.
“Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.” ― Mae West
Because people are rather short-sighted when it comes to putting contemporary dealings into historical context, many have stated that the President caused the nation to become MORE racist when it is likely that he excited those racially sensitive synaptic impulses into catalyzing groups of people prone to said thoughts, into actions.
Indeed, a storm front of racism isn’t hovering over the White House raining racist inclinations down from on high. A better phrasing would be to say that it is a part of the very fabric of America.
You can’t microwave Pepsi and call it coffee. So, we have to call America exactly what it is, a white colonizer state. The most successful of its type in the history of western civilization.
Yet, as white nationalists from across the nation burst into the Capitol with ill intentions, the privilege inherent in their complexion caused most mainstream onlookers to bite their tongue when calling this “riot” a full-fledged coup attempt.
By the appearance of gallows and zip ties, at least some in attendance were intent on capturing and hanging elected officials they felt were responsible for “stealing” the election.
Yet, teams like” protesters” are chosen over words like “insurrectionists” by design. Why?
Because even when behaving in the ugliest manner possible, American media sensibilities lead them to a blatant refusal to call “a spade a spade” when describing the actions of people who, in their minds, are representative of a national majority rather than the minority that the 2020 election results show they clearly are.
Though for many the moment those images of middle American hooliganism populated their respective screens was a violent awakening, for others it was a moment of calm because it quantified and qualified centuries-old criticisms of privilege and white nationalism that Black and Brown folks have long been aware of, but white folks have generally denied in mass.
“The United States of America is a new country. By longevity standards, it’s positively in raging toddler phase. So, let’s put the screaming, kicking babe in its playpen for a nap. Putschy, putchy, coup”— Jamila Bey, Senior Fellow at Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy
Currently, many of the politicians that supported and emboldened Donald Trump throughout his presidency are calling for “unity” and “togetherness” in the aftermath of yet another national blackeye.
Yet a side-eye is what they have coming from this direction.
In my opinion, the call for unity in this instance seems to be a dog whistle overture from conservatives to liberals, and vice versa, to place the homogeny of white American-ness over true democratic philosophy and policies aimed at the betterment of the entire populous.
Meanwhile, as has been the case at every domestic juncture at which the pillars of a true democracy are weakened at their very based by white nationalist flavored-fascism, Black folks are at the forefront of it all.
Initially, images of Black Capitol Hill police officer Eugene Robinson running from a crazed mob within the supposed inner sanctum of democracy invoked outrage among many Americans, but the brothers were wondering why he didn’t spin around and empty the clip, posthaste!
Then, as the fog of delay and opinions cleared, we find that Mr. Robinson was not “running” but making a strategic withdrawal to draw the crowd away from a door that led to the Senate floor. A hero.
Then we see DC Mayor Bowser make a timely reminder to Congress to necessitate statehood for Washington, D.C. while citing the failed security response by Capitol Hill police brass as the reason. Only a governor can call out the National Guard. Not surprisingly, and also cited by Mayor Bowser, Capitol Hill has the ability to call out the National Guard but declined.
The frequency of restraint was inert when the protesters wanted to bring attention to the sanctity and humanity of BLACK Lives. Indeed, a social media stream revealed to me the story of Lolita Lebrón, a Puerto Rican nationalist who died in San Juan, P.R. in 2010 at 90 years old. She served 25 years out of 45-year sentence for storming the United States House of Representatives in 1954.
The official report says she fired 30 bullets into the chamber, wounding five congressmen in the attack. But at least she ain’t kill nobody, huh?
Trump-infused fascists in the dozens ransacked Capitol Hill, killing one officer (Brian D. Sicknick) by bludgeoning him to death with a fire hydrant. All while his commanding officers left him hanging out to dry.
Meanwhile, police departments in Washington state, Virginia, North Carolina and New York City have reported investigations into officers from their respective jurisdictions who they believe attended the “protest”.
“I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump–I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.” pic.twitter.com/efe5RIuKOW
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) January 11, 2021
Is There A Better Way To Say “Told You So” Regarding White Nationalism?
All throughout social media Americans of African descent, as well as other POC, lamented upon the hypocrisy inherent in the lack of militarized deterrents in place to dissuade a break of the Capitol similar to the show of force that was in place when BLM protested the death of George Floyd in June 2020.
However, at least to me, that was too obvious to garner an extreme reaction. The thing that got me was when Capitol security guard Ashanti Smith was struck in the face by riot participant Therese Duke, then rocked her dome with a counterpunch that caused a nasty cut to bleed profusely.
Officer Smith was fired and charged with assault within days of the incident. Meanwhile, there’s video of Capitol Hill police officers letting rioters through barricades, taking photos with participants and some believe they even directed rioters to the Senate chamber.
Therein lies America’s hypocrisy. Therein lies her shame.The dichotomy that got Ashanti Smith fired and charged, will allow those white officers, who were most egregiously guilty of dereliction of duty, largely escape the same fate as Smith.
Now THAT’S some duality for that ass.