Learning to Speak, the day after day 6 edition

Four days of stasis at the start of 2021. That’s what I figured was all we would get out of our new year, following the most forgettable, regrettable year of virtually any living person’s life. While the the 5th of January contained the pivotal senatorial run-off elections in Georgia (won by the Democrats, defying political conventional wisdom) it was clear that the 6th day of the year would have even much, much more more to say. Oh, and it sure did. It aggressively erased any “stasis” by giving the U.S.–and the rest of the concerned world–a heavy dose of disequilibrium.

You saw what happened, no doubt. If not as it happened, then you’ve seen the replay. An attempted coup d etat unfolded on live media feeds. Many people labelled the clearly ominous utterances of the president and others in positions of political influence as a coup in the making days and even weeks ago. And even though the consensus opinion of those who supposedly knew how our political process of certifying the electoral count would not permit any coup to succeed I, for one, wasn’t willing to be so confident given the last four years of a virtually lawless administration. An administration that has the backing of at least 74 million voters. Thousands of these “backers” showed up in D.C.,–as anticipated. As anticipated, they were agitated. But rather than clashes with their naysayers or any security force assumed to be at the ready, they were met virtually no serious resistance when they decided to gain entrance–uninvited, unlawfully and aggressively–into the our nation’s emblem of democracy and civil governance: the Capital Building itself.

What. The. Fuck!!??

My immediate reaction to what I witnessed from afar was the obvious, blatant conclusion that if these invaders, these insurrectionists, were ANY color other than white, they would not be in the Capitol Building; they’d have been tear-gassed, maced, bloodied and battered, if not many of them shot dead on the building’s impressively layered staircase leading to the main entrance. Of course they would have been. It should not have taken anyone who has been paying attention to last year’s treatment of many a person of color who dared exercise their 1st Amendment right to assembly and protest of police brutality (even murder, a la George Floyd and several others) to come to the same conclusion. Well, anyone who is not a white supremacist, that is. Certainly, Blacks have endured generational examples of how racism is baked into this country’s history. Some may have been shocked at what unfolded, but not the minorities, especially Afro-Americans. Hardly.

It’s certainly not just police forces that contain a racist element in their ranks. Of course not. That Capitol Building represents our government. Those elected officials inside, mostly white, freaked out, cowering as this virtually all white mob decided they wanted to stop the political sausage making apparatus from functioning, might have some explaining to do today. And tomorrow. And far into the future. Many who were suddenly thrust into a “doomsday” mode (as one Representative said was literally what they were placed in) have, buy omission or co-mission, aided and abetted the 21st century version of social, racial and economic inequality that infests this country.

The utter and complete irony! A virtually all white mob was threatening mostly white senators and representatives, as global coverage of this descent into reality TV lawlessness played out. It provided millions of people of color in this country the greatest single piece of evidence that so-called “white privilege” was now CLEARLY this country’s modus operandi. Not that it stated yesterday. Remember, most of our “founding fathers” were slave owners. Scores of white viewers (if you have been following social media responses to yesterday’s events) have joined in this chorus of shaming the deadly double-standard that applies to who can say what, or do what, or be wherever, and not get their heads cracked open or having to take 16 bullets for not having white skin.

Then there is the blathering bullshit I listened to on every major media outlet, whose breathless reporting attempted to explain the cause and effects of a day that, on the 6th of January, 2021, will live in infamy, along with Pearl Harbor and 9-11. How could this be happening? Why would this be happening? Uh, well, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC and the rest, you all share responsibility. It took the actual occurrence of an attempted coup for the media to finally label Trump and his crazed acolytes what he and they have always been: anti-democratic, racist, fascist terrorists. The mainstream media literally created Donald Trump with the absurd reality show, The Apprentice. His vile, venal and sociopathic character has been on full display for goddam decades. His campaign for President became a ratings bonanza for the media (as a CBS executive literally admitted to over four years ago). To have to listen to the handwringing of reporters and news anchors as pictures of the momentary interloping occupants of the House and Senate floors filled the frames of screens large and small with their smug defiance was as laughable as it was sickening.

Today, the 7th day of our already tarnished and tattered new year, is the first day of reckoning with the national and international disgrace that went viral yesterday. The guilty insurrectionists might today be arrested. Ya think? That they simply walked out of the Capitol as seemingly unchallenged as they went in without already being cuffed (if not brought out in body bags) is still something that those people of color have to swallow hard.

Your humble blogger here, lily white and well aware of history’s harsh lessons taught to me by direct experience or formal education, has been trashing our failed 2-party system of government for a couple of decades. Not that I’m an anarchist. I’m simply a realist, okay? I vote Green or Independent. I’d like to see the U.S. become a better place for all of “we the people”. After yesterday, my sentiments about needing a new, 3rd party or 4th or 5th new option, are as emphatic as ever. My meme, unabashedly, has been “burn it all down”.

I do believe, although it cannot be seen yet through the haze of yesterday’s convulsive display of lawless hate and divisiveness, and the our current national government’s corrupted and/or incompetent dysfunctionality, plus major media’s culpability in coddling a con artist and eventually helping him be escorted into the White House, that our House is now definitely, vividly on fire.

The smoke from this fire can be smelled all around the world. Hard to be a proud American–of any color–today.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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