Lessons from Kindergarten, Tell the Truth, One of These things is not LIke the Other and Be Nice

Let’s play one of these things is not like the other, a lesson in false equivalencies. The insurrection at the Capitol last week is not like Black Lives Matter. The BLM protests occurred in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in which a police officer sat with a knee on the Mr. Floyd’s throat for 8 minutes 46 seconds. The Capitol riot is like every other white nationalist riot in the last 4 years, from Charlottesville’s Unit the Right to the protests at state capitals against wearing a mask and lockdowns in Michigan and Ohio.

Images from A -Capitol riot in Washington DC, resemble images from B -white nationalist rallies around the US. They are not like C -black lives matter demonstrations in which the world joined in.

A) Washington DC Capitol Riot
B) Riots at State Capitols in Michigan & Ohio; Charlottesville Unit the Right
C) Black Lives Matter Demonstrations Around the World

The Capitol Rioters were predominately white males who chanted, “hang Mike Pence,” dedicated and smeared their feces in the Capitol; wore t-shirts that read Camp Auschwitz and flew Confederate flag. This is similar to the Unit the Right Rally, predominately white males who chanted “Jews will not replace us.” The Capitol rioters were like the state capitol protesters, massless, angry and yelling. Black Lives Matter protestors are all races, they chant, “say their names” and “no justice, no peace.”

In the aftermath, the country is asked to acquiesce as an abused spouse. Rather than prosecute the abuser, stay quiet. “Don’t prosecute the president because it would divide the country; these people just want to be heard.” Guys, we did this before. After the civil war, politicians didn’t want the southerners to feel bad. So, the Negroes did not get their 40 acres and mule and segregation prevailed. Africans Americans suffer through the legacy of disenfranchisement and systemic racism.

This time, it won’t be people of color. Last week, the lynch mob erected a gallows and noose; shouted in unison hang Mike Pence.  The FBI now reports there were plans to take hostages. Some capitol police officers aided the effort and there are investigations as to the assault being an inside job. It’s hard for many people; the refrain, I can’t believe what I saw, I can’t believe what is happening. Believe it. Far right-wing groups have historically prevailed in the use of campaigns of terror. This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. Before that was the Slocum Massacre in 1910 and after Tulsa was Rosewood in 1923. The hate and paranoia directed at black and brown people has expanded its reach and target towards anyone and any group not basically supporting voter suppression of black and brown people as the country becomes a majority minority.

I heard someone sum it up best, “how do we find common ground without common humanity?” We’re stuck in the everyone gets a trophy mentality because we don’t want anyone to feel bad. Stop it. Embrace loss and what it means; you were outperformed, someone else is preferred, but that doesn’t make you a loser or a bad person. A conviction of impeachment will divide, as it should, division between the criminals and the law-abiding citizens. Lynch mobs were not prosecuted and condemned. Jim Crow laws were upheld, ridiculous gerrymandering of voting districts have gone unchallenged. Stop it all. If there is no denunciation of the radicalization and sedition that occurred; this will be a repeat of the civil war aftermath. If the group wants to retain their white nationalist values, so be it. If they want to see me as less than, so be it. In what world other than a racist entitled society is there a to listen to “them” so they won’t be mad. Say their names: Joseph T. Wesbecker, Timothy James McVeigh, Stephen Paddock, Dylann Storm Roof, Robert Gregory Bowers, Adam Lanza, Dylan Bennet Klebold, Patrick Crusius – these are the names of some white men who have committed acts of domestic terrorism in the form of mass murder since 1989.

It’s astounding a judge expressed concern that the arrested Jake Chansley hadn’t eaten since jailed and that Mr. Chansley is asking for a pardon from President Trump. The excuses, “I thought I was on a self guided tour of the capitol.” Then, there is the woman during the riots who said “police are suppose to shoot BLM, not patriots.” Holding a flag does not make you a patriot no more than holding a bible makes you a Christian.

Now Chansley’s demands for an all-organic diet inside prison are being looked into at the request of a judge, who found it “deeply concerning” to hear how he went without food for days after refusing what was on offer at his facility.

“He gets very sick if he doesn’t eat organic food – literally will get physically sick,” said his mother, Martha Chansley.

Twenty-five domestic terror charges have been opened as a result of Wednesday’s violence, in which five people died. So while it is reassuring to see a judge so concerned about the treatment and welfare of prisoners, it raised a few eyebrows – as it certainly deviates from the usual treatment of suspected terrorists in the US. “It’s a jail, Jacob. It isn’t a Whole Foods,” people joked on Twitter.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. Chansley behaves with the entitlement of someone who tried to overturn a legitimate election and got called a patriot in the process.

He is baffled by the idea he should be treated like a criminal, just like the angry woman who was part of the Capitol mob and said: “This is not America. They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.” The exceptionalism might seem astounding, but as far as they’re concerned, the president sees a group of “very special people”, on one side, and a bunch of thugs on the other.1

The Capitol Riots were acts of sedition and terrorism. The very fact capitols in all 50 states and Washington DC are on high alert is the fear and precautions that terrorism bring. Hence, deal with the illegal acts and prosecute; there is no reason to appease a population fueled by lies and falsehoods.2 If you want to do something, as soon as you hear someone compare the Capitol riots to BLM, say no, it was like Charlottesville. Have your response ready, be willing to be a tad uncomfortable; You heard this story before, this time you are a character in it. This week consider which character you are.

“We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” 

Martin Luther King Jr, “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C., August 28, 1963 

1 Capitol invader’s organic food request should be the least of our worries

2 From last weeks post: 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.

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