This is Not a Drill: Words, Pictures and a Capitol Insurrection

Wednesday was a lynch mob; a premeditated extrajudicial action with intent to kill. Participants took commemorative photographs, stole artifacts to show they were there. A gallows was erected and the group chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.” Many people have not concerned themselves with the history of lynchings in the US. Events that are announced ahead of time, people then gather at a place where their target is in a celebratory environment. Those that are willing to acknowledge that is was awful and the practice of taking photographs for postcards or the selling of pieces of the body of the murdered victim like to quickly brush this episode off as history. So it’s understandable that the plot twist of white people as a target left some unable to identify the event.

What happened in the US on Wednesday is normal. Not, that is should be. Germany does not have statues of Adolph Hitler and swastika flags adorning government buildings. There are not schools, parks or buildings named Hitler, any of his cabinet members or generals. Germany has built holocaust history into it’s education curriculum. The tragic events in history of Hitler’s reign are embraced as a loss and never to be repeated again. In the US, with regard to the civil war, not so much.

Don’t even think the US has made progress with the few confederate flags and monuments removed. Look at the numbers; 50 states have removed a total of 172 Confederate monuments over the course of history, but 1,712 remain standing.1

The US allows the federal and state governments to place seditionists and traitors on prominent display, to be revered and honored. Four states celebrate Robert E Lee’s 2 birthday as a holiday. There is no federated state in Germany that celebrates Adolph Hitler Day. Removing the statues is not “taking away history” or “rewriting history.” Removing statues of Confederate generals who led the southern succession from the union and lost is a statement; it’s over, it’s done, you lost. These people, and these acts should not be celebrated; but, apart of history, we learn from not model after. Come on now, Christians do not have statues of Satan or celebrate the birth of Satan because that’s history.

The US has allowed losers of a war to continue as if they won for 155 years. Therefore, it follows, that two months after Joseph R Biden and Kamala Harris were elected as President and Vice President, a faction of the GOP refuse to accept the loss and the President, whose 60 lawsuits against the results have all been thrown out, is responsible by continuing to spread falsehoods. Trump’s endorsers who believe themselves to be clever said, the criminals are responsible for criminal acts. Nice try. Ridiculous. It’s akin to the notion Hitler was not responsible for the murder of 6 million Jews because he did not turn on the gas. The president addressed the group for almost an hour imploring them to fight.2

I want to thank you very much, and they go off to some other life, but I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened and we fight, we fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.

So we are going to–we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we are going to the Capitol, and we are going to try and give–the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote but we are going to try–give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re try–going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.3

Wednesday was not like BLM protest. Don’t go there. We watched the video of a man kneel on the neck of another as he pleaded for his life. On lookers yelled get off him. This came after news of Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down by two white men in February of 2020 and the DA refused to prosecute. The men who murdered him were not arrested until May. The following week, Breonna Taylor was murdered by police who’d enter the wrong apartment. In all three cases, there were criminal charges brought against the killers. Those protests stemmed from crimes, not hints and allegations. The US constitution once said African Americans, were only 3/5ths of a person.Black Lives Matter calls for recognition of racism against black people and to stop treating black people as less as if we don’t belong here. The world joined in for the BLM, the world! The world was stunned by Wednesday and the US was condemned by worldwide leaders. So, this ain’t no BLM demonstration, This was a riotous mob fueled by entitlement, falsehoods and misplaced anger with the World leaders condemning the actions.

Then there was Kyle Rittenhouse. Kyle murdered two white men. The president remarked, that Rittenhouse was “trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like” and said that protesters “violently attacked him.” Yes, after he’d already killed someone, the crowd was trying to capture him. Kyle walked up to the police with his hands up and the police drive on. As a person of color, this alarmed me. It’s one thing when we’re being shot, it’s systemic, it’s historical, it’s racism. But when white people start to kill white people, allies, and claim they were attacked, then we are off the rails. Not surprisingly, many didn’t realize the victims were white. The narrative omitted race and left people thinking this poor white teen was being chased by “those black people.” Rather than radicalized teen armed and ready, crossing state lines to join the armed militia at a BLM protest. That was August, and then in September, more came.

Trump’s long-time friend and adviser Roger Stone, calling into the conspiracy website Infowars on Sept. 10, said Trump should use “martial law” to stay in office or invoke the Insurrection Act if he doesn’t win. Stone, whose sentence for seven felony crimes was commuted by the President in July, also said Republicans should physically block ballots from being counted. 3

Was Wednesday really a surprise? This is like a “check engine” light that has been on for more than 4 years. People of color have been behind the car yelling – your engine is smoking. But nah, the car keeps going and Wednesday, the engine blew up. Back to present day Germany in August 2020. There was a protest against covid 19 restrictions. Similar to what happened on Wednesday, the insurgents flew Reich flags, the side that lost the war. The German president condemned the protestors.

Hundreds of people, some waving the flag of the German Reich of 1871-1918 and other far-right banners, breached a security barrier outside the Reichstag late Saturday but were intercepted by police and forcibly removed.

“Reich flags and right-wing extremist provocations in front of the German Bundestag are an unbearable attack on the heart of our democracy,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Sunday, referencing the federal legislative body. “We will never accept this.”

“The fact that Nazis with imperial war flags try to storm the Bundestag recalls the darkest period in German history,” he told the Funke media group.

“An incident like on Saturday evening must not be allowed to happen again,” Habeck said. “I expect [federal] Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to decisively combat right-wing extremism at all levels.”

The head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, expressed anger at the incident. “That the Reich flag should fly again at the German Bundestag is intolerable,” she said. 4

In the US, the president responded with “So go home. We love you. You’re very special.

The videos show law enforcement ushering out the rioters. They trashed the capitol. They defecated and spread feces over the capitol. Explain to the communities of color why they weren’t forced to lie face down on the floor and their hands zip tied before loading them into police vehicles and charging each and every one of them with breaking and entering, trespassing, loitering, inciting & committing violence and desecrating federal property? Race.

NEW YORK (AP) — Black Lives Matter protests, 2020: Overwhelming force from law enforcement in dozens of cities. Chemical dispersants. Rubber bullets and hand-to-hand combat with largely peaceful crowds and some unruly vandals and looters. More than 14,000 arrests.

The U.S. Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021: Barely more than a few dozen arrests. Several weapons seized, improvised explosive devices found. Members of a wilding mob escorted from the premises, some not even in handcuffs.

The key difference? The first set of protesters were overwhelmingly Black Americans and their allies. The second group was overwhelmingly white Americans who support outgoing President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.5

Stop the narrative of half the country believe and we have to listen. They believe because they were told falsehoods and lies. These are like people who show up after a restaurant has closed and demand to be served because a light is on. Do the math. In the 2020 presidential election, 80 million eligible voters did not vote; 80 million. Trump got votes from 31% and while that is a sizable number, it’s not half. There are faction of that group that say will never vote for someone that does not support Trump, but taken in context, that furthers diminishes the political clout.

The mob is claiming success; it won’t end with Wednesday. The president did not ask them to stop, ask for peace or condemn the actions. Fight to take out country back is a coup; the words mean overthrow the legally elected government officials in a system designed to have checks and balances.

“Trump or war. Today. That simple.”

“If you don’t know how to shoot: You need to learn. NOW.”

“we will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount.”

In the weeks, days and hours ahead of Wednesday’s siege on the Capitol by President Donald Trump’s zealous supporters, the warning signs were clear: online posts from hate groups and right-wing provocateurs agitating for civil war, the deaths of top lawmakers and attacks on law enforcement.

This week, don’t be surprised, be knowledgeable. While there are arguments to do nothing and let the president run out the clock because [falsely] believe the election was stolen and can do no harm. He and his monosyllabic rhetoric, most certainly can. As presented, ignoring a splintered faction, making excuses for a group who falsely believed themselves wronged and finally, wordsmithing to make something distasteful palatable is passively condoning the riotous lynch mob on Wednesday. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote, I don’t have the luxury of dismissing racist slurs hurled at me and fear of harm. What happens to some of us, happens to all of us and this week, all of us meant of of the US.

1 1,712 Confederate Monuments Remain Standing in United States

2 Trump Allies Raise the Prospect of Political Violence Around the Election

3 This is what Trump told supporters before many stormed Capitol Hill

4 German Protest Condemned

5Race double standard clear in rioters’ Capitol insurrection

6 Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day

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