'America, America, This Is You."

Today's events are not a shock. They are consequences to an American problem.

'America, America, This Is You."
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images

I remember the time when the show, America’s Funniest Home Videos was on syndication. (Bob Saget hosted version). The theme song had a closing lyric: “America, America, this is you.” I couldn’t think of a more fitting lyric than from what I was witnessing today.

On June 13th, 2020, President Trump declared himself the ‘president of law and order.’ From there, at his behest, security forces, including the D.C. National Guard, teargassed peaceful protestors for the President to have a photo op outside a church with a bible upside down. See, what you witnessed on your phone and TV screens didn’t start today. It didn’t even start when Donald Trump rode down that escalator, announced his presidency, and called Mexicans rapists. Not even when during a Presidential debate, Trump told the Proud Boys to “stand down and standby.” Or even after Charlottesville when he said that there were “very fine people on both sides.” No, everything that Donald Trump embodies is the sum of all America’s most prized parts.

Photo Credit: Reuters/ Mike Theiler.

It’s the racism, discreet, overt, at the corporate level, and family dinner table conversations. It’s the decay rising to the top. Some in America have had the luxury of covering their ears and saying, ‘la la la la la,’ but the dog whistles have become yells and screams. Let’s skip ceremony; what happened today was American as apple pie and the scenes and photos belong in the Capitol like the furniture inside it. Do you know who also stormed the Capitol and lit buildings on fire? Great Britain in the War of 1812. So, is today really about American Patriotism or trying to uphold white supremacy in the face of an evolving demographic?

Take a look at this. There’s a person literally taking a podium out of the U.S. Capitol waving at the camera. However, when it’s Black people, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” If these were Black and brown people, they wouldn’t have the luxury of smiles and gently walking away from ‘light insurrection.’ The national guard would have been called, arrests would have been made, and people would have been hurt. Just like Standing Rock and the 1960s Civil Rights movement. The protests of the summer were in the name of a Black man who had a knee on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. For a young Black woman who was killed in her apartment in a flawed raid. Not because they didn’t like an election result. Remember when people called taking a knee too radical?

Today was not the storied George Washington leading the Continental Army over the Delaware River in December 25th-26th. No, today was a sore loser who incited people to storm the Capitol building because he didn’t like an outcome of an election he lost. All summer, people who marched in the name of racial equality all over the country were tear-gassed, massed, shot with rubber bullets, beaten, and arrested. ‘Protestors’ were allowed to walk into the Capitol building and were gently talked to. I’m sure those who protested in Ferguson and Baltimore would have preferred that treatment other than being treated like a foreign adversary in their own country. The election has long been over and Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20th. President Trump has lost 61 lawsuits in reference to this. However, only white people are allowed the space to live in a world where their word is gospel and everybody else has to deal with it.

President Trump closed his rally today by saying, “We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Ave…and we’re going to give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — we’re to try and get the kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country.” Then his supporters did exactly what he said while he went to the White House. Not the Capitol. Then he tells them in an address, “We love you. You’re very special. “ Right out of a white supremacist manifesto. Because to them, everybody else is inferior, and they have found their king. The Republican Party who accepted this rhetoric because they won now can’t control the monster that they’ve enabled.

There will be people that say America is much better than this. We are not. Today, January 6th is a mirror. It’s an amalgamation of the racist, entitled, and imperialistic mindset that good ole’ America values are rooted in. This is the sum of ignoring the pouty child who grew up to think that he couldn't lose and use his white privilege to spin move of it. Last night, Raphael Warnock became the first African American from Georgia elected to the Senate. Today, Congress had to be disbanded from certifying the results of the election. Of course, today’s tantrum would overshadow actual progress and that story is as American as the stars on the flag. Depending on what flag you choose to carry. Ask yourself this question; are you choosing to stay out of it because you benefit from the chaos?

Look on America, this is you.