The insurrection of 2021 was the combination of white supremacy, white fragility, and the hedonistic circuitous mantra that the United States of America is a country founded on anything other than brute violence, genocide, and destruction. We can no longer pretend to be a normal we never were.
I am 25+ years old, but if you found my birth certificate, it confirms that I’ve thus far seen six presidents in my lifetime. Ronald Reagan (one year of infancy), George Herbert Walker Bush, William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton, George Walker Bush, Barack Hussein Obama — the first president of which I could and did vote for, and the 45th President of the United States. Except for Forty-five’s presidency, I lived through every administration on American soil. I am an authority on what a functional America looks like, or what some people call “normal.”
I won’t reiterate much of what’s been said in the last 24 hours. What we witnessed on January 6, 2021 was an attempted coup that was encouraged, incited, and probably celebrated by the current occupant of the Oval Office. Forty-five tweeted that he loved the angry mob that descended on the Capitol to impose terror and destruction. The tweet was quickly removed by Twitter. Ironic how a tech company can respond to violence faster than federal law enforcement agencies. For those of you genuinely not up to speed and don’t understand the connection, I’ll summarize: America is a constitutional republic where we send representatives to enact the will of its constituents. When we vote in presidential elections, the candidate with the most electoral college votes wins the election, irrespective of the popular vote. See 2000, Bush v. Gore. The United States Congress must then certify the election results, and the new president or incumbent will be inaugurated on January 20, the year following the election. And you guessed it, the day Congress was to certify the election results was January 6, 2021.
Since November I’ve grown quite tired of this farcical notion that we’re going to “return to normal.” What is normal? Things weren’t great beforehand for those of you not paying attention to the magnitude of which you should have. And all of these domestic terrorists weren’t born yesterday. I’ve never wanted to embody the meme of throwing a desk so desperately in my life than when I converse with individuals who insist that somehow Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. and Kamala Devi Harris will magically fix what’s irretrievably broken about the United States. Never mind the fact that 62,000,000 people voted for the despot the first time in 2016, when he showed clear signs of malice, cruelty, violence, and disinterest with democratic protocols. I just don’t want to hear that you couldn’t see the writings on the wall when the rest of us did. Forty-five was sued by the United States Department of Justice for refusing to rent to Black people, openly stated he only wanted Jews counting his money, and called Mexicans rapists and drug lords before he had the diplomatic influence, the military, and the nuclear codes. What did you think would happen? I guess it’s cute that some of you have federal justices of your choosing and you felt the economy was going great, because that made it all worth it.
Now in fairness, I know people are anesthetized to the pain of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Americans. And for a country that boasts in its opening creed that everyone is equal with unalienable rights, America has gone through Olympic-worthy contortions guaranteeing that equality doesn’t extend to everyone and neither do said rights. But I’m not ready to be executed or become the next hashtag just yet, so work with me. If Hillary Clinton had won the election, I wouldn’t be out to brunch. I’d be dodging law enforcement bullets in a park, like Rakiyah Boyd; trying to circumvent maniacs while drinking iced tea and eating skittles, like Trayvon Martin; or avoiding traffic stops and the ensuing suspicious death in custody, like Sandra Bland. Remember, all of these things occurred during “normalcy.” Lastly, let’s not forget — Hillary and Bill Clinton attended the wedding of Donald and Melania Trump. Chelsey Clinton and Ivanka Trump were friends. I guess the racism wasn’t a problem until it was an election soundbite. Of all the labels we ascribe to Forty-five, inventor is not one of them. He didn’t invent the chaos descending upon us, he lit the match.
Now for November 2020. More than 74,000,000 people voted for the despot once more, proving that not a single demographic regretted a goddamn thing despite reports to the contrary. They gingerly cast their votes for the architect of terror, destruction, and mayhem unleashed on the citizens Forty-five is sworn to protect. People wanted more. More disenfranchisement. More mass death during a pandemic that Forty-five refused to acknowledge, take seriously, and of which he didn’t adequately prepare. Forty-five’s pathological hatred of Black people, specifically his immediate predecessor, led him to dismantle everything President Obama achieved, created and secured — including the national pandemic response unit. Whew, if that ain’t one for the history books I don’t know what is. But we’re supposed to return to “normal” when more than seventy-four million people voted for this man. That’s more people than the populations of the United Kingdom, Thailand, France and Italy.
And as for the terrorists that committed treason yesterday, they don’t only exist at the polling station or among the ruins of Capitol Hill. As I said before, they weren’t born yesterday. They’ve been here. They’re returned Peace Corps volunteers, Associate General Counsel’s of major companies, and elected members of state houses. They surround us, feeling this country belongs to them alone, and proudly wanting to disenfranchise the votes of 81,000,000 people. How dare anyone else, especially those with melanin in their skin, have a voice that determines the outcome of an election? Our unabashed audacity. Further, let us not forget the law enforcement authorities who not only let them in the building, but took selfies with these people. To think, when I worked at Macy’s I couldn’t even text message on the sales floor. The dichotomy in standards is remarkable.
We are never going back to what we thought normal was. Back to 2007 — before the lethargic Fourth Estate refused to call out the racist Birther theory for what it was. They fanned the flames that ultimately led to Forty-five being in power. He is the true the monster of Dr. Frankenstein — our conglomerate media. We must never forget that. Without their incessant coverage of someone who only received attention because he was wealthy, white, and male, Forty-five would not be in the White House today. 2007 and before was a completely different world. We laughably thought that the George W. Bush presidency was the worst thing that could ever happen to the United States. It actually brings me to tears.
There’s the expression that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Well, sometimes it’s important to remember how we arrived at point D, and that A,B, and C came before it. We’ve been working towards this point for years, and every person who encouraged, dismissed, and voted for this man enabled this outcome. He was despicable before he ran for president and there is no excuse for any affiliation with him.
My point is this: these domestic terrorists aren’t going to magically disappear on January 21, 2021. It’s not like they haven’t been executing Black people at grocery stores or lynching us while we’re out jogging. They are not going away because Uncle Joe and Aunty Kamala are in the Oval. They are not going anywhere. If anything, with Vice President-Elect Kamala’s presence, their anger will be amplified to extraordinary proportions. Something I’ve learned being a highly melanated Black woman — there are some people who really don’t want us to succeed, thrive, or breathe.
So when these inevitable calls for “unity” and understanding happen, which they will, because they always do — know this, I’m not reconciling with anyone. We don’t ask rape victims to forgive their rapists. We don’t ask attempted murder victims to forgive their assailants. We don’t ask victims of child molestation to forgive their perpetrators. So if other victims of violence, intimidation, threat, and harassment can protect themselves from the individuals who would do them harm, I will too. It’s no longer a question. A friend brilliantly articulated, “these people would lynch [us] and stream it.” A noose and gallow were erected at the Capitol yesterday, explosives were found, and there were plenty of cellphones.
Aunty Toni Morrison astutely contended, “Racism is a profound neurosis that no one examines for what it is. It feels crazy. It IS crazy.”
I’m not a psychologist, therapist, or social worker.
I owe you nothing.