We Need to Define Ourselves Before We Can Declare Treason

https://www.theroot.com/im-just-getting-cornered-by-30-40-people-a-trump-mob-1846012397

https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2021/01/inaction-capitol-police-was-design/617590/

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/01/multiracial-democracy-55-years-old-will-it-survive/617585/

Was a Noose Hung Across from the US Capitol?

If you look over those four articles, what you’re looking at is a clearer picture of what motivated the insurrection that happened this week.

If you’re tempted to say, “This isn’t America, we’re better than this.” Please stop just right there and listen a second. We want better than this, many of us. Our history tells a very different story.

If you’re tempted to think to yourself, “This is unprecedented!” Just as has been said by much of the media. Please, just stop a moment and realize how many times our history we’ve had very similar insurrections on a more local scale. Our history is full of them, every time there’s a government that isn’t purely of the white people, for the white people.

The attempt to frame the election as “stolen” directly relies on the delegitimization of Black, Brown, and Indigenous votes. Trump has repeatedly called it a “landslide victory,” and we’ve scoffed, but if you look at only white votes, he likely did. This is perhaps what he is referring to, or suggesting ought be the case.

This backlash has been growing since the 1970s. It is high time it be cut down.

It’s been called treasonous, but it in some sense hews close to our history, a return to this nation’s “on brand” nature of whiteness.

If we want it to be treasonous, this racist insurrection, we need to show we mean business, that we can alter course. We need a new history, one that is candid about our past and willing to break these traditions. We need to pledge allegiance to this new history, one that is truly founded on equality before the law, not some tawdry display of fealty to a flag we’ve desecrated with our racism. We need to stand to honor and sing an anthem of pride in being the ancestors the future needs, not some strange old anthem we’ve turned into a litmus test of subjugation.

Define our time.

Define our time with our actions. Define our loyalties to real principles and the people and friends willing to carry it forward.

That’s how we set an example, and when that example is set, that’s how we know what these people were traitors to.

Right now, they’re patriots to the history that was, trying to restore their faded glory. The glory that was always rancid because of its hypocrisy. We know better. Let’s now do better. It’s work time. And the next two weeks, many times that work may well look like pulling a woman out of a mob while police stand by. Because that’s where we are, right now.

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