unhappy anniversary

It has been three years since a would-be revolution was televised and simultaneously uploaded to myriad social sites as insurrectionists performed for their audience. It’s still hard to wrap my head around it. It’s hard, too, to contemplate what the year ahead holds for the nation.

When I was looking for something else, I bumped into a blog post I wrote that January, pointing to the racism underlying the MAGA movement. Three years ago was just months after we watched George Floyd’s murder, captured by a witness and shown repeatedly on television. Today, the urgency of reading all the books and completing all the anti-racism checklists has dissipated. Instead the backlash against the international reaction to that murder is in full force. And the Republican front runner unashamedly apes fascist tropes, promising retribution.

Karen Tumulty recently urged us to stop pretending “this is not who we are,” just as I did in my post. Racism is an American tradition. But it’s also wise to bear in mind Jamelle Bouie’s point that it’s not who all of us are. Assuming Trump represents the majority, or that Trump supporters are the “real” Americans, is to give up on the motivating idea of the Declaration of Independence, that we are all equal. Let’s not forget how outraged and appalled we were on that day.

Our system has several flaws that give disproportionate power to a minority, but even so the dude lost! The majority voted against him. We did it before, and we can do it again.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

2 thoughts on “unhappy anniversary

  1. One way we can think of it is “plus ça change, plus s’est la même chose,” but that does us all a disservice. Yes, racism is still pervasive, as are all of the other -isms; yes, this country is still grievously divided; and yet, there are still millions of us who hear President Biden’s call to protect our democracy and who respond. We have been doing that ever since the country was founded. We have continued even more forcefully now, understanding that each of us has a role to play in this task, working with others to break down barriers and secure our future.

    I just heard part of an interview with Harry Dunn, one of the police officers at the Capital during the insurrection. Dunn is running for Congress. Four years short of qualifying for his pension, he is moving from one form of public service, in the Capitol police, to pursue another avenue, as a legislator. It’s a crowded field in the primary, but he offers a history that the other candidates do not. Check him out at https://harrydunnforcongress.com/. We cannot all run for office, but we can support those who do. We can write LTEs, sign petitions, donate time and/or money, show up for demonstrations. The more we encourage our family and friends and neighbors, the stronger we become.

    Yes, this is an anniversary that is not a happy one to remember, but the fact that we are remembering it and vowing to prevent any future repetition makes me at least cautiously optimistic.

  2. I thought of you, Betsy, on this day. You give me so much hope that we can prevail. And you inspire me to do the work. Thank you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.