I am so angry.
Last week on the steps of our Capitol, domestic terrorists broke through the doors of a sacred place with the intent to kidnap, kill and overthrow representatives of our government, ultimately to circumvent our government. The horrific, gruesome, and disgusting details are still revealing themselves – from who helped them, to what they did when they were inside. Figuratively and literally, they not only desecrated the rule of law of this country, but sent a clear message that white supremacy is embedded in our principles and values.
Images of nooses, Proud Boys using the “OK” hand gesture which has long been associated with White Power, Confederate Flags, and messages supporting the holocaust were plentiful and proudly displayed by rioters. The use of these props and symbols were designed to oppress, quiet, and diminish the civil rights of any American who doesn’t currently have power and privilege.
Let's be clear, what happened inside the Capitol was not a protest but an act of violence against our nation.
I wish to believe this was the fleeting and waning efforts of dying breed, grasping at a philosophy that has survived far too long. But I am not that naïve.
I am angry. Evil lives comfortably, well- fed and warm – among us. Like those that stormed the Capitol, doors have been unlocked and evil is invited in. Systemic, raw, and unfettered racism was on full display. I did not miss that these individuals seemed to enjoy the trauma inflicted on anyone in the way, including our Nation as a whole. And once again – a very loud message intended to intimidate anyone who is fighting for social justices, equality and equity to be quiet. To be small.
I am angry. And I am so sad. I am so sad that so many people are blind to the true impact of these events. That they compare the screams in the streets for justice from police brutality in towns across the country this past summer, with an attempted coup. That the cries of the oppressed are compared to the shame of a lost election.
Some are saying that if we had “controlled” the protests last summer, we would have prevented the siege on the Capitol. If we had not sought fair treatment for black and brown people, white supremacist would not have had to so strongly flex their muscle and put us all back in our place.
I am angry, not surprised, that we did it again. This country showed black and brown people our true colors. We – all of us – allowed the smallest of gestures, the dog whistles, the innuendoes, the wink and a nod – to go unchecked. Our country was assaulted – repeatedly – and our attackers are saying we asked for it, consented to it, that it is our fault and that the shame is ours.
I am angry at myself that I didn’t do more. I am angry that I gave too much grace and forgiveness to people who claim racism doesn’t exist or isn’t that prevalent. I am angry at myself for accepting that change takes time.
I am angry. I don’t have a call to action yet. I am not ready to call for unity and ask that black and brown people give us more grace and more time. I am not ready to make any more empty promises.
But I do ask that each of us sit in the knowledge that being passive aligns us with those that stormed the Capitol. It makes us complicit and on the wrong side of justice.
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